Yes, it's time for your landlord to start cranking the heat

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How much total do you plan to tip the building staff this year?

If you're anything like us, you probably spent time this weekend rifling through your closet to dig up your long-forgotten sweaters, scarves, and assorted Cold Weather Wardrobe Staples. That, and cursing your landlord for their sluggish response time with turning on the heat.

And legally, they do have to act fast, if they haven't already: October 1st marked the beginning of NYC's "Heat Season," which lasts through May 31st, and means that landlords are obligated to keep your inside temperature at least 68 degrees between 6am and 10 pm if it's colder than 55 degrees outside, and at 55 degrees between 10 pm and 6 am if it's colder than 40 degrees out.

If you're still shivering and suspect they're cutting corners, there are now apps like Heat Seek NYC to help you catch the landlord red handed, and if your landlord or property manager refuses to respond to your requests for adequate heating, you can take your complaints to 311 and HPD, which slaps property owners with stiff fines for failing to keep their tenants sufficiently warm. (More tips on that process here.)

On your end, it's also time to think about taking out any A/C window units (a lot of cold air seems to get in around the edges of those), and if you know your apartment is so cold that you'll need a space heater soon, start budgeting your outlet space accordingly. And also, hold off before you stash all your warm weather clothes in the storage unit: apparently, it's going to get up into the 70s later this week. Probably right around the time the overactive radiator in your apartment hisses back to life...


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