Landlords to keep homes at 65 degrees in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Landlords to keep homes at 65 degrees in Hartford, according to policy

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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Hartford officials said they get a variety of "no heat" complaints several times a week sometimes even daily, so now they're trying to tackle the problem.

An initiative is requiring Hartford landlords to keep their homes at a minimum of 65 degrees during the winter months or face strict penalties from the city.

According to the initiative, the temperature of the hot water must be kept at least 120 degrees.

Anyone who violates the policy has 24 hours to fix the problem and could face a fine of $100 or be arrested by the Hartford Police Department and spend 60 days in jail.

In the statement from the city Wednesday, the initiative is a way to make sure landlords provide essential services such as heat, hot water, cooking gas and electricity to their tenants.

"This is the first time the city departments are teaming up to address a systemic issue and enforcing penalties that include arrest," the statement read.

The initiative prevents any public service or utility company from reducing the heat in any apartment complex in the city.

On the fifth floor of her condo complex, Virginia Grant, 71, complains that when day turns to night, she's freezing.

"I need more heat," she told Eyewitness News.

Grant said she has complained to the property manager who told Eyewitness News over the phone the heat here is on and running with no problem 

"Every year, this time of year, there's no heat complaints," said Hartford Director of Licenses and Inspections Daniel Loos.

On Wednesday, Hartford city leaders announced they're stepping up enforcement of Connecticut State Statute.

"If landlords don't provide heat in a timely manner, it's an enforcement option," Loos said.

To enforce the policy, tenants are told to call their landlord first and if that fails, they are asked to call 311 where they will be forwarded to city's license and inspection housing code enforcement department.

City leaders told Eyewitness News that they're currently enforcing this statute with a team of inspectors and have one open inspector position, they're currently recruiting for.

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