Imagine you just spent a fortune finding and moving into an apartment. But now you realize the heat and hot water is subpar. In New York City, landlords need to make sure their buildings and apartments have functioning hot water 24/7. Additionally, the heat needs to kick in when it’s supposed to. Here are 3 things to know about heat and hot water rules in NYC:
1. Hot water needs to be working 24/7, 365 days a year
Landlords don’t have to pay for this utility, but it needs to be working! The minimum temperature needs to be 120 degrees Fahrenheit. There are no rules about maximum temperature. However, you can talk to your landlord or file a complaint with 311 if your water is scalding hot. You can also look up heat/hot water complaints on the website of the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. If you need help talking to your landlord or filing a complaint, call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline.
2. New York has a Heat Season that runs from October 1 to May 31 every year
Heat season dictates when heat should be provided to buildings and apartments. It’s important to note that landlords are not necessarily required to pay for heat. Check your lease to be sure. But heat needs to be working during heat season. In New York City, many renters rely on radiators for their heat which need to be activated by their landlords. In cases where the landlord controls the heat:
- During the day, from 6am–10pm, the indoor temperature needs to be 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outdoor temperature drops below 55 degrees.
- At night, from 10pm–6am, no matter the outdoor temperature, the indoor temperature needs to be 62 degrees inside.
3. You can involve the City if your landlord is not responsive to heat and hot water issues
What can you do if you have heat or hot water issues? First you want to inform your landlord and give them an opportunity to resolve the issue. Be sure to document when you reach out to your landlord. In cases where the landlord is not being responsive, you may need to involve the City. You can file a complaint online or by phone with 311. You can specifically file a heat and hot water complaint or an apartment maintenance complaint. Afterwards, a City inspector will visit your apartment and inspect the conditions. You can also call 311 and ask for the Tenant Helpline to get one-on-one support. Public Engagement Unit Tenant Support Specialists are available to help!
Living without consistent heat and hot water is frustrating and in some cases very dangerous. But knowing your rights is an important place to start. How’s the heat and hot water in your building? Share a review on openigloo and help the next renter that considers your spot. You can also hold your landlord accountable with support from the Public Engagement Unit’s Tenant Helpline!