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Residential Heat and Hot Water Requirements

From October 1 through May 31, the City requires building owners to provide tenants with heat according to the following rules:

  • Between 6 AM and 10 PM, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature must be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Between 10 PM and 6 AM, the inside temperature must be at least 62 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. There is no outside temperature requirement.

You can make a complaint about a residential building that does not have enough hot water at any time. Hot water must be provided 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Excessive heat complaints are only accepted between June 1 and September 30.

Before filing a complaint, you should try to resolve the issue with your landlord, managing agent, or superintendent. If you live in a co-op or condo, you should first report apartment maintenance issues to the owner, management company, or board before filing a complaint with HPD, as the specific agreements between the coop or condo owner and the board may dictate which conditions are required to be addressed by the board or the unit owner.

What You Need

If you are making a heat or hot water complaint for your apartment, you must provide your contact information.

If you are making a building-wide excessive heat complaint, you must provide your contact information.

You can make a complaint about a residential apartment that does not have enough hot water at any time. Hot water must be provided 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can make a complaint about excessive heat in a residential apartment between June 1 and September 30.

You can make a complaint about a residential building that does not have enough hot water at any time. Hot water must be provided 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can make a complaint about excessive heat in a residential building between June 1 and September 30.

What Happens Next

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) investigates maintenance complaints and tickets owners who break the law.

HPD will attempt to contact your building's managing agent to advise them that a complaint has been filed and that a violation may be issued if the condition is not corrected immediately. HPD will also attempt to call you back to see if the condition was corrected. If you indicate that the condition was corrected, HPD will close the complaint.

Learn more about HPD complaints and inspections.

Learn more about housing quality and safety issues on the HPD website.

Use HPD Online to check the status of a Service Request and to find complaint and violation history.

Inspections

If it was not corrected or HPD cannot reach you, a uniformed Code Enforcement inspector will be sent to inspect the reported condition. If English is not your primary language, let the Inspector know and they can call a translator to help.

The owner/agent is not notified of the inspection date. Inspectors will also check for the following:

  • Non-working smoke detectors
  • Non-working carbon monoxide detectors
  • Lead-based paint (if there is a child under six)
  • Window guards (if there is a child under 11),
  • Door locks that require a key to exit
  • Self-closing dwelling unit entrance doors
  • Mold
  • Mice, cockroaches, and rats
  • Bars or gates on fire escape windows

Housing Court

If you made a complaint and your property owner didn't fix the problem, you can take legal action in Housing Court. Document all contact with your landlord and HPD about the conditions in your apartment so you can use it in court.

To learn more about Housing Court, go to the Housing Court for Tenants and Landlords page.

Additional Assistance

Rent Regulated Apartments

There is additional support available for tenants in rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartments. To learn more, go to the Rent Regulated Apartments page.

Housing Rules

For more information about residential property maintenance requirements and tenant rights and responsibilities, use the Housing Rules for Owners and Tenants page.

Questions or Complaint Copies

Copies of maintenance complaints are available for both Tenants and Landlords. For additional questions about a complaint or to get copies of complaints, go to the HPD Code Enforcement Borough Service Centers page.

Heat Sensors Program

As part of Local Law 18 of 2020, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has to select 50 multiple dwellings with heat violations and heat-related complaints every two years for participation in a program requiring installation of internet capable temperature reporting devices (“heat sensors”). Owners of selected buildings will be required to install one heat sensor in one living room of each dwelling unit in the building by October 1st of the year in which the property is selected, unless tenants opt out.

HPD will conduct inspections during heat season (October 1 through May 31) at least once every two weeks in buildings that are selected for participation, without receipt of complaints, for compliance with the heat requirements. These inspections may be discontinued where HPD finds consistent compliance by January 31 of the heat season.

Learn more about the HPD Heat Sensor Program.

You can report a heat problem in a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing building to the NYCHA Customer Contact Center.

To report water issues, use the No Water, Low Water Pressure, or Water Temperature Complaint page. To report unresolved maintenance issues, use the NYCHA Borough Management Office page.

  • Agency: New York City Housing Authority
  • Division: Maintenance Hotline
  • Phone Number: (718) 707-7771
  • Business Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • Staff is available at all times to handle emergencies and schedule routine maintenance repairs for Mon - Fri: 6:00 AM - midnight. Automated assistance is also available in Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish.

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