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Some landlord blood boiled over on CurbedNY yesterday as building owners reacted to news that the city is increasing penalties for chilly apartments. Landlords chorused that the city’s existing heat laws are already out of touch with the realities of apartment building boilers, the economics of Middle-East oil and modern city life.
Most said the laws force them to heat one problem apartment to the legal minimum, which means overheating everyone else: "How can I possibly heat an apartment where someone has a window ac in their window?" commented one landlord "24/7 cold air comes in through those flimsy plastic wings. If I were to heat that apartment to the legal limit that would mean other apartments would be above 80 degrees.”
The majority--calling for more sweaters, socks and space heaters--also favored shaving a few degrees off the minimum daytime requirement of 68 degrees in under 55-degree weather: “It’s a waste of oil and it’s damaging to our air to run these boilers to often,” wrote one landlord who said he lives in his own building.
Here’s what else they had to say:
- “I'm a landlord who lives in my own building. I'll never forget last year when my tenant knocked on my door at 11pm on a Sunday night in a tank top and shorts to complain about the heat (when I tested the temp in her apartment it was 10 degrees above the legal limit)….stop acting like landlords are trying to kill people.”
- “The limit should be lowered to 65 and something should be done to make it in the tenants’ interest to insulate the building.”
- “65 is not too cold. My parents keep their house at 65… (They) wear a sweater when they need one n when needed they have a small space heater in the room where they spend the most time. It’s by far a cheaper (for everyone), more environmentally/geopolitically friendly way to keep everyone warm.”
- “I am fine with this increase in fines, as long as in addition the city adds a fine for all bogus complaints. If the city received 172,062 heat complaints and issued 9,042 violations, there were 163,020 false complaints that the city still had to investigate, which costs the city money. If people knew that they would be charged for the visit if their claim didn’t hold up, they would think twice about calling, and only those with real issues would complain.”