October 1, 2021
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From October through May, property owners must meet temperature requirements to ensure apartments have heat and hot water during the colder months.
NEW YORK – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announces the beginning of New York City’s eight-month-long “heat season,” during which all residential building owners are required to maintain indoor temperatures at 68 degrees when outdoor temperatures fall below 55 degrees during the day. Indoor temperatures must also be a minimum of 62 degrees overnight, regardless of outdoor temperatures. Building owners are legally required to provide hot water at 120 degrees year-round.
During the last heat season, spanning from October 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021, HPD inspectors continued critical health and safety operations for New York households while still navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting well over 100,000 heat and hot water inspections.
“With cold weather just around the corner, it is important to remember that property owners must provide heat and hot water as required by law during heat season,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “If your apartment is without heat or hot water today through May 31st, report it to your landlord. If the condition is not corrected, report it to 311. HPD takes every complaint seriously and will use all of its enforcement tools to get heat and hot water restored.”
The 2021-2022 “heat season” continues through Tuesday, May 31st. If an apartment lacks appropriate heat and/or hot water, tenants should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If service is not restored, the tenant should register an official complaint via 311. To file a complaint, tenants can call 311, visit 311 online or use the app 311Mobile (on Android and iOS devices) to file a complaint. Hearing-impaired tenants can register complaints via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (212) 504-4115.
Enforcing heat and hot water laws is just one of the many ways HPD Housing Inspectors help keep New Yorkers in safe and secure homes. HPD Inspectors have continued to respond to complaints across the five boroughs to ensure critical housing needs are being addressed while families spend significant time home. HPD levies fees, penalties and conducts emergency repairs as warranted to ensure households have essential heat and hot water services.
HPD responds to heat and hot water complaints as quickly as possible. Tenants can monitor HPD Online to learn the result of the complaint. If a landlord fails to provide heat entirely, HPD’s Emergency Repair Program or Housing Litigation Division will intervene to seek the restoration of heat. Multiple complaints from a particular building can and are often the result of one condition in need of repair.
To prevent serious health issues related to indoor hypothermia, individuals in homes or apartments without heat should protect themselves by wearing warm layers of clothing, staying hydrated, and ensuring there is an adequate amount of safe heat. Use of auxiliary heating can be dangerous. To learn more about keeping warm this winter, visit the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) website to view their interactive, online infographic.
Low-income property owners having trouble maintaining heat in their homes should contact the Home Energy Assistance Program at 1-800-692-0557. Eligible households can learn more information about assistance in paying heating bills or repairing heating equipment.