Heat and Hot Water Laws for Buildings in New York City

Brrr…. Feeling the chill?  Well autumn has arrived and with it dropping temperatures.  Did you know that New Yorkers are entitled to heat as of Friday October 1st, despite the often misquoted date of October 15th? Check out the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal Fact Sheet below:

 
New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, Office of Rent Administration
Fact Sheet #15 - Heat and Hot Water
 
Heat and Hot Water for Buildings in New York City:
 
By law, building owners must provide all tenants with the following levels of heat and hot water:
 
Heat (During the heating season, October 1 through May 31)
 
* Between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., heat must register at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees;
 
* Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., heat must register at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees.
 
Hot Water (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
 
* Hot water must register at or above a constant temperature of 120 degrees at the tap.
 
* If a tub or shower is equipped with an anti-scald valve that prevents the hot water temperature from exceeding 120 degrees, the minimum hot water temperature for that tub or shower is 110 degrees.
 
The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) is authorized to reduce the rent of any rent regulated apartment in New York City when required heat and hot water services are not maintained. Tenants may file a "Tenant's Application for Rent Reduction based upon the Owners Failure to Provide and Maintain Heat and/or Hot Water Service(s)" (DHCR Form HHW-1). If more than one tenant wishes to file a complaint, the tenants must attach a schedule to the HHW-1 form or file "Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services" (DHCR Form RA-84). Applications based upon lack of adequate heat or hot water must be accompanied by a report from the appropriate city agency finding such lack of adequate heat or hot water. If the owner is found by DHCR to have failed to provide adequate heat or hot water, a rent reduction shall be ordered for rent stabilized apartments and may be ordered for rent controlled apartments and the owner will be prohibited from collecting any additional rent increases until the service is restored. In New York City, where owners may obtain separate fuel cost adjustments for rent controlled apartments, no fuel surcharge may be collected until one year after DHCR issues an order finding that services are restored.
 
Rent controlled and rent stabilized tenants in New York City with heat and/or hot water complaints should call the NYC Citizen Service Center at 311.
 
A New York City Code Enforcement inspector will investigate your complaint and either issue a building violation or order emergency repairs to restore the services if they find the owner is not providing them.
 
If a tenant receives a rent reduction from DHCR and also receives another abatement or a rent credit because of the same conditions, the tenant cannot get both benefits at the same time.
 
Heat and Hot Water for Buildings Located in Nassau, Rockland and Westchester Counties
 
Please see Fact Sheet #15 on DHCR's website (in pdf format) for rules and contact numbers for buildings located in Nassau, Rockland and Westchester Counties.
 
For more information or assistance, call the DHCR Rent InfoLine (718-739-6400) or visit your Borough or County Rent Office.
 
 

 

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