Landlord provides East Harlem tenants with 2 space heaters due to boiler breaking months ago

Darla Miles Image
Friday, January 21, 2022
One NYC landlord's answer to a broken boiler? Space heaters
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Darla Miles reports on one NYC landlord who distributed space heaters to the tenants of an East Harlem building to make up for a broken boiler.

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Residents of one building in East Harlem are suffering through bitter cold this season inside their homes.

The landlords have allocated two space heaters per unit.

Tenants in the four story walk-up say that has been their building owner's solution to a broken boiler.

"They provided two provided space heaters that we don't really like using," said Kristi Sepulveda a resident of the building. "That's what nine times two, you have 18 in here. Anything can happen."

Yet, the Supelveda family had to buy two more space heaters, just to stay warm.

It's been their primary source of heat for three months now.

Supelveda says she's complained and reported it to 311 - and says her neighbors have done the same.

But they're still freezing.

"We get on and off heat and like the hot water as well," said Supeveda. "So it's been on and off, we sometimes get it. Right now the heaters are off and it's super cold outside."

Not only is this miserable, it's also a violation.

From October 1st through May 31st is considered heating season, according to city regulations.

When the outside temperature is below 55 degrees, building owners are required to keep apartments warmed to at least 68 degrees during the day and at least 62-dgrees at night between 10pm and 6am.

Building owners are also required to provide hot water of at least 120 degrees.

For some tenants, a little known fact.

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"When they said that was not legal, I was like why is nothing happening," said Supeveda. "Like what are the next steps that we can do so that the landlord, can really push to do something about this ASAP."

Eyewitness News reached out the building owner who referred us to the property management company where an employee would only say "..mechanics are working to get heat going."

"The same thing that happened in the Bronx, that could have been us, you know," said Supelveda. "And then it's going to take something like that to happen to make move and be fast with the boiler."

Residents from that fatal fire in the Bronx are still suffering after 17 people were killed and dozens displaced.

That fire started with a space heater being used by residents, due to insufficient heat in the building.


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