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What should a tenant do if a landlord isn't providing adequate heat?


Question: What should a tenant do if a landlord isn't providing adequate heat?

According to HPD, following are the steps you should take if your heat isn't working properly during Heat Season or your water isn't hot enough throughout the year:

  1. Contact your landlord, managing agent, or super to report the problem. If you're not sure whom to call, check your lease for a name and contact number.

  2. File a complaint with the City's Citizen Service Center by calling 311. The Center will take the following action to get the heating problem resolved:

    • The Center will try on your behalf to contact the landlord or managing agent to get the heat working properly.

    • If not successful, then the Center will send one of its own housing inspectors to your apartment. The Center won't inform the landlord of the time of inspection. The inspector will issue violations to the landlord if he determines heat is lacking. If the inspector determines that the heating problem isn't limited to your apartment, he or she may issue a building-wide violation.

    • If, after receiving violations, the landlord doesn't fix the problem, HPD's Emergency Repair Program may use in-house staff and/or outside contractors to perform needed repairs to restore the heat and/or hot water. The cost of these repairs will be charged to the landlord, not to you.

Get the answers to more frequently asked questions about New York City's heat and hot water requirements.

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