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January 5, 2024

Legal News

January 5, 2024

Heating Laws

NYC Heat Laws Explained: Tenant Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

As New York City prepares to face the winter, the onset of colder weather brings into focus the importance of adequate heating in residential buildings. In New York City, specific laws mandate landlords to provide sufficient heating to their tenants during the designated "heat season."

Heat Season and Landlord Obligations:

New York City's heat season commences on October 1 and extends through May 31. During this period, landlords are legally obligated to ensure that their properties are adequately heated to meet specific temperature requirements. This obligation stems from the city's commitment to safeguarding the well-being and comfort of its residents.

Daytime and Nighttime Temperature Requirements:

The law specifies temperature thresholds that vary by time and external weather conditions.

  • Daytime Heating (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.): If the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, landlords must heat the buildings to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees.
  • Nighttime Heating: Regardless of the external temperature, landlords must ensure that indoor temperatures do not drop below 62 degrees overnight.

These regulations underscore a fundamental tenant right: the right to a habitable living environment.

Recourse for Tenants:

Tenants who find themselves in a situation where their landlord fails to provide adequate heating have legal recourse. They can file a complaint with New York City Housing Preservation and Development by calling 311 or lodging a complaint online. This action emphasizes the city's commitment to upholding tenants' rights and ensuring their access to essential services. Similarly, the heat laws in neighboring regions like Nassau County, Suffolk County, New Jersey, and Connecticut vary slightly in terms of temperature requirements and timing. These differences highlight the regional approaches to tenant welfare and the importance of local legislation in addressing housing standards.

  • Nassau County: 68 degrees during the day and 65 degrees overnight when it's below 55 degrees outside.
  • Suffolk County: 68 degrees continuously when it's below 55 degrees outside.
  • New Jersey: 68 degrees between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Connecticut: A minimum of 65 degrees at all times.

New York City's heat laws are a critical component of tenants' rights, ensuring that landlords provide essential services to maintain habitable living conditions. These regulations, compared with those in surrounding areas, demonstrate a robust legal framework designed to protect tenants, especially during colder months. If you are a landlord or tenant with questions about your rights, the attorneys at Outside Legal Counsel LLP may be able to help. Please reach out to us for more information about our services.

This is not legal advice and is attorney advertising.

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