Outdoor temperatures are dropping, and NYC residents are doing everything possible to stay warm and healthy. NYC heating laws stipulate that landlords must ensure they keep all residential buildings warm during the heating season. The heating season spans from the 1st of October till the 31st of May. They must provide heat between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm if the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They must ensure the indoor temperature is at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
When Is Landlord Require to Turn Heat on in NYC?
Also, owners and landlords must provide heat between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The indoor temperature must be at least 62 degrees Fahrenheit. However, there are no outdoor temperature requirements. Additionally, the law requires that building owners provide hot water at 120 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
The goal is to keep people safe from the biting cold in autumn and prepare them for freezing temperatures in winter. In this light, the HPD helps landlords and tenants understand the heat season’s requirements for heat or hot water problems.
What to Do if Your Apartment Does not have Heating or Hot Water in NYC
If your apartment doesn’t have hot water or heat during the heating season, let your landlord, managing agent, or superintendent know about it. Go through your lease to see the right way to report damages and the need for repairs. You may call or send an email depending on how urgent the situation is. Note that it is your legal right to seek your landlord’s assistance in case of heat or hot water issues. Keep copies of the emails and record all calls because you may need them as evidence in court.
However, if your landlord doesn’t react to remedy the situation, dial 311 to register an official complaint with the HPD. You can also file a complaint using the 311 mobile app or visit 311 online. If you have hearing difficulties, you can file a complaint using a Touchtone Device for the Deaf at (212) 504-4115. the HPD can sometimes get multiple complaints from the same building signifying the same problem.
What Happens When You Report a Landlord to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HDP)?
The HPD will try to get in touch with your building owner on the specific issue. After this, they will reach out to you to see if the landlord has solved the problem. You can check your complaint status on the HPD website or through text if you provided a phone number when registering the complaint.
The Department of Housing Preservation will send an inspector to your building within two days tops if your issue is still unresolved. The inspector will carefully assess the entire building to identify the problem. After which, the landlord will have to fix it within a certain period. If not, the HPD will carry out repairs to keep tenants healthy and safe during the heating season. The HPD then levies fees and penalties on uncooperative homeowners through a court order.
Summarily, it is your right as a tenant to have hot water all year round and a heated apartment during the heating season. If you don’t get any of these, you may be subject to hypothermia, dehydration, and other health problems that accompany freezing temperatures.