Says District Office Available to Help
Now that the “heat season” has commenced, Council Member Oliver Koppell said it is important for tenants to know their rights with respect to heat and hot water and the means at their disposal to remedy the situation if they are receiving inadequate services.
The law requires building owners to provide heat and hot water to all tenants under the following conditions:
Hot water must be provided 365 days a year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
From October 1st to May 31st, a period designated as “Heat Season”, building owners must provide heat as follows:
.Between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit and,
.Between the hours of 10: 00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., if the temperature outside falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tenants who are cold in their apartments should;
. First notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent.
. If services are not restored, call the City’s Customer Service Center at 311.
The law requires HPD to notify the landlord of the complaint and, if heat is not restored, an inspector is sent to issue a violation. If the landlord does not respond to the violation, HPD can arrange for the restoration of essential services and bill the owner for the cost.
“The city takes very seriously the landlord’s responsibility to provide adequate heat and hot water as evidenced by the fact that recently the penalties for landlords who fail to these services were increased,” Koppell said.
The penalty for failing to provide heat and hot water is $250-$500 per day for each initial violation and $500-$1,000 per day for each subsequent violation in the same building during the same and/ or next calendar year or during the same and/or next heat season.
“Everyone is entitled to be comfortable in their apartment,” Koppell said. “No one should have to do without the basic necessities. If tenants do not receive relief through regular channels, my district office staff is available to help,” Koppell said. “Call ((718) 549-7300”.