Q: I am a real estate salesperson and I assisted a tenant in renting an apartment. The tenant is complaining that the apartment does not have adequate hot water. Is there a law that requires a landlord to provide its tenants with hot water and/or heat during any specific time periods?
A: Yes, as per the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law and the City Housing Maintenance Code, there are specific time periods where a landlord must provide heat and hot water to its tenants.
Landlords must provide hot water to its tenants all year round at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Landlords must only provide heat from October 1st through May 31st if one of the following conditions occurs:
- If between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm, the outside temperature is less than 55 degrees, then the inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit; or
- If between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am, the outside temperature is less than 40 degrees, then the inside temperature must be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Legal Line Question by:
Neil B. Garfinkel
REBNY Broker Counsel
Partner-in-charge of real estate and banking practices at Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP