NYC is currently going through it with the weather we’ve been having–like, NYC was actually colder than Antartica at the start of this week, and tomorrow, Saturday, January 20th, is going to feel like 6°F, according to AccuWeather.
And, because the city loves to test our patience so much, New Yorkers all over the city have been thrilled (yes, that’s sarcasm) to find that their heaters suddenly aren’t working! Or, they are “working,” yet their apartment is still feeling like, well, Antarctica.
But did you know there’s actually a “heat season” during which time building owners are legally required to keep their buildings at specific temperatures?
Heat Season falls between October 1st and May 31st, and building owners must keep their inside temperatures at least 68ºF between the hours of 6am and 10pm when outside temperature falls below 55ºF.
Between the hours of 10pm and 6am, however, temperatures can be 6ºF lower and must be at least 62ºF, regardless of the temperature outside.
In addition to heat, building owners are legally required to provide hot water to their tenants 365 days per year at a minimum temperature of 120ºF.
The bad news for landlords: for heat violations and some hot water violations, the NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) can hit landlords with some pretty hefty violations. Owner penalties and fees are as follows:
- Up to $500 per day for each initial heat or hot water violation
- Up to $1,000 per day for each subsequent violation at the same building during the same and/or the next calendar year from the initial violation or, during the same and/or the next heat season
As a tenant if your landlord isn’t providing you with adequate heat or hot water, HPD suggests first contacting your landlord. However, if they’re unresponsive, you can file a complaint by calling 311 or TTY (212) 504-4115 or using 311 Online.
Considering we still have about two months of a frosty, flakey, and slushy winter left (though forecasters think Punxsutawney Phil will predict an early spring) you can learn more about NYC’s heat and hot water requirements here.