When Your Dog Meets the Co-op Board
April 2, 2016
By Ronda Kaysen
Paying for Heat
My roommate and I rent a market-rate apartment in a condominium and pay for gas, electricity and heat. When we signed the lease, we were told that we were responsible for paying for all three utilities. However, I heard that landlords are required to provide heat in New York City. Is that true? And if so, does it apply to condo rentals?
East Harlem, Manhattan
New York City landlords are required to provide tenants with heat from Oct. 1 through May 31, if the temperature falls below 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the day or 40 degrees at night. But while the landlord has to turn on the boiler, he does not necessarily have to foot the bill.
If you live in a market-rate apartment, your landlord does not have to pay for heat unless the lease requires that he do so, said Jamie Schare Friedland, a Manhattan landlord-tenant lawyer. Check your lease; if heat is not included in the rent, then it is your responsibility.
The rules are different for rent-regulated apartments, which are overseen by the state. In that case, if heat was once a service included in the rent, a landlord cannot unilaterally take it away, as that could make the tenant eligible for a rent reduction.