Legal Landlord Heat
Excessive heat: If your landlord heats your apartment outside the hot season, you can call 311 to report an excessive heat violation. Unfortunately, property owners and managers are often caught in the act of violating New York`s heat laws. In 2019 alone, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) received more than 3,000 heat-related complaints. To qualify for assistance for heating or basic city supplies: Heating and hot water are essential services that all homeowners must provide and maintain, especially during the winter season. Calling 311 or starting an HP action can upset your landlord. A disgruntled landlord may refuse to renew your lease or increase your rent. This is unlawful retaliation. If you are afraid of retaliation, you can call anonymously and report a heating violation. The downside? The inspector may not be able to enter the building and measure the temperature in your individual apartment.
In all cases, it is the responsibility of the building owner (owner) to maintain the heating systems in good condition. If you find that your apartment is not heating properly, you should first contact your landlord or caretaker to give them a chance to fix the problem. Under New York City law, heating problems must be resolved by building management within 24 hours. It is best to notify them in writing so that they have proof that they have been made aware of the problem. Hot water: Between June 1 and September 30, New Yorkers are always entitled to hot water. Every day of the year, your landlord must provide hot water at a minimum of 120°F. Building owners should regularly inspect heating systems in late summer and perform maintenance recommended by the appliance manufacturer to reduce the possibility of sudden failure. Learn more about your landlord`s “habitability guarantee” and how to apply it in Maine Tenant Rights: Unsafe or Unsuitable Housing. If the heaters fail when heat is needed, there is an immediate violation of the Heating Ordinance.
Tenants without heating may have the right to withhold rent in accordance with the Residential Tenants Ordinance (RLTO). Lack of heat also exposes building systems (especially sanitary facilities) to the risk of freezing. As a result, building owners need to take heating system failures very seriously. If you don`t have heating or hot water, consider an HP lawsuit in housing court. NYCHA and private tenants can submit HP actions for required repairs to your apartment or common areas of the building. Learn how to file an HP lawsuit by visiting the New York City Housing Court website. For more tips, visit the Responses to Housing Court website. An indoor temperature that is too cold can make the living conditions of an apartment at best unpleasant or downright unbearable at worst. A lack of hot water makes it difficult for tenants to maintain their personal hygiene and can lead to a buildup of harmful bacteria, while too much time spent in the cold can decrease the body`s immune response, so there are very real health problems associated with heat extraction. If tenants do not have heating, they should call the local police and their local health department. The obligation for landlords to provide heating if it is part of the lease is enforced by cities and municipalities.
The Heating Ordinance specifies the heat sources that cannot be used to meet the minimum heat requirements. These are: cooking appliances, domestic water heaters and portable heaters. To determine compliance with the Heat Ordinance, the indoor temperature is measured at 3 feet above the ground and at least 3 feet from an exterior wall. Temperature is measured with windows and exterior doors closed. Portable cooking appliances and heaters cannot be used to provide the required heat, so compliance with regulations is determined when the appliances are turned off. For residential buildings with a single central heating and cooling system (sometimes referred to as “two-pipe buildings”), the indoor temperature must be at least 68°F from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and at least 66°F from 10:30 p.m.
to 8:30 a.m. for most of the warm season. Considering that it takes time to switch this type of system from heating mode to cooling mode, there are special rules that apply to this type of building for the first and last month of the warm season. From September 15 to the first date, the nighttime outdoor temperature drops below 45°F, or on October 15 (whichever comes first), the indoor temperature must be at least 64°F at all times. Similarly, starting on the first day of May, when the outside temperature exceeds 75°F, the indoor temperature must be at least 64°F at all times until the end of the warm season. The study also found a remarkable correlation between the cost of renting an apartment and the likelihood that tenants will have to file a heating complaint – in general, the higher the rent, the less likely a unit is to be exposed to heat damage. In other words, there is a clear economic gap between who has adequate access to heating and who does not. HPD reacts as quickly as possible to complaints of heat and hot water. The average time between complaint and inspection improved to 2.1 days and accelerated by a full day between FY18 and FY19.
Many complaints about a particular building can and often are the result of a condition requiring repairs. HPD encourages tenants to visit HPD`s website for the outcome of the complaint. Tenants can also receive updates on the status of the complaint via SMS if a phone number is provided when filing a complaint. If a landlord does not fully provide heating, HPD`s Emergency Repair Program or Housing Litigation Department steps in to request heat recovery. According to the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development, heating must be provided to tenants from October 1 to May 31 each year — a time known as the “hot season.” Meanwhile, the indoor temperature of apartments should be kept at a minimum of 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. when outside temperatures drop below 55 degrees, while indoor temperatures should be kept at least 62 degrees at night, regardless of the cold outside. In addition, hot water must be supplied year-round at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If your landlord doesn`t respond to your complaints right away, you and your neighbors should also consider contacting the city by calling 311 or reporting online. When you call, ask to report a heating or hot water violation to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”), the municipal agency responsible for enforcing the housing law. If you call 311, you can complain about your own apartment, as well as heating and hot water everywhere. Currently, calling 311 is not an option for NYCHA tenants.
Learn more about “Start an HP Action” in the next section to assert your heating and hot water rights in NYCHA. If, on the other hand, it is too hot in your home, you should consider a radiator thermostatic valve. This can help regulate the amount of heat coming from your radiators. Because New York City has both scorching summers and freezing winters, most renters struggle with year-round temperature issues in their apartments. Although the law offers limited protection during the warmer months, the city has fairly strict heat laws from October to May. Despite these strong legal protections, hundreds of thousands of tenants complain of a lack of heating and hot water each winter. In 2017, New York City tightened its heating laws by extending the length of the “hot season” and increasing indoor temperature requirements. Here`s a glimpse! New York`s heat laws were introduced to protect you, especially during the cold winter months.
Property managers are expected to provide hot water to your home year-round and maintain a certain level of warmth even in winter. Familiarize yourself with the laws so you know what to expect from your property manager. State law states that if the landlord is required to provide heat, running water, hot water, electricity, gas, or other essential services to tenants, and if the landlord does not provide that essential service and the failure is not caused by circumstances beyond the owner`s control, the tenant may notify the landlord to specify the violation and may elect to do so, acquire reasonable quantities of essential services during the period of non-compliance and the actual and reasonable cost of those services from rent. The Heating Ordinance applies from 15 September to 1 September. June.