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17-103 - Truth in Heating. | Article 17 - (Energy) ENERGY INFORMATION | ENG - Energy | 2015 New York Laws

17-103. Truth in heating. 1. (a) On or after January first, nineteen hundred eighty-one, the seller of a residential structure shall, within fifteen days of receipt of a written request from a prospective purchaser, furnish such purchaser a complete set of heating and/or cooling bills, or a summary of such heating and/or cooling bills, for the life of the structure or for the preceding two years, whichever is shorter. A seller need not honor a request for heating or cooling bills if such request is initially made after the signing of a purchase contract.

(b) (1) On or after January first, nineteen hundred eighty-four, the seller of a residential structure shall, within fifteen days of receipt of a written request from a prospective purchaser, furnish such purchaser with a statement of the following:

(i) The type and areas of insulation installed by the seller in such structure during his ownership.

(ii) The type and areas of insulation installed in such structure by any previous owner, known to the seller.

(iii) As used in this paragraph, "insulation" shall include but shall not be limited to any type of material permanently placed within or contiguous to a wall, ceiling or floor of a room or building for the purpose of reducing heat transfer and thus the energy requirements for heating and cooling the building.

(2) The seller need not honor a request for the information described in this paragraph if such request is initially made after the signing of a purchase contract.

(3) A seller shall be subject to the imposition of penalties under this article, including section 5-119, for failure to provide the statement required by subparagraph one of this paragraph.

(4) The commissioner shall not evaluate the sufficiency or accuracy of any statement concerning insulation furnished, pursuant to this paragraph, to a prospective purchaser.

(c) On or after January first, nineteen hundred eighty-one, the lessor of a residential structure where the lessee is responsible for payment of the heating and/or cooling bills shall, immediately upon receipt of a request from a prospective lessee, furnish such lessee a complete set of heating and/or cooling bills, or a summary of heating and/or cooling bills, for the life of the structure or for the preceding two years, whichever is shorter.

(d) All heating and/or cooling bills furnished by a seller or lessor shall indicate whether the residential structure was occupied during the period of time for which the heating and/or cooling bills are supplied.

(e) A seller who lacks all or part of such heating and/or cooling bills shall request the retail vendor of fuel or utility services to provide such seller with a complete set of heating and/or cooling bills, or a summary thereof. Where a seller is still unable to furnish a prospective purchaser with a complete set of heating and/or cooling bills, or a summary thereof, he shall nevertheless provide the prospective purchaser with whatever records he has been able to obtain, or a summary thereof, and indicate which periods of time and/or which fuel or utility services are not covered by the incomplete records or summary provided.

(f) No charge or fee shall be imposed on any purchaser or lessee by any seller or lessor for furnishing heating and/or cooling bills or summaries thereof pursuant to the provisions of this section. No lessor or seller shall disclose the name of a tenant in connection with the furnishing of heating and/or cooling bills or summaries thereof without the consent of such tenant.

2. (a) Every retail vendor of fuel or utility services used for heating and/or cooling residential structures shall maintain records of the cost of fuel or utility services provided such structures for at least two calendar years.

(b) Within ten days after receiving a request from the seller or lessor of a residential structure, a retail vendor shall furnish such owner with duplicate copies of the heating and/or cooling bills, or a summary of the heating and/or cooling bills, for the life of the structure or the preceding two year period, whichever is shorter. A retail vendor shall not require the consent of a current tenant or prior owner to provide such duplicate copies or summaries, provided that no such copy or summary shall contain information relating to the status of such tenant's or prior owner's account with the retail vendor.

(c) A retail vendor may charge a fee of five dollars for providing such duplicate copies of heating and/or cooling bills, or a summary of such bills, to any such owner.

3. (a) The maximum penalty which may be recovered pursuant to section 5-119 of this chapter, for a violation of this section by any seller, lessor or vendor shall be one hundred dollars for each separate and distinct violation; provided, however, that (i) a seller shall not be in violation of this section due to the failure by a vendor to furnish heating and/or cooling bills upon receipt of such a request by the seller, and (ii) a lessor shall not be in violation of this section if the lessor commenced an act to obtain immediately the heating and/or cooling bills upon receiving notice that the structure was to be vacated and had not yet received such bills from the vendor.

(b) The failure of a seller or lessor to furnish the heating and/or cooling bills required pursuant to this section to a prospective purchaser or lessee shall not affect legal title to any residential structure or permit any purchaser or lessee of any such structure to avoid any obligations he may have under any purchase contract or lease.

4. (a) The commissioner, after consultation with the department of public service, shall promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this section relating to the furnishing and maintenance of heating and/or cooling bills. The commissioner shall waive in whole or in part a requirement that records be furnished for any period prior to the promulgation of such rules and regulations if such records have not been maintained by a retail vendor.

(b) On or before September first, nineteen hundred eighty the commissioner shall notify all retail vendors of fuel or utility services of the requirements of this section, and of their obligations to maintain and supply heating and/or cooling bills, or summaries thereof, under this section.




Last modified: April 13, 2016