Bill S207-2013

Requires limited profit housing company to show maintenance of essential services before approval of rent increases

Defines, for purposes of the Mitchell-Lama housing projects, "essential services" which landlord in limited-profit housing companies are obligated to provide and requires that any authorized maximum average monthly rental increase shall be conditioned on the continued maintenance of such defined services.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S207

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the private housing finance law, in relation to defining "essential services" and conditioning approval of increase of maximum rentals upon maintenance of all essential services

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to insure that rent increases in Mitchell-Lama buildings are only granted when the housing company or landlord is maintaining essential services or when the increases are conditioned upon their being restored. The bill provides that before any rent increase is approved in respect to a Mitchell-Lama building, the housing company applying for the increase must be found to be maintaining all essential services, and that no increase shall be approved where there is a certification that the dwelling accommodation is a fire hazard or is in a dangerous condition, or is detrimental to life or health or is occupied in violation of law. If essential services are not being maintained or if fire hazards or dangerous conditions exist, a rent increase may be approved contingent upon the restoration of essential services of removal of unsafe conditions in a reasonably short and fixed time period. This bill also contains a definition of essential services which indicates that such services include, but are not limited to, repairs, maintenance, and furnishing of light, heat, hot and cold water, telephone and elevator services, kitchen, bath and laundry facilities and privileges, as well as resident manager, superintendent and janitorial services, removal of refuse, park and recreation facilities, security safeguards, and community meeting facilities and nursery school rooms. The provisions of the bill would not apply with respect to services reduced or discontinued pursuant to the express consent of the division of housing and community renewal.

JUSTIFICATION: Mitchell-Lama buildings are operated on what is, in essence, a cost plus formula. Therefore, rentals are paid to a level necessary to maintain essential services. If rentals are inadequate, the housing company may apply for an increase in such rentals. There is, therefore, no excuse for a housing company or landlord not to provide essential services to tenants. It is particularly unfair for tenants to face a rent increase in a Mitchell-Lama building when essential services are not being maintained. The bill will help ensure that landlords provide essential services if an increase is to be granted.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: Referred to Housing, Construction and Community Development 2011: Referred to Housing, Construction and Community Development 2010: S.1658/A.540

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 207 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 Housing, Construction and Community Development AN ACT to amend the private housing finance law, in relation to defining "essential services" and conditioning approval of increase of maximum rentals upon maintenance of all essential services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 12 of the private housing finance law is amended by adding a new subdivision 17 to read as follows: 17. "ESSENTIAL SERVICES". THOSE ESSENTIAL SERVICES WHICH THE COMPANY FURNISHED OR WHICH IT WAS OBLIGATED TO FURNISH ON THE DATE OF OCCUPANCY AND WHICH WERE INCLUDED IN THE MAXIMUM RENT FOR THE DWELLING ACCOMMO- DATIONS ON THAT DATE. THESE MAY INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING: REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE, THE FURNISHING OF LIGHT, HEAT, HOT AND COLD WATER, AND ELEVATOR SERVICE. THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY WITH RESPECT TO SERVICES WHICH SHALL HAVE BEEN REDUCED OR DISCONTINUED PURSUANT TO THE EXPRESS CONSENT OF THE DIVISION. S 2. Section 31 of the private housing finance law is amended by adding a new subdivision 1-a to read as follows: 1-A. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER AND EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS SUBDIVISION, THE COMMISSIONER OR SUPERVISING AGENCY SHALL NOT APPROVE AN INCREASE IN THE PRESENT MAXIMUM AVERAGE MONTHLY RENTAL UNLESS THE COMPANY OR OTHER APPLICANT IS FOUND TO BE MAINTAINING ALL ESSENTIAL SERVICES FURNISHED OR REQUIRED TO BE FURNISHED AS OF THE DATE OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE ORDER AUTHORIZING A RENT INCREASE AND SUCH INCREASE SHALL BE CONDITIONED ON THE MAINTENANCE OF SUCH SERVICES THEREAFTER. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED IN THIS SUBDIVISION, NO RENT INCREASE SHALL BE APPROVED WHERE THE APPROPRIATE DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY HAVING JURISDICTION CERTIFIES THE DWELLING ACCOMMODATION IS A
FIRE HAZARD OR IN A CONTINUED DANGEROUS CONDITION OR DETRIMENTAL TO LIFE OR HEALTH OR IS OCCUPIED IN VIOLATION OF LAW. UPON A SHOWING BY THE COMPANY OR OTHER APPLICANT THAT AN INCREASE IN MAXIMUM AVERAGE MONTHLY RENTALS IS REQUIRED IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL SERVICES OR TO CURE ANY HAZARDOUS OR DANGEROUS CONDITION THEN, IN SUCH EVENT, THE COMMIS- SIONER OR SUPERVISING AGENCY MAY APPROVE AN INCREASE IN SUCH MAXIMUM AVERAGE MONTHLY RENTALS PROVIDED THAT SUCH INCREASE SHALL BE CONTINGENT UPON THE RESTORATION AND CONTINUANCE OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND THE REMOVAL OF HAZARDOUS OR DANGEROUS CONDITIONS WITHIN A FIXED PERIOD OF TIME WHICH SHALL BE AS SHORT AS REASONABLY PRACTICABLE UNDER THE CIRCUM- STANCES. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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