East Flatbush, Bushwick, Crown Heights and East New York are among the ten neighborhoods with the most heating violations, according to a new report by localize.city.
The housing-data website analyzed the number of hazardous heat violations over the previous four years in non-public housing buildings with three or more apartments and found that buildings with fewer units are more likely to rack up heating violations: Nearly half of 150 the buildings on the list had only three units, and another 27 percent had four units.
The report found a particularly egregious offender in Bedford Stuyvesant. A three-unit building, located at 381 Vernon Avenue, has garnered a record-breaking number of heating violations: With 18 hazardous violations, the building is among the city’s top three culprits.
The study comes on the heels of newly-introduced legislation by the City Council, which would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to identify the 150 non-public buildings with the highest rates of hazardous heat violations. The city would then require the landlords of those buildings to install heat sensors in all apartments that can record the temperature every hour, with the information accessible online.
Finding widespread heat problems in buildings with only three or four units raises the questions if the landlords of these buildings are less responsive to their tenants, and if HPD prioritizes theses buildings less in terms of inspections, analysts stated.
“As we’re in the coldest months of winter — whether you’re frustrated by your current lack of heat or you fear that you could move into a building with heating problems — we can help,” said Localize.city President Steve Kalifowitz. “Knowing about chronic heat and hot water problems can empower you, if you’re trying to hold your landlord accountable.”
NYC landlords are required to provide heat to all tenants from October 1, through May 31. The temperature requirements, however, a rather low: Between 6:00am and 10:00pm, if the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperature is required to be at least 68 degrees; between 10:00pm and 6:00am, if the outside temperature drops below 40 degrees, the inside temperature should be at least 55 degrees.
The report concluded with a set of recommendations on how to respond to heating violations. Tenants whose landlords do not address the issue satisfactorily, or not all at, can file a 311 complaint. For a violation to be cited, however, a city inspector must visit the building.