Fresh Meadows, NY ‘ Building owners now have the exculpatory evidence they need to defend themselves against HPD violations and prove that they were supplying the appropriate amount of heat to their buildings. Energy Management Systems, such as U.S. Energy Group’s USE Controller EMS, and building information systems, such as U.S. Energy Group’s USE Manager 6.0, provide two ways of helping owners and managers avoid HPD violations.
First, systems like the USE Controller EMS keep the desired indoor temperature of the building steady and give heat as needed when the temperature drops inside the building. Additionally, building information systems, such as the USE Manager 6.0, allow the owner or manager to override the boiler from virtually anywhere via computer or cell phone (New ‘iPhone App” as well!), and therefore, they can provide heat as needed, anytime. In the case of the USE Manager 6.0, the system provides specialized Alerts to warn if the temperature is too low (or too high). These elements work together to help building owners and property managers maintain a steady and appropriate temperature in their buildings.
Still there is nothing to stop an unruly tenant from making false claims, and saying their apartment is too cold. Often a resident will cause a cold apartment by blocking radiators, opening windows in winter and self-installing air-conditioners without the right insulation. A resident can even open their window right before an inspector comes which can significantly cool down the apartment. In the past, there was little that a building owner could do when falsely accused, and this created a great deal of anxiety and stress. An HPD violation is very serious ‘ violators face a heavy financial penalty and are sometimes publicly named a ‘slumlord.”
However, now, building owners and managers can use their building profile data from the USE Manager 6.0 to illustrate exactly what was happening inside the building at the time of the complaint. This historical record has already led prosecutors to recognize they do not have a strong case to collect fines.
‘The precedent has been set for accepting this exculpatory evidence into the legal system,” stated William Slochowsky, of Slochowsky and Slochowsky, LLP, an attorney whose firm specializes in representing building owners in HPD proceedings as well as other summary proceedings. ‘Owners can now prove they are heating their buildings properly.”
‘I’m a building owner myself,” stated Jerry Pindus. ‘I know how important it is to provide owners with the ability to pull accurate historical data on their buildings, including apartment temperatures and burner activity. I used to worry about being falsely accused, until I realized that I have proof of the truth. Heating inspectors are human and are subject to wanting to please the resident of the apartment they are inspecting as opposed to the ‘mean landlord’ they have never met.”
For more information on the USE Controller EMS, the USE Manager 6.0 or the USE-Mobile iPhone app, call Tom Scali or Steve Guerrero at (718) 380-1004 or visit www.use-group.com. For owners who are facing an HPD violation, visit www.slochowskylaw.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.