LEWISTON — Tenants should get two more degrees of heat from their landlords, according to proposed changes to City Codes.

Gil Arsenault, Lewiston’s director of planning and code enforcement, said he’s proposing the city update its building regulations ordinance regarding heating to match state codes.

State building ordinances require landlords to heat their buildings to 68 degrees year round. Lewiston’s rules require landlords to keep buildings heated to 66 degrees between September and May.

Councilors are scheduled to vote on Arsenault’s proposal at their regular 7 p.m. meeting Tuesday night.

“State law is such that any municipality is less stringent, it’s deemed to be invalid and of no force,” Arsenault said. “In order to make sure we have a heating provision we can enforce, we need to change from the 66 to 68.”

Arsenault said the minimum temperature has been at 66 degrees since the late 1980s.

He noticed the difference recently when he was reviewing state rules concerning a different matter.

Arsenault said Lewiston’s code sets the temperature limit for cold-weather months only.

“But the state law, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “It can be July and if it gets below 68 degrees, that’s a violation of the implied covenant of habitability.”

Arsenault said he’s also recommended the council add a provision that lets landlords negotiate with tenants to set a lower temperature, down to 62 degrees. That would not apply to tenants older than 65-years-old or younger than five.

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