Winter in NYC means it’s time to hibernate, but if your apartment lacks heat, the only thing you will offer a partner spending the night is the risk of hypothermia.

Heat, like hot water, is a mandatory requirement for rentals. A landlord that doesn’t provide adequate heating during the winter months is violating the “warranty of habitability,” which basically means that the apartment or house is not suitable for human beings.

  • Tip: You need to inform the landlord immediately when there is no heat and make sure your complaint is taken seriously. The complaint should be in a letter or text message for evidence purposes.
  • Tip: If there is no heat, a tenant can stop paying rent or can pay reduced rent based on the amount of time the heat was not functioning. For example, if there is no heat for 10 days in a month, a tenant is able to reduce the rent by one-third.  The landlord may attempt to evict you based on this reduction so it is important to have proof that there was no heat in the form of letters, text messages, and repair receipts.