Building owners struggle to keep the heat on

NEWARK - Years of a weak economy is taking it's toll on everyone including landlords. It's gotten to the point where some building owners are having trouble providing basic heat and hot water to tenants.

Newark's Acting Manager of the Division of Inspections and Code Enforcement Tommy McDonald says it's a common story and a major problem that he believes is getting worse.

"A lot of landlords are absentee landlords at this point. They've walked away from their properties," McDonald said while inspecting a building on Broad Street Friday night. McDonald tells News 12 New Jersey many absentee landlords hide behind corporations. His department issues court summonses to non-compliant landlords. Landlords who fail to provide heat and hot water often face court action. Fines can exceed 1,000 dollars per day for each day until heat is finally restored. Landlords are required to maintain homes at 68 degrees between 6am and 11pm and at 65 degrees from 11pm to 6am.

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