Ugh. Landlords from hell. They leave doors damaged and plumbing to rot, don't care that killer molds are growing behind the walls, and in NYC, they couldn't care less if you freeze in the winter. Since it's darn hard getting an inspector to come and verify a heat violation, a new KickStarter project called Heat Seek NYC wants to give people the power to gather their own evidence using simple internet-connected temperature sensors. These Heat Seek sensors constantly monitor indoor temperature and upload the results online like Nest does, so they can be accessed through an app monitored, say, by a lawyer building a tenant's case.
They come in two types: the more expensive "hub" that's connected to the internet and the cheaper "cell" that wirelessly transmits data to the hub. In case there are several tenants in one building who need their indoor temps monitored, for instance, they can get several cells and a single hub. These sensors aren't just for people getting cheated by scummy lessors, though. According to the project's creators, they're also working with responsible, law-abiding landlords to determine areas of their building that need to be patched up to prevent heat loss.
If you need to get some temp monitoring done, you can get one of Heat Seek's hubs or cells (with a February 15, 2015 ETA) through the Kickstarter campaign for at least $60. Even better, most of the project's funding options are a buy-one-give-one deal. So, you're putting a cell or a hub in the hands of an NYC tenant (the project aims to distribute up to 1,000 sensors) who truly needs it when you purchase one.