NYC's Heat Season Under Way

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development imposes a fee of $200 per inspection if it has to perform three or more inspections at the same location within the same heat season for heat violations or calendar year for hot water violations. During the 2015-2016 heat season, it billed for $148,800 in inspection fees.

New York City leaders reminded owners of residential buildings in the city Oct. 3 that "heat season" has beguns -- meaning they are legally required to provide tenants with hot water year round and heat when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees during the day and below 40 degrees at night. They also reminded tenants of their rights and to call 311, visit 311 online, or use 311Mobile to register heat and hot water complaints.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been issued the reminders; the 2016-2017 heat season began Oct. 1 and continues through May 31, 2017.

"Heat and hot water are a necessity, not a luxury, and landlords are required by law to provide both. Property owners who fail to provide these basics put New York families in harm's way," de Blasio said. "I urge anyone who is suffering in the cold or without hot water to call or log into 311."

"By law, building owners must provide tenants heat and hot water during the cold winter months. It is important for tenants to know their rights and report any problems to HPD through NYC 311," Been added. "While most landlords uphold the law and follow the city's housing codes, those who don't will be held accountable as HPD will use all of its enforcement tools to ensure tenants’ rights and safety."

It also is legally required that hot water is maintained at 120 degrees year round.

Tenants also can get help from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills. If a tenant or homeowner has received an electric, gas, or heating disconnect notice, that person can apply for emergency financial assistance; tenants and homeowners also may qualify for assistance if they have a low supply of heating fuel or a broken boiler or furnace.

HEAP is a seasonal program; applications for the 2016-2017 season are expected to be available in mid-November.

During the most recent heat season, the Tenant Support Unit's team of specialists knocked on 53,471 doors, and that unit visits buildings across the city and connects tenants whose landlords are not providing heat and hot water with legal services and registers complaints with 311.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development imposes a fee of $200 per inspection if it has to perform three or more inspections at the same location within the same heat season for heat violations or calendar year for hot water violations. During the 2015-2016 heat season, it billed for $148,800 in inspection fees.

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