Requires tenants in housing court proceedings be given information pertaining to their rights including that only a judge may issue a warrant to evict them; they should assert any defense or counterclaim in their answer, that they have a right to have the premises inspected to confirm any claim of dangerous or unhealthy conditions, that they may have a right to withhold rent for failure to make repairs and that OCA sells information to residential tenant screening companies.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city civil court act, in relation to requiring the housing court to provide certain information to tenants
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill requires tenants in housing court to be given certain information when receiving or submitting certain information to tenants.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would amend section 110 of the New York city Civil Court Act by adding a new subdivision Q.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: States that included with any and all documents submitted to a tenant in non-payment or eviction proceeding that there shall be a statement informing the tenant of the following:
1) That housing court clerks cannot determine the validity of cases and that they have a right to a trial;
2) That tenants can offset poor services or lack of repairs against the rent;
3) That tenants may call for an inspection while filing the proper paperwork and can wait for the inspection to be ordered by a housing judge;
4) That tenants may at any time go to a pro se clerk for advice;
5) That only a housing court judge may force or ask a tenant to leave his or her apartment;
6) The office of court administration sells information to residential screening companies;
7) Legal fees, late fees and any other fees may only be imposed by a housing judge and they are not considered part of any rent due.
JUSTIFICATION: Currently many tenants who go into housing court are not informed of their rights. This bill would ensure that tenants involved in non-payment or eviction proceedings are at least given a list informing them of their basic rights in the court. Because these proceedings can be very intimidating, tenants should be well-informed before they go into court.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005-2006: S.7067-A Died in Senate Judiciary Committee 2007: S.1806 (Duane), Died in Judiciary 2008: S.1806 (Duane), Died in Judiciary
2009: S.1524 (Duane), Died in Judiciary 2010: S.1524 (Duane), Died in Judiciary
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1291 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 6, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. DUANE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the New York city civil court act, in relation to requiring the housing court to provide certain information to tenants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 110 of the New York city civil court act is amended by adding a new subdivision (q) to read as follows: (Q) THE PETITIONER SHALL INCLUDE IN BOLD PRINT AT THE END OF THE PETI- TION THE FOLLOWING NOTICE OF INFORMATION TO THE RESPONDENT: (1) CLERKS OF THE HOUSING COURT CANNOT DETERMINE THE VALIDITY OF CASES. (2) RESPONDENT HAS A RIGHT TO TRIAL. (3) THE TENANT MAY AT ANY TIME GO TO A PRO SE CLERK FOR INFORMATION REGARDING HOUSING COURT PROCEDURE AND ASSISTANCE IN FILING COURT PAPERS. (4) THE TENANT SHOULD ASSERT ANY DEFENSE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LACK OF NECESSARY REPAIRS AND MAY ASSERT ANY COUNTERCLAIM OR CLAIM FOR OFFSET AGAINST RENT IN HIS OR HER ANSWER. (5) THE TENANT MAY, BUT DOES NOT HAVE TO, REQUEST THE HOUSING, PRESER- VATION AND DEVELOPMENT OFFICE TO INSPECT THE PREMISES TO CONFIRM ANY CLAIM OF DANGEROUS OR UNHEALTHY CONDITIONS WHICH THE TENANT BELIEVES MAY AFFECT THE AMOUNT OF RENT DUE. (6) THE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION SELLS INFORMATION TO RESIDEN- TIAL TENANT SCREENING COMPANIES, WHICH RESULTS IN THE TENANT'S NAME APPEARING ON NATIONWIDE REPORTS SOLD BY THESE COMPANIES TO PROSPECTIVE LANDLORDS. THIS MAY RESULT IN A TENANT BEING BLACKLISTED AND HAVING DIFFICULTIES GETTING ANOTHER APARTMENT. INFORMATION FROM HOUSING COURT CASES MAY ALSO BE OBTAINED BY THE MAJOR CREDIT REPORTING COMPANIES WHICH MAY AFFECT A TENANT'S CREDIT SCORE. (7) LEGAL FEES, LATE FEES AND ANY OTHER FEES MAY ONLY BE IMPOSED AFTER A TRIAL BY A HOUSING JUDGE IF THEY ARE ESTABLISHED IN A WRITTEN LEASEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01132-01-1 S. 1291 2
AND THEY ARE NOT CONSIDERED PART OF ANY RENT DUE UNLESS THE LEASE EXPRESSLY ESTABLISHES THEM AS SUCH. (8) ONLY A HOUSING JUDGE MAY ISSUE A WARRANT TO EVICT A TENANT AND ONLY A MARSHAL OR SHERIFF IS AUTHORIZED TO USE FORCE TO EXECUTE A WARRANT. THE LANDLORD AND TENANT MAY AGREE TO TERMINATE THE TENANCY PRIOR TO THE ISSUANCE OR SERVICE OF A WARRANT, BUT NO ONE MAY COMPEL A TENANT WITHOUT HIS OR HER CONSENT TO ABANDON THE TENANCY. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.