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Landlord - Tenant Guidance

Common Questions from Tenants

I don’t have a lease with my landlord. Can I be reimbursed for rents I paid?

Please work directly with your landlord to reach an agreement regarding the reimbursement of rents you paid. If, after asking your landlord to file a lost rent claim with Columbia Gas you are not provided rental reimbursement, you should call the Attorney General’s Merrimack Valley Hotline at 617-573-5370 if you encounter difficulty with your landlord. You should also advise your Columbia Gas claims adjuster.

If I am concerned about being evicted and continue to pay my rent, will Columbia Gas reimburse me for this cost?

Columbia Gas will be working with the landlords to address these issues and can pay rent to your landlord through the claims process. You should also be able to secure a refund or credit from your landlord for any rent you paid while your home was without heat or hot water. If you encounter difficulty with your landlord, please advise your adjuster about your unique situation and call the Attorney General’s Merrimack Valley Hotline at 617-573-5370 to speak to a representative and please also contact your adjuster.

If I choose to live in alternative housing because my apartment does not have heat or hot water, do I still need to pay my rent?

No. Your landlord should not be charging you rent in that situation. Your landlord should instead file a lost rent claim with Columbia Gas.

My landlord is insisting I still make my rental payments. How can you help?

Please refer to the Attorney General’s guidance on your rights as a tenant. Tenants who are having problems with their landlords should advise their adjuster about their unique situation and call the Attorney General’s Merrimack Valley Hotline at 617-573-5370 to speak to a representative and please contact their assigned adjuster.

I’m a tenant who has been paying rent since the events of September 13 despite not having heat or hot water. Can I be reimbursed for rents paid?

Columbia Gas will be working with landlords to address these situations and can pay your landlord for rent since September 13. Your landlord should be reimbursing you for the rent you paid or giving you a credit towards your future rent. Please work directly with your landlord to reach an agreement regarding the reimbursement of rents you paid. If you encounter difficulty with your landlord, please advise your adjuster about your unique situation and call the Attorney General’s Merrimack Valley Hotline at 617-573-5370 and speak to a representative.

Common Questions from Landlords

What type of documents do I need to support my claim for lost rental income?

In order for lost rent to be reimbursed, we will need a copy of your rental agreement(s), the address of your rental property, the name(s) and contact information for your tenant(s) and validation of monthly rental charge. If a rental agreement is not in place, you will need to provide documented evidence of regular rental income. Examples of such documented evidence include canceled rent checks, rental deposit slips, and other documents that prove you were receiving regular rental income from the tenant. Columbia Gas recognizes that every situation is unique and will work with you to try and substantiate your claim.

I don’t have a written lease with my tenants and they pay in cash. Can I still be reimbursed lost rent due to the September 13 incident?

You may be eligible to receive reimbursements for lost rental income if you are able to provide documented evidence of regular rental income. However, we are unable to process claims without any documentation or proof of loss. Columbia Gas recognizes that every situation is unique and will work with you to try and substantiate your claim.

I don’t have a written lease with my tenants. Can I still be reimbursed lost rental income due to the September 13 incident?

You may be eligible to receive reimbursements for lost rental income if you are able to provide documented evidence of regular rental income. If you haven’t filed a claim, please reach out to our claims line and request to open a claim. You can call 1-800-590-5571 or visit one of our Claims Centers.

My rental unit has both heat and hot water, yet tenants are withholding rent despite living in the unit. How can you help?

If your tenants are withholding rent for a period in which heat and hot water have been restored, you may wish to consider consulting with a private attorney. However, to avoid any misunderstandings, make sure that your tenants are not withholding rent as a credit against rent they paid for a period in which the rental unit was without heat or hot water.

It’s not my fault the unit does not have heat or hot water. Can I continue to collect rent?

The Attorney General’s Office has taken the position that trying to collect rent or threatening eviction on a unit that lacks heat or hot water due to the events of September 13 is a violation of the state consumer protection law.  For further information, please refer to the Attorney General’s guidance on your obligations as a landlord. You should instead file a lost rent claim with Columbia Gas by calling 1-800-590-5571 or visiting a Claims Center.

My tenants are asking me to reimburse rent paid during a period where the unit was not up to State Sanitary Code due to the events on September 13. Will I have to reimburse them?

Columbia Gas can pay the landlord rent for the period between September 13 and the date heat and hot water are restored. As part of this process, the landlord will be required to refund any rent collected from the tenant for this period. Please call 1-800-590-5571 or visit one of our Claims Centers to discuss your options. You will need to work directly with your tenants so that you may reimburse your tenants in one of the following ways:

  • Refund tenants their rents if they have already paid; or,
  • If agreeable to your tenant, provide a credit to the tenant against future rent. 
I’m a landlord who has not received rental payments from my tenants because of the events of September 13, can I be reimbursed for lost rental income?

Yes, you may be eligible to receive reimbursement. If you haven’t filed a claim, please reach out to our claims line and request to open a claim. You can call 1-800-590-5571 or visit one of our Claims Centers. In order for lost rent to be reimbursed, we will need a copy of your rental agreement(s), the address of your rental property, the name(s) and contact information for your tenant(s) and validation of monthly rental charge, or other documentation which substantiates the rental agreement.