So apparently it's rude to expect your landlords to keep the house at reasonable temperature now.
I'm staying in California on an internship, but while I'm south enough that there's no snow, it's north enough that it still gets fairly cold, particularly at night. I booked a furnished room in a sort of boardinghouse through AirBnB. One of the blanket rules AirBnB has is that hosts must provide bedding.
I've had a bit of a silent ongoing battle with regards to the thermostat more or less since I got here-- I turn it up a little, and someone else (based on the rest of the story I think it's the hosts) turns it all the way down. When it's all the way down, house temperature is in the low fifties according to the thermostat. It's colder in my room than the rest of the house, so I suspect it's actually high forties in my room when the heat is off. Sometimes I go to the thermostat and turning it up doesn't do anything-- the landlords have, rather than continually reset the thermostat, just shut the heat off entirely at the base. It's worth noting at this point that the bedding they provided is two thin blankets and a sheet, not enough to deal with this kind of temperature.
I have Reynaud Syndrome in my hands, so it doesn't matter how many layers I put on, if the outside temperature isn't a certain level my hands will turn purple and become hard to use, particularly if the cold temperature is ongoing.
Today was one of the heater-is-completely-off days, and it coincided with a cold snap. So after dealing with this all day, I finally got frustrated enough to send in a complaint. I sent one by email, then realized that probably wouldn't get dealt with quickly and did it by voicemail-- it's the landlady's two sons I'm contacting via this method. I pointed out in the voicemail that I've tried to live with the temperature but that my hands are going numb and that the thermostat says the house is in the low fifties which isn't a reasonable temperature to expect someone to live in. I did make a brief allusion to tenant laws, but it was just a one-sentence mention, no specifics. I'm aware I sounded upset, but apparently it's being read differently by someone, because...
Landlady comes upstairs after a while to turn on the heat, brusquely asks if I called her son, and then tells me that there was no need to be rude to him. I don't think it is rude to tell someone with whom you have a business relationship that the temperature isn't reasonable.
The thing that she did that I consider rude on her part, though, was that she proceeded to check to see if I was wearing slippers on my feet before turning the heat up, apparently on the theory that if I wasn't wearing them the heat didn't need to be on. My hands were going purple and numb and I was wearing a thick sweater; I don't think the slippers on my feet are the deciding factor in this case. And really I don't think it's her business whether I wear them or not. (She shoved them at me when I showed up without slippers because if you don't wear slippers in the house you'll get a cold/be cold. And was insistent about it even though I don't like slippers.)