New Tech Helps Tenants Make Their Case in Court

Nonprofit provides sensors to document lack of heat in apartments; landlord group says other variables at play.

News Story (New York)

Corinne Ramey
Wall Street Journal (WSJ)
December 12, 2016

Tags: Courts, Technology

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society (New York City)


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.