NEW YORK (PIX11) – For years, PIX11 News has been fighting to make sure New Yorkers have heat and hot water. There’s also a city team that makes sure your landlords are ready for the cold weather ahead. When you call 311 and complain about your heat and hot water, a city inspector will be on your case.
PIX11 News got a chance to go with New York City’s head of code enforcement to check on boilers in the Bronx. Josh Cucchiaro has seen it all. For over a decade he has been in countless New York City neighborhoods making sure landlords follow the law. The top priority this time of year is your heat and hot water, he said.
The city team’s response time for heat and hot water complaints is on average 2.4 days. The team makes sure if emergency repairs are needed, it’s done fast. That can include replacing parts in aging boilers to getting landlords to turn it on.
Over the next eight months, from Oct. 1 through May 31, New York City property owners are legally required to keep indoor temperatures at 68 degrees or higher when outside temperatures drop below 55 degrees during the day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
At night, regardless of the outside temperature, buildings must be maintained at 62 degrees. If they don’t comply, landlords could face litigation and potentially thousands of dollars in civil penalties and inspection fees.
Since July of 2022, the city has taken over 1,200 landlords to court for heat violations, fining landlords $547,800.
Cucchiaro said he’s looking to add 40 inspectors to his team so tenants can get the help they need.
Households can learn about assistance in paying heating bills or repairing heating equipment through the Home Energy Assistance Program by calling 718-557-1399. Find more information on the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development website.