NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Temperatures are unseasonably low, and just when New York City tenants rush to get back to a warm home, some complain their heat isn’t on.
Stan Brooks of 1010 WINS reports Public Advocate Bill De Blasio is pushing for tougher laws to punish unscrupulous landlords who leave their tenants without heat or hot water.
1010 WINS Reporter Stan Brooks with Public Advocate Bill De Blasio.
“We’re gonna hit them in the pocketbook — landlords who think they can game the system and not provide heat and hot water and get away with it or pay a minor fine. This is going to end all that. We’re gonna close loopholes at the city level. That’s what my legislation would do and make these penalties actually stick. What Senator Krueger’s legislation is going to do is to make sure you can’t bargain them down in court,” said De Blasio.
De Blasio said records from last year show that tenants filed more than 114,000 complaints about a lack of heat or hot water.
According to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board the “heating season” is between Oct. 1 and May 31.
By law, building owners must provide all tenants with the following levels of heat and hot water:
Heat (During the heating season, Oct. 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.
Tenants are encouraged to call 311 if they feel their rights have been violated.