From October through May, property owners must meet temperature requirements to ensure apartments have heat and hot water during the colder months 

During Fiscal Year 2022, HPD issued over 4,800 heat violations and 8,000 hot water violations, spent $4.4 million in heat related emergency repairs, and initiated more than 750 heat cases in Housing Court

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announces the start 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.

“Heat and hot water are basic services owners must provide in every home. With cold weather arriving, our Housing Inspectors will be vigilantly working to ensure residential building owners are providing these services according to the law. Moreover, it’s the right thing to do.” said HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “If your home lacks heat or hot water, report it to your landlord and if the condition is not corrected, report through 311. HPD will use all of its enforcement tools to get heat and hot water restored to you.”

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. Hearing-impaired tenants can register complaints via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (212) 504-4115. 

Once HPD receives a complaint, HPD will attempt to notify the building’s managing agent to advise that a complaint has been filed and that a violation may be issued if the condition is not immediately corrected. Unless a tenant confirms that the condition was corrected, a uniformed Code Enforcement inspector will be sent to inspect the reported condition. While conducting an inspection for a lack of heat or hot water, Housing Inspectors will also check for the following violations: smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, lead-based paint (if there is a child under six), window guards (if there is a child under 11), double cylinder locks, self-closing doors, mold, pests, and bars on the fire escape windows. Tenants may check to see whether or not HPD responded through HPD Online

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. During Fiscal Year 2022, HPD issued over 4,800 heat violations and 8,000 hot water violations, spent $4.4 million in heat related emergency repairs, and initiated more than 750 heat cases in Housing Court.

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.  If you must use a space heater, follow these important tips:

  • Turn off space heaters when you leave the room, house, or go to bed.
  • Do not leave space heaters unattended.
  • Only use equipment that has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark which shows that the product has been safety tested.
  • Turn off the space heater if the cord becomes hot.
  • Plug space heaters directly into the socket instead of into an extension cord.
  • Place the heater on the floor and never on a counter top or on furniture.

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 households 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.

HPD is recruiting Housing Inspectors: visit nyc.gov/housinginspector for more information.