Relates to an action for willful neglect of residential real property and treble damages.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to an action for willful neglect of residential real property
PURPOSE: To establish a cause of action that will allow tenants to recover when property owners willfully neglect their properties and allow them to fall into disrepair.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1:
Subdivision (1) establishes a claim of willful neglect of real property by the property owner. The tenant is provided with the choice of two remedies, treble damages or relocation to a comparable location.
Subdivision (2) defines the conditions that will result in a finding of willful neglect.
Subdivision (3) precludes preemption of other state and local laws.
Section 2 provides for an immediate effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation is necessary to ensure the continued quality of aging building stock in this state and to prevent owners from circumventing the system to wrongfully obtain vacate or demolition orders.
The bill creates an incentive for building owners to take all reasonable steps to maintain the stability and quality of their tenant's homes. The bill's provisions will help ensure that owners act in good faith when events occur that cause deterioration of their properties.
Finally, the bill provides much needed compensation for tenants that are displaced from their homes through no fault of their own.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S.8154/A.11540 2012: Referred to Judiciary
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 162 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to an action for willful neglect of residential real property THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The real property actions and proceedings law is amended by adding a new section 854 to read as follows: S 854. ACTION FOR WILLFUL NEGLECT OF RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY; TREBLE DAMAGES. 1. IF A RESIDENTIAL TENANT IS FORCED TO VACATE RESIDENTIAL REAL PROPERTY BECAUSE OF WILLFUL NEGLECT OF SUCH PROPERTY BY THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED BY STATE OR LOCAL LAW TO MAINTAIN SUCH PROPERTY, HE OR SHE IS ENTITLED TO RECOVER TREBLE DAMAGES IN AN ACTION OR COUNTERCLAIM AGAINST SUCH PERSON OR ENTITY. IN LIEU OF TREBLE DAMAGES, AT THE TENANT'S OPTION, THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY MUST RELOCATE THE TENANT TO A COMPARABLE HOUSING ACCOMMODATION IN A CLOSELY PROXIMATE AREA THAT IS THE SAME OR LOWER RENT. 2. WILLFUL NEGLECT SHALL INCLUDE IMPROPER MAINTENANCE OR LACK OF MAIN- TENANCE RESULTING IN SUBSTANTIAL DETERIORATION OF THE PROPERTY SUCH AS TO RENDER IT UNINHABITABLE. WILLFUL NEGLECT SHALL BE CONSIDERED WHENEVER THERE HAS BEEN A VACATE ORDER OR ORDER FOR THE DEMOLITION OF THE PROPER- TY ISSUED BY AN AGENCY OR OFFICIAL OF STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. WILL- FUL NEGLECT SHALL NOT INCLUDE CONDITIONS BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY, SUCH AS A NATURAL DISASTER OR AN ACT OF WAR OR TERRORISM. 3. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT PREEMPT, REDUCE OR LIMIT ANY RIGHTS OR OBLIGATIONS IMPOSED BY ANY STATE OR LOCAL LAWS WITH RESPECT TO PROPERTY MAINTENANCE AND A LOCALITY'S ABILITY TO ENFORCE THOSE LAWS OR A TENANT'S RIGHT TO BE RESTORED TO THE VACATED PREMISES. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00284-01-3