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Fact Sheet #15: Heat and Hot Water

Heat and Hot Water for Buildings in New York City

By law, building owners must provide all tenants with the following levels of heat and hot water:

Heat (During the heating season, October 1 through May 31)

Hot Water (24 hours a day, 365 days a year)

The New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) is authorized to reduce the rent of any rent regulated apartment in New York City when required heat and hot water services are not maintained. Tenants may file a "Tenant's Application for Rent Reduction based upon the Owners Failure to Provide and Maintain Heat and/or Hot Water Service(s)" (DHCR Form HHW-1). If more than one tenant wishes to file a complaint, the tenants must attach a schedule to the HHW-1 form or file "Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Building-Wide Services" (DHCR Form RA-84). Applications based upon lack of adequate heat or hot water must be accompanied by a report from the appropriate city agency finding such lack of adequate heat or hot water. If the owner is found by DHCR to have failed to provide adequate heat or hot water, a rent reduction shall be ordered for rent stabilized apartments and may be ordered for rent controlled apartments and the owner will be prohibited from collecting any additional rent increases until the service is restored. In New York City, where owners may obtain separate fuel cost adjustments for rent controlled apartments, no fuel surcharge may be collected until one year after DHCR issues an order finding that services are restored.

Rent controlled and rent stabilized tenants in New York City with heat and/or hot water complaints should call the NYC Citizen Service Center at 311.

A New York City Code Enforcement inspector will investigate your complaint and either issue a building violation or order emergency repairs to restore the services if they find the owner is not providing them.

If a tenant receives a rent reduction from DHCR and also receives another abatement or a rent credit because of the same conditions, the tenant cannot get both benefits at the same time.

Heat and Hot Water for Buildings Located in Nassau, Rockland and Westchester Counties

For most of the housing subject to ETPA, an owner must provide heat and hot water as a required service. If an owner is not obligated to provide heat and/or hot water, or the heat and/or hot water is paid for by the tenant, tenants should make sure that their guidelines increase is appropriate. The local Guidelines Board may have issued a separate guideline for those properties.

Heat

Owners of rental housing in ETPA municipalities must supply heat from October 1 through May 31 to tenants in multiple dwellings.

While the heat and hot water requirements vary in these municipalities, they all require owners to supply heat from October 1 through May 31 to tenants in multiple dwellings if outdoor temperatures fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nassau County
In Nassau County, each apartment must be heated between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM to a temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM to a temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rockland County
In Rockland County, each apartment must have an inside temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

Westchester County
In Westchester County, each apartment must have an inside temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.

Hot Water

The hot water temperature requirement for Nassau and Rockland County is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In Westchester County, the individual municipalities determine the temperature requirement.

To report a complaint for lack of heat or hot water, contact the local municipal building department or the County Health Department. If conditions persist over a sustained period of time, a decreased service complaint may be filed with the local DHCR Rent Office on "Tenant's Application For A Rent Reduction Based Upon the Owners Failure to Provide and Maintain Heat and/or Hot Water Service(s)" (DHCR form HHW-1) for an individual apartment, or "Statement of Compliant of a Decrease in Building-Wide Services" (DHCR form RA-84) for a building wide complaint. Applications based upon lack of adequate heat or hot water must be accompanied by a report from the appropriate county or municipal agency finding such lack of adequate heat or hot water.

If the owner is found by DHCR to have failed to provide adequate heat or hot water, a rent reduction may be ordered for rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments.

If a tenant receives a rent reduction from DHCR and also receives another abatement or a rent credit because of the same conditions, the tenant cannot get both benefits at the same time.

For more information or assistance concerning heat and hot water in New York City or in any of the ETPA counties, call the DHCR Rent Infoline, or visit your Borough or County Rent Officee.

You may also contact your County Health Department or the branch of your municipality's government which deals with complaints of this nature, at the numbers that follow.

County Health Departments:

Nassau:
(516) 571-3678

Rockland:
(845) 364-2585 (Mon - Fri, 8:30am - 5:00pm)
(845) 364-2608 (evenings and weekends)

Municipal Government Numbers:

Nassau (all 516 area codes)
Baxter Estates 767-0096
Cedarhurst 295-5770
Freeport 377-2241 or 2242
Floral Park 326-6300
Glen Cove 676-2004
Great Neck 482-0019
Great Neck Plaza 482-4500
Hempstead 489-3400
Town of North Hempstead 627-0590
Long Beach 431-1000
Lynbrook 599-8828
Mineola 746-0750
Rockville Centre 678-9248
Russell Gardens 482-8246
Thomaston 482-3110

Rockland
Spring Valley (845) 573-5809
Westchester (all 914 area codes)
Dobbs Ferry 693-2203 (ext. 220 & 221)
Eastchester 771-3317
Greenburgh 993-1561
Hastings-on-Hudson 478-3400 (ext. 613)
Irvington 591-8335
Mt. Kisco 241-0500 (ask for the Buildings Dept.)
Mount Vernon 665-2483
Larchmont 813-5000
Town of Mamaroneck 381-7830
Village of Mamaroneck 777-7731 (days) - 777-1122 (evenings)
Peeksville 734-4140
Pleasantville 769-1961
Portchester 939-5203
New Rochelle 654-2095
North Tarrytown 631-0233
White Plains 422-1269
Yonkers 377-6512 (days) - 965-3331 (evenings)

Westchester: (914) 813-5000

Revised: 01/05

Last updated on 02/28/10