With temperatures dropping and freezing rain and ice pellets due to arrive overnight in New York City, now is the time to make sure your building’s or house’s heat is in working order.
If you live in an apartment building, know that building owners are legally required to provide heat and hot water to their tenants between October 1 and May 31, according to these conditions, as noted by Councilmember Laurie Cumbo:
- Between the hours of 6AM and 10PM, 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 10PM and 6AM, if the temperature outside falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you’re not getting heat, first try to resolve the issue with the landlord or superintendent, and if that doesn’t work:
- Report a heat or hot water problem that’s affecting a single apartment.
- Report no heat in a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) apartment.
- Report no heat in a commercial or other non-residential building.
- Report no hot water for a single apartment
These tips are especially important for NYCHA residents, as the Daily News recently reported that the city housing authority has a policy that flouts existing health code requirements — to shut off heat between 10pm and 6am unless the outside temperature is at or below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
The chilly email is part of a lawsuit [filed last week] by Public Advocate Letitia James and Legal Services of NYC demanding that NYCHA follow the law and turn on the heat.
“NYCHA’s internal communications has confirmed that this failure to provide adequate heat is intentional and the result of explicit NYCHA heating policy decisions,” the suit alleges.