October 7, 2016
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – The 2016-2017 “heat season” began on Saturday, October 1, and continues through May 31, 2017.
Residential building owners have a legal obligation to provide tenants with hot water year-round and heat when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees during the day and below 40 degrees at night during the “heat season.”
“Heat and hot water are a necessity not a luxury – and landlords are required by law to provide both. Property owners who fail to provide these basics put New York families in harm’s way,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I urge anyone who is suffering in the cold or without hot water to call or log into 311.”
If an apartment lacks appropriate heat, a tenant should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If heat is not restored, the tenant should register an official complaint via 311. Tenants can call 311, the City’s central 24-hours-per-day, seven-days-a-week information and complaint line or file complaints via 311 online at www.nyc.gov/311. Hearing-impaired tenants can register complaints via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf TDD at (212) 504-4115.
“By law, building owners must provide tenants heat and hot water during the cold winter months. It is important for tenants to know their rights and report any problems to HPD through NYC 311,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “While most landlords uphold the law and follow the City’s housing codes, those who don’t will be held accountable as HPD will use all of its enforcement tools to ensure tenants’ rights and safety.”
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. If a tenant or homeowner has received an electric, gas or heating disconnect notice, he or she can apply for emergency financial assistance. Tenants and homeowners may also qualify for assistance if they have a low supply of heating fuel or a broken boiler or furnace.