NYC Cold Weather Requirements
As a landlord in New York City, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of NYC heat regulations. Developed and overseen by the Department of Housing Prevention and Development (HPD), these regulations put certain requirements in place in terms of when heat and hot water must be provided to tenants. Failure to meet these regulations can result in fines and other penalties.
Landlord Guidelines According to NYC Heat Regulations
According to the regulations established by HPD, landlords are legally required to provide hot water every day of the year at a constant temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Landlords are also legally required to provide heat between October 1st and May 31st, a period that is referred to as “Heat Season” in accordance with the following guidelines:
- If outside temperatures are below 55 degrees Fahrenheit between the hours of 6:00 am and 10:00 pm, the inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, inside temperatures must be at least 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you fail to meet these guidelines, a tenant can file a 311 complaint against you as the building owner.
Handling a Heat Complaint
If a tenant files a complaint against you for failure to abide by NYC heat regulations, the HPD will attempt to notify you or your property manager. If the tenant reports that the problem has not been addressed, an HPD inspector will go to the building to verify the complaint and issue the appropriate violation. If the heat and hot water still are not restored, HPD’s Emergency Repair Program (ERP) may contract with a private company to provide any necessary services. You will then be billed for the cost of any repairs as well as related fees. Due to the laws governing the city’s procurement of these services, they are typically more expensive than what the price would be if the owner were to obtain his or her own contractors.
Penalties for Failure to Abide by NYC Heat Regulations
Failure to abide by the regulations established by the HPD can result in a number of different penalties and fees. These include:
- $250 – $500 per day for an initial heat or hot water violation
- $500 – $1,000 per day for each violation beyond the initial violation within the same building and during the same or next calendar year or heat season
- $1,000 for installing an automatic control device on the boiler that keeps the temperature below the required minimum
- $200 inspection fee for all inspections after the first two within the same heat season if the inspection results in a heat violation (billed through the Department of Finance on the quarterly bill that follows the inspection)
Failure to pay the fees and other costs billed by the HPD can result in a tax lien against your property. This tax line will bear interest and may be sold or foreclosed in order to collect the money that is owned to the city.