Legal Aid Society


LAS Files Appeal to Secure NYCHA Tenants Rent Rebates for Heat/Hot Water Outages

The Legal Aid Society and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP filed an appeal in Diamond v. New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), a class action brought in April 2018 demanding that the agency issue rent abatements to residents who went without heat and hot water during the 2017 to 2018 “heat season” and, in particular, during the winter cold spell that lasted from December 27, 2017 ­– January 16, 2018, reports the New York Post. Per New York City and State law, NYCHA is obligated as a landlord to establish and maintain certain housing standards. In particular, under the City’s Housing Maintenance Code (HMC), heat must be provided between October 1 and May 31 when temperatures fall below certain degrees. Moreover, the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law requires owners to provide both hot and cold water 24 hours a day. The appeal should be argued later this year.

“NYCHA has a legal and moral obligation to ensure that heat and hot water systems are functioning properly, and when that promise is broken, there is a price that must be paid,” said Lucy Newman, Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Civil Law Reform Unit.