October marks the beginning of “heat season,” wherein landlords are legally mandated to turn the heat on for renters.
As stipulated by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), indoor temperatures of 68 degrees Fahrenheit between must be maintained from 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., if temperatures fall below 55 degrees outside.
Further, from 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., the indoor temperature must be set as 55 degrees if it falls below 40 degrees outdoors. Hot water must be at 120 Fahrenheit degrees all year.
During the 2011/2012 heat season, there was a total of 3,367 heat complaints in Community Board 11. The landlords who do not turn heat on for the residents of their buildings will face heavy fines and penalties.
So, if you’ve you’ve asked your super and landlord to turn on the heat, and they are not obeying the mandated heat requirements, call 311.
A landlord who is caught deliberately ignoring the rules may be fined $1000 per day, as well as civil penalties. If not action is taken by the landlord, tenants may also sue the landlord, or hire a contractor and bill the property owner.
More information about the regulations and actions to take if a problem arises can be found here.
The heat season lasts until May 31, 2013.