Cold Showers and Broken Radiators

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October 10, 2019

Heat and hot water problems are the most common complaints to the city’s 311 hotline. 

In fact, about a quarter of all rentals on the market as of Sept. 22, 2019, had at least one heat or hot water complaint in the building in the last 12 months, according to an analysis from home search platform Localize.city.

Cranking up indoor heat might be far from your mind given the summer-like weather we’re seeing this fall. But if you’re getting ready to move now, now’s the time to arm yourself with knowledge on home search platform Localize.city and get the full history of a building’s heat and hot water violations so you can avoid spending this winter in frigid temps. New York City’s “heat season,” the period when landlords are required to heat homes, officially started Oct. 1, lasting through May 31.

In the past 12 months there were 221,858 heat-related 311 complaints from New Yorkers at 32,436 unique addresses. Based on home search platform Localize.city’s predictive AI algorithm, more than 8,400 of these buildings are at risk of having these heat or hot water issues again. You can also find out if your building is at risk for heat or hot water issues at Localize.city.

“It’s just so frustrating, coming home every night to no heat. Never knowing which mornings you’ll be able to take a shower,” said Ben Saldinger, 28, currently a resident of Greenpoint. “I had some really serious heat issues with an apartment in Ridgewood. I had similar issues with my next apartment in Bushwick. It was so bad I had to break my lease. And these were newly renovated units, there was no way to know I’d have to deal with this.”

These aren’t just inconveniences, according to the World Health Organization “cold indoor temperatures have been associated with increased blood pressure, asthma symptoms and poor mental health.” This is a nuisance that can really harm you.

“Not having heat or hot water is not only a hardship but also illegal,” says Nir Gonen a data scientist at Localize.city.” Heat and hot water are basic needs, and not having heat and hot water is the single most frequent housing-related complaints made to 311.. We’re seeing this all across the city. That’s why Localize.city tracks complaints and violations, to make sure New Yorkers know everything there is to know about a building before they move in.”

Heat & Hot Water Complaints by the Numbers…

Complaints by borough

BoroughNo. of Complaints No. of Buildings with complaints
Bronx73,6077,790
Brooklyn67,55411,053
Manhattan48,5837,039
Queens29,7875,888
Staten Island2,327666

Top neighborhoods with complaints

xNeighborhoodAddresses with Complaints 
Crown Heights1,264
Harlem1,024
East New York994
Bedford Stuyvesant988
Washington Heights953
Bushwick806
East Flatbush805
Upper East Side728
Upper West Side722
10 Astoria668

Buildings with most complaintsBuildings with most complaints

AddressNeighborhoodBoroughComplaints in last 12 months
89-21 Elmhurst Ave.ElmhurstQueens3,174
9511 Shore Rd.Bay RidgeBrooklyn1,026
1711 H. Tubman Ave.Bedford StuyvesantBrooklyn863
2750 Homecrest Ave.Brighton BeachBrooklyn855
2040 Bronxdale Ave.Pelham ParkwayBronx795
1425 MLK Blvd.HighbridgeBronx727
266 Bedford Park Blvd.Bedford ParkBronx619
381 Vernon Ave.Bedford StuyvesantBrooklyn583
72-10 41st Ave.ElmhurstQueens579
10 2101 Albemarle Rd.FlatbushBrooklyn521

xAddressNeighborhoodComplaints in last 12
months
36 Sherman Ave.St. George168
37 Richard Ln.Bulls Head56
1000 Targee St.Grasmere43
90 Richmond Hill Rd.Heartland Village38
280 Park Hill Ave.Park Hill36
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