(WKBN) – Winter brings out issues for tenants that might not have been noticed during other times of the year. A lack of heat and hot water are two of the biggest.

Those are immediately noticed when the weather turns cold like it did this weekend.

First News has received numerous calls from tenants about these situations.

Tenants should know two things about complaining. The law says you must be current on your rent and you have to notify the landlord in writing.

“The law asks that it be taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, which, when you’re dealing with the lack of heat, can be something like 24 hours. So it can be a really quick turnaround on when the landlord has to fix a situation like that once he or she has been notified,” said Attorney Andrew Neuhauser.

If the landlord is not taking care of it, stopping communication, or not fixing it, the tenant should consider options, including escrowing rent with the local court.

Community Legal Aid teaches a free online clinic twice a month for help with landlord issues. It’s on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 4 p.m. The next one will be on Jan. 12. You can find more information at CommunityLegalAid.org.

There is also a resource guide for tenants online.

Community Legal Aid reopens on Jan. 3.