Heat Sensors Program
Local Law 18 of 2020 (Administrative Code §27-2033.1) mandates the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to select 50 class A multiple dwellings with heat violations and heat-related complaints every two years for participation in a program requiring installation of internet capable temperature reporting devices (“heat sensors”). Owners of selected buildings will be required to install one heat sensor in one living room of each dwelling unit in the building by October 1st of the year in which the property is selected, unless tenants opt out. Failure by the owner to comply may result in the issuance of a hazardous violations.
HPD will conduct inspections during heat season (October 1st through May 31st) at least once every two weeks in buildings that are selected for participation, without receipt of complaints, for compliance with the heat requirements. These inspections may be discontinued where HPD finds consistent compliance by January 31st of the heat season.
Heat sensors can measure indoor air temperature and record such temperature, along with the date and time of such reading. With the installation of heat sensors, such information will be accessible to property owners and tenants of the units in which the sensors are placed.
Selection and Notification
Class A multiple dwellings will be selected based on the number of heat violations Administrative Code §27-2028 and Administrative Code §27-2029 (a) placed over the preceding two years, and whether the department has received heat-related complaints from more than one dwelling unit.
Every two years HPD selects 50 Class A multiple dwellings and notifies the respective owners and managing agents of their responsibilities and how to be discharged from the Heat Sensors Program.
Owners are required to notify all tenants by providing an opt-out form and posting a sign, within 15 days of the notice that they receive from HPD, on the building’s main entrance door, or another conspicuous location in a common area stating in English and Spanish:
The building has been selected for installation of heat sensors.
The requirements of the law including installation of heat sensors.
The instructions on how to access the information collected by heat sensors.
The tenant’s right of refusal of installation of a heat sensor in his or her unit.
Owners are required to:
Provide and install one heat sensor in one living room of each dwelling unit in the selected class A multiple dwelling by October 1st of the year in which HPD provides notification of selection for the program.
Replace any such sensor that was stolen, removed, found missing or rendered inoperable during a prior occupancy of the dwelling unit and was not replaced prior to the commencement of the current occupancy of such dwelling unit.
Replace such sensor within 30 days after the receipt of written notice provided by the tenant of the dwelling unit where such sensor is located that it has become inoperable due to a defect in the manufacture or installation of the sensor and through no fault of the tenant.
Maintain such records relating to the installation and maintenance of the heat sensors and collection of heat data from such sensors and make such records available to HPD upon request.
Maintain a record of reasonable efforts to gain access to a tenant’s dwelling unit to install a heat sensor where the owner has been unable to gain such access and such tenant has not refused the installation of the sensor in writing.
Maintain a written record identifying each dwelling unit for which the tenant has refused installation of a heat sensor. Records must be kept for not less than one year after such owner is no longer subject to the provisions of the law.
These requirements continue for four years—the time period for participation in the program, unless the owner is discharged from the program sooner.
Owners may not charge the tenant of a dwelling unit for the acquisition or installation of a heat sensor, nor for the replacement of such sensor where the replacement is due to wear or malfunction.
Tenants of each dwelling unit in a class A multiple dwelling in which a heat sensor was installed by the owner must:
Keep and maintain the heat sensor in good repair.
Replace any heat sensor that is stolen, removed, found missing or rendered inoperable during such tenant’s occupancy of such dwelling unit, except that the owner may make such replacement and charge such tenant a maximum of $50 for the cost of each such replacement.
Tenants of a dwelling unit in a class A multiple dwelling selected for installation of heat sensors have the option to refuse installation of a heat sensor in their dwelling unit. Tenants must provide the owner written confirmation of their decision to opt out of such installation.
Violations and Penalties
Civil Penalties may be sought for:
Failure to install the heat sensors, failure to comply with the notice requirements regarding the heat sensors, failure to properly maintain the heat sensors, failure to maintain records regarding the heat sensors, failure to provide records of the heat sensor temperature reading upon demand from HPD.
CLASS B violations (hazardous): $25-$100 each, plus $10 per violation per day.
$250-$500 dollars per day for each violation from and including the date the notice is posted at the building until the date the violation is corrected.
$500-$1,000 per day for each subsequent violation at the same building that occurs within two consecutive Illegal Device on a central heating system: $25 per day (from the date that the violation was posted on the building until the illegal device is removed) or $1,000, whichever is more
HPD may impose an Inspection Fee of $200 if a third or subsequent inspection within a heat season results in a third or subsequent heat violation and if a third or subsequent inspection within a calendar year results in a third or subsequent hot water violation.
Owners of a class A multiple dwelling who are required to install heat sensors may apply to the department for discharge from the program in less than four years if the department did not issue any violation of during the immediately preceding, or if the owner has demonstrated to the department that they have taken permanent action to address the provision of heat for the next heat season.