No DHCR Approval for Landlord's Change in Heating System

LVT Number: #24485

Landlord asked the DHCR for permission to change the manner in which heat was provided at the building. Landlord had provided heat at no cost to tenants, but then, without DHCR approval, installed a system that required tenants to assume the electrical costs of heating their apartments. Tenants had obtained DHCR rent reductions based on this change, and the DHCR ordered that no rent restoration would be issued unless landlord either assumed the costs of heating or got DHCR permission to modify services. Landlord now proposed to assume the costs of operating the new blower/compressor system during heat season, from Oct. 1 to May 31. Tenants objected, claiming that their electricity costs had increased up to 300 percent since landlord changed the system. The DRA ruled against landlord, who appealed and lost. The DRA had previously denied a similar application to modify services filed by landlord, and landlord never appealed that decision. That ruling was now a final and binding order.