In a move that will definitely affect NYC property managers and landlords in the colder months of the year, the city council will vote tomorrow on proposed new legislation would require indoor temperatures be at least 62 degrees between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Presently the law calls for between the hours of 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, at nighttime between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM, if the temperature outside falls below 40 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is being reported by Crain’s that a committee passed the bill which was similar to a failed proposal sent to committee in 2015. The means the measure is likely to be approved by the full council tomorrow. There is no indication that there will be an increase in the fines for the non-compliance of the proposed law. Presently the fines are as follows:
- $250-$500 dollars per day for each initial heat or hot water violation
- $500-$1,000 per day for each subsequent violation at the same building during the same and/or the next calendar year from the initial violation or, during the same and/or the next heat season
If the owner fails to pay the Court ordered civil penalties, HPD will enter a judgment against the owner and the property and seek to enforce that judgment.
Proponents of the new legislation indicates that it will enhance the well-being of tenants, particularly. As noted in the report, “Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer added that boosting the nighttime minimum will bring New York City in line with Boston and Chicago, cities that often endure frigid winters on par with the Big Apple. The proposed bill would also get rid of the requirement that landlords only need to heat buildings when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees, meaning the nighttime minimum would apply throughout the October 1 through May 31 heating season.”
Opponents of the bill include environmental groups which state that increasing temperature will increase carbon emissions. Mayor de Blasio has pushed to reduced emissions by 80% over the next three decades. Property management companies in New York City as well as landlords should be aware of the changes and adjust accordingly based on the additional resources to be used based on the changes.