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Rights for non-regulated tenants

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Postby Henna » Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:12 pm

Hi everyone,

Sorry if this has already been discussed. My lease states that "Heat, hot water, and gas" is included in the rent. However the apartment has these large HVAC units that must be turned on in order to get any heat. The landlord says he provides the heat but we need to run these units to move around the heat. This has more than doubled our electric bill in the winter. If we don't run these units the apartment is well below the required temperatures. Do I have any legal standing to fight the landlord on this.
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Re: Heat/HVAC

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Just to be accurate as many buildings have heat supplied by gas, so the lease probably means "cooking gas."

The HVAC units are probably illegal as all NYC apartments must be served by central heat. See http://tenant.net/Other_Laws/HMC/sub2/art8.html

Sec. [D26-17.01] 27-2028 Central heat or electric or gas heating system; when required.

Except as otherwise provided in this article. every multiple dwelling and every tenant-occupied one- or two-family dwelling shall he provided with heat from a central heating system constructed in accordance with the provisions of the building code and the regulations of the department. A system of gas or electric heating provided for each dwelling unit may, if approved by the department, be utilized in lieu of a central heating system if:

(1) The system is lawfully in use on July 14, 1967; or

(2) The system is approved by the appropriate city agencies having jurisdiction and is installed in a structure or building erected, converted, substantially rehabilitated, or completely vacated, after July 14, 1967.

So either HPD or DOB (they don't say which one) must supply a waiver in order to have separate heating units in each apartment. You don't say if the units are powered by gas or electric. In our opinion, just "moving the air around" is still the LL's obligation.

I would start documenting everything. Put complaints into 311 as well as to the LL in writing. Get an inspector to come and place a violation.

This would - in our opinion - be a defense or counterclaim, or both, if the LL took you to Housing Court.
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