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No hot water during the night

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:28 am

About a month ago I started finding that I wasn't getting any hot water during very early morning hours.

The hot water becomes unavailable at sometime well after midnight and consistently returns at around 6:45am. I don't experience the problem during the day.

Although the property manager was initially responsive she's recently stopped replying to my emails about the issue. In her last email to me she claimed that the plumber had checked the boiler and found it to be normal and that there was nothing more she could do.

If I'm not able to get the landlord to fix this what are my best options?

Thanks.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:03 am

Start here: http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4939
or here: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/renters/im ... water.page

Give the LL a copy of the heat requirements. Call 311 and ask for an inspection (chances are they won't come at 5 AM, but get it on record. Keep a log of the time and temp, every day. Write the LL a certified letter. Make a paper trail. Later consider withholding rent.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:54 pm

Landlords are only legally required to provide hot water between 6AM and midnight (see below). That said, you posted in the rent-regulated forum. Assuming you're rent-stabilized, and this just started happening, then you could readily argue it's a reduction in services. Keep a record of your communications with the landlord, and start a log of when you're not getting hot water (with the water temperature).

Sec. [D26-17.07] 27-2031 Supply of hot water; when required.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, every bath, shower, washbasin and sink in any dwelling unit in a multiple dwelling or tenant-occupied one-family or two-family dwelling shall be supplied at all times between the hours of six a.m. and midnight with hot water at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit from a central source of supply constructed in accordance with the provisions of the building code and the regulations of the department. Gas or electric water heaters may, if approved by the department, be utilized in lieu of a central source of supply of hot water if such heaters
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:37 pm

From several sources, there is a distinction between the NYC Housing Maintenance Code that Bubba cites above, and the NYS Multiple Dwelling Law - at https://goo.gl/7A3VMJ

While the HMC limits the requirement to provide hot water from 6 AM to Midnight, the NYS MDL requires hot water to be supplied 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Also see http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/factsheets/orafac15.pdf
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:13 pm


Thanks. Working on it.

After the plumber apparently reported the boiler as operating normally there seemed to be a believability issue (i.e., about me). So I offered to have the LL’s plumber come to my apt. at 6:00am to verify, but the property manager said plumber wouldn’t come that early.

After doing some quick search engine research it appears that thermostats and timers on boilers are quite common. Isn't it likely that the problem is just a faulty setting on either or both of those?
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:27 pm

BubbaJoe123 wrote:Landlords are only legally required to provide hot water between 6AM and midnight (see below). That said, you posted in the rent-regulated forum. Assuming you're rent-stabilized, and this just started happening, then you could readily argue it's a reduction in services.

Thanks. I’ve already noted tenant.net’s reply to yours. If the law that you cite were in fact the only one that applied, is the implication that the hot water faucet can legally supply only *cold* water during those ‘off’ hours? Because that’s what I have. Seems strange that the law would allow that. People use sink faucets (and need hot water) at all hours.

Or was the implication only that the hot water during those hours isn’t required to be *above* 120 degrees?

Also, yes I am rent-stabilized. And it is something that just started happening.

I had actually previously had a longstanding issue with getting cold water (pretty sure I wrote about it here) -- that is, I had to run it for a long time to get actual cold water. There were other related issues, e.g., bathtub faucet (a single continuous type going from cold to hot as you turned it counter-clockwise) would go from ‘cold’ to ‘warm’ with the slightest turn from ‘off’, etc.

The landlord’s office doesn’t keep me informed so, although something obviously was done (presumably re the boiler), I don’t know whether it was directly related to me. But I have not had those problems since the sudden appearance of this new one -- essentially the opposite issue. In fact the cold water is now so cold I can barely keep my hands under it when it runs.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:29 pm

TenantNet wrote:While the HMC limits the requirement to provide hot water from 6 AM to Midnight, the NYS MDL requires hot water to be supplied 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Thanks again. Quite glad to know MDL holds sway.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:55 pm

Having no hot water is not the same as having the hot water take it's time to come up. I've had the issue where it could take up to five minutes before I got hot water. But it was not just overnight, and some times it affected the kitchen supply pipes and not the bathroom supply pipes. Some times I had to remind the powers about this by filing a 311 complaint. You can also file with DHCR or start a HP action in Housing Court. But in any case I don't think you will get an inspector showing up at 5 or 6 AM.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:16 am

TenantNet wrote:Having no hot water is not the same as having the hot water take it's time to come up.

No ambiguity about that. It's not available no matter how long the water runs during those hours when the issue is active.

I've had the issue where it could take up to five minutes before I got hot water. But it was not just overnight

That's one reason that I suspect that a thermostat &/or timer setting is involved.

Just FYI, these links from one of your previous posts appear to be non-working:

http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/renters/im ... water.page
https://goo.gl/7A3VM
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:38 am

We can't watch if/when external links go bad. On what forum page(s) did the links appear?

On the delay. Often it's the recirculating pumps that aren't working properly. Those are not related to timer or thermostat. I would suggest to the super that he/she check the pumps. After that, it doesn't matter.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:12 pm

Was just letting you know (not complaining) about the non-working links. They were in two of your earlier reply posts in this thread (see above), both dated Jan. 19.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:43 pm

Actually the original links do work. Remember, you must actually click on them.

Also, you can't change the letters (which you did on one), and you can't copy/paste one with ellipses.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:07 am

TenantNet wrote:Often it's the recirculating pumps that aren't working properly. Those are not related to timer or thermostat. I would suggest to the super that he/she check the pumps. After that, it doesn't matter.


UPDATE: Situation has turned into a weird stalemate because of the time of day when the problem occurs (only late night into early morning: 2:00am-6:45am).

Landlord's office claims to have sent "plumbers" three times to check the boiler and found it to be working normally. (I'm pretty sure they've only been building superintendents, not actual plumbers.) These visits have occurred during normal business hours, when I never experience the problem. They won't send someone during the hours when it does occur, and claim to have not had complaints from other tenants, so they seem to have opted for doubting that the problem is a 'real' one.

If I'm not able to get them to fix whatever is causing the problem and need to file a complaint with HPD I assume HPD also will probably not send an inspector during the hours that the problem is evident. Does that make it unlikely they'll take the complaint seriously?

I did find out that a repair to the boiler occurred at around the same time this problem began (almost two months ago at this point). Presumably, whatever is occurring is the result of that. I'm currently trying to get the landlord to call the people who did the work on the boiler and ask whether they have any idea what's causing the problem.

Thanks.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:14 am

Have you started a log of the problem, using a thermometer? It'll be a lot more compelling to both your landlord and (if necessary) HPD if you can quantify the problem, such as:

2/5/18, 5:17AM, 68 degree water temp
2/4/18, 4:46AM, 57 degree water temp
and so on.
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Re: No hot water during the night

Postby sr77 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:29 pm

BubbaJoe123 wrote:Have you started a log of the problem, using a thermometer? It'll be a lot more compelling to both your landlord and (if necessary) HPD if you can quantify the problem, such as:

2/5/18, 5:17AM, 68 degree water temp
2/4/18, 4:46AM, 57 degree water temp
and so on.

Thanks. I've already done that. I've given them the logs, though just noting levels of 'cold' 'warm' 'hot' coming from the faucet at the times checked, not actual temperatures, which I haven't measured.

The situation is so blatant I don't know why actual water temperatures would be important. Is it?

What concerns me is if the landlord asserts that I'm making it up, that it's 'in my head' or that I have some expectation of super hot instead of normal hot, since no HPD inspector is going to come at those hours, how will I be able to establish a credible 'case'?
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