The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) enforces the law that requires residential building owners to provide tenants with hot water year-round and 24-hour heat when the outdoor temperature warrants it. HPD is also providing energy-saving tips to help tenants keep their apartments warm and building owners save money on energy costs. Tips are given for tenants and for residential building owners. Homeowners can make use of all of them.
- Never use your stove as a heating source
- Do not block radiators or heating vents
- Keep shades and blinds open during the day and closed in the evening to retain heat
- Open shut-off valves on radiators
- Check air valves on radiators
- Properly close doors and windows
- Place heat resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and radiators
- Close doors and shut vents in rooms not used
- Promptly report heat related problems to your landlord
For Residential Building Owners:
- Have an appropriate sized heating plant
- Service your heating plant prior to heat season
- Make sure your heat timer is on proper cycles
- Have a contractor on hand for boiler service
- Use the appropriate type of fuel
- Make sure oil tank and water levels are ½ to ¾ full
- Repair or replace broken windows or doors
- Weatherize windows by installing storm windows, glazing and caulking
- Insulate floors, walls and ceilings
- Install a programmable thermostat cont./
- Change the furnace filter every other month
- Fix leaky faucets, especially hot water faucets
- About once a month, cool down your boiler by opening the flush valve to drain out sediment. Then add water to proper level.
- Promptly respond to tenants' heat related complaints
The 2005/2006 heat season began October 1, 2005 and continues through May 31, 2006. During heat season, residential owners with tenants are required by law to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 6:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees. Between 10:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M., building owners must maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees.
In the event of a heat deficiency, a tenant should first attempt to notify the building owner, managing agent or superintendent. If heat is not restored, the tenant should call the City's Citizen Service Center at 311. 311 is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The City's Citizen Service Center can also receive complaints from hearing-impaired tenants via a Touchtone Device for the Deaf TDD at (212) 504-4115.
HPD is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. A major responsibility of the agency is to encourage preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs, and enforcement of housing quality standards.