New Tech Helps Tenants Make Their Case in Court

01/05/2017

Tenants and their advocates are using new technology to document a lack of heat in apartment buildings, a condition they say has been difficult to prove in housing-court cases.

Small sensors provided by the New York City-based nonprofit Heat Seek, now installed in some city apartments, measure temperatures and transmit the data to a server. Tenant advocates say the data buttress their contention that some landlords withhold heat as a way to oust rent-regulated tenants.

“It’s really exciting to be able to track this information and hopefully get the courts to accept it, so we can show what everybody knows to be true,” said Sunny Noh, a supervising attorney at the Legal Aid Society’s Tenant Rights Coalition, which filed a civil suit using Heat Seek’s data.

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Vito Signorile, a spokesman for the Rent Stabilization Association, a group representing building owners, said the sensors are a useful tool but don’t capture other variables that change temperature.

“Our concern is that oftentimes if it becomes too warm inside the apartment the tenant could open the window, which would lower the temperature on these monitors,” Mr. Signorile said.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Written by Corinne Ramey

 

 

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