Who Gets Left in the Cold? Renters in The Bronx File the Most Heating Complaints
The Northeast is no stranger to the cold, and New Yorkers know how to stay warm during the winter months. However, huddle indoors is not always an option for those who live in poorly heated areas. Every year, tenants across the city are victims of insufficient heating and hot water in their apartments.
Despite New York’s heat law, many landlords fail to comply with heating regulations, forcing many tenants to report their buildings to 311. Each winter, RentHop analyzes the frequency of these calls in buildings, neighborhoods and boroughs, noting that certain areas receive more heat. complaints than others. Areas like Pelham Parkway (Bronx), Flatbush (Brooklyn) and Little Italy (Manhattan) continue to receive a high volume of heat complaints. The following outlines where renters are most likely to be left behind.
Key findings from this year’s report:
- In total, 118,589 complaints about heating and hot water were filed with 311 New York residents from October 1, 2022 through January 10, 2023.
- After grouping complaints by day and by address, we found 117,315 unique complaints, 24.7% more compared to the same period last year.
- New York’s five boroughs have received more heat-related complaints than last year. ]
- Worst heat offenders include 957 Woodycrest Avenue (653 complaints / 96 unique) and 932 Adee Avenue (639 complaints / 50 unique) in the Bronx, and 9101 Church Avenue in Brooklyn (520 complaints / 61 unique) . [Data Table]
Heat complaints by borough
- The Bronx remains the coldest borough, receiving 42,050 unique heat complaints throughout 2022.
- Pelham Parkway is the coldest neighborhood in the city, with 1,293 unique complaints, or 2,050.1 complaints/10,000 tenant-occupied units. Complaints increased by 10.7% compared to last year.
- 80%or 16of New York’s 20 coldest neighborhoods reside in the Bronx.
- Brooklyn received 32,733 unique heat complaints, increasing by 21.65% since last year.
- Flatbush has become Brooklyn’s coldest neighborhoodwith 5,594 unique complaints and 1,159.2 complaints/10,000 tenant occupied units.
- Heat complaints are on the rise 19.78% from last year, residents filing 25,879 unique heat complaints.
- In the coldest quarter, Little Italycomplaints of heat and hot water are up 117.66% over last year.
- Central Harlem continued to cool. The district received 4,409 unique complaints this season.
- The queens received 16,509 unique heat complaints this year, compared to 13,384 last year.
- wooden haven is the coldest neighborhood in the borough, where complaints are on the rise 278.26%.
- Staten Island tenants filed 1,424 unique complaints this year, up 29.57% from last year.
- The neighborhood with the most complaints, Saint Georgehas 157 unique heat complaints this year.
When does the heat season start?
New York City landlords must provide heat to all their tenants from October 1 through May 31. This period is called the “heat season”. Heating needs understand:
- Between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., if the outdoor temperature drops below 55 degrees, the indoor temperature must be at least 68 degrees F
- Between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., if indoor temperature must be at least 62 degrees F, no outdoor temperature requirement
Many buildings in the city do not provide adequate heating for their residents, with some addresses receiving significant numbers of complaints throughout the heat season. Buildings like 957 Woddycrest Ave and 932, avenue de l’Adee in the Bronx has received hundreds of complaints this year.
Granted, when tenants are hurting, they make dozens of complaints every day to 311. So, to accurately measure the number of days a building goes without heat, RentHop grouped heating/hot water complaints by address and date. Creation. Complaints filed on the same day regarding the same building are considered as one complaint. From October 1, 2022, the start of this heat season, to January 10, 2022, the city received 117,315 unique heat complaints, up 24.7% than the total single count of 94,033 in the same period last year.
Mapping of the 311 heat complaints by New York neighborhood
To rank neighborhoods fairly, we further normalize the data by dividing the number of heat complaints by the number of tenant-occupied units in a neighborhood retrieved through the 2021 American Community Survey (homeowners can control their heating and are therefore excluded from this study).
The map below illustrates how “chill” each neighborhood in NYC is. The darker the shade, the more heat complaints per 10,000 tenant-occupied units in a neighborhood this winter. Click on the neighborhood to find out more.
Neighborhoods in the Bronx receive more heat-related complaints than other boroughs. Of the 20 coldest neighborhoods in New York, 16, or 80%, are in the Bronx. Other areas of the city, such as the Manhattan neighborhoods above Central Park and Central Brooklyn, also receive frequent heat complaints.
Figure 1 demonstrates the number of normalized heat complaints by borough from October 1 through mid-January from 2017 to 2023. The Bronx consistently receives the highest number of heat complaints each year, representing 35.84% of total citywide complaints this season. Manhattan has more heat complaints per 10,000 tenant-occupied units than Brooklynwhere complaints increased by 19.78%. Heat-related complaints have increased in all boroughs this year.
These are the coldest neighborhoods in New York
Figure 2 features the top 20 neighborhoods with the highest number of normalized heat complaints this season, from October 1 to January 10, 2023. 16 of the 20 neighborhoods are located in the Bronx.
Pelham Parkway took first place this year, replacing Fordham South. It received 10.70% more complaints than last year, with 2,050.1 complaints per 10,000 tenant-occupied units. Overall, 19 of the 20 coldest neighborhoods received more complaints this year than last. Fordham Heights is the only neighborhood on the list to receive fewer complaints, down 15.22%.
Little Italy has become Manhattan’s coldest neighborhood, receiving 117.7% more complaints than last year. It should be noted that most of the buildings receiving complaints in Little Italy are older and smaller, built in the early 1900s and housing fewer than sixteen residential units. As of Jan. 10, the neighborhood had received 1,401.5 complaints for every 10,000 units occupied by tenants this heating season.
Winter has gotten colder in these neighborhoods
picture 3 shows the neighborhoods with the highest increase in heat complaints this year. Complaints in Hollywood, Queens increased 441.03% from 51 complaints last season to 92 this year. Woodhaven also saw a significant increase, with complaints increasing by 278.26% to 863.2 complaints per 10,000 tenant-occupied units.
Buildings with frequent heat complaints
While some neighborhoods receive more complaints than others, some buildings also receive a high number of complaints. The following table shows the 100 buildings in the city with the most heat complaints this year. If you’re looking to sign a lease, be sure to check your building against this list to make sure you’ll stay warm in the winter. You can explore the data further by sorting the data by column or performing a quick search using the search bar.