Requires landlords to check state sex offender registry when leasing to a new tenant, subtenant or adult occupant, and to notify tenants with children under age sixteen of any listing of such tenant, subtenant or adult occupant as a level three sex offender; exempts landlord from any civil or criminal liability for damages for any discretionary decision to release relevant information pursuant to this section or for failing to release such information, unless it is shown the landlord acted with gross negligence or in bad faith.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the multiple dwelling law, in relation to landlord checks of the state sex offender registry and notification of certain tenants
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Requires landlords to check state offender registry when leasing to a new tenant or on notice of sublet, and to notify tenants with children of any listing.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. The multiple dwelling law is amended by adding a new section 301-a to read as follows. 1. Landlords of multiple dwellings shall, within the first sixty days following: (a) execution of a lease with a new tenant or (b) notice of occupancy by a third party in interest to a leased unit, perform a check of such new tenant or subtenant in the sex offender registry maintained by the division of criminal justices.
2. If such new tenant or subtenant is listed in the registry, the landlord shall provide written notification of such findings to building tenants with children under the age of sixteen.
3. All leases offered to tenants in multiple dwellings shall contain notice advising tenants of the requirements.
4. No landlord shall be subject to any civil or criminal liability for damages for any discretionary decision to release relevant information pursuant to this section or for failing to release relevant information to this section, unless it is shown that such landlord acted with gross negligence or in bad faith. Section 2. Sets the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: On May 8, 2001, 11-year-old Tamiqua Gutierrez was found raped and murdered in the hallway of her Bronx apartment building. A 43-year-old neighbor was later charged with luring Tamiqua into his apartment, sexually assaulting her while holding a pillow over her face, and then dragging her unconscious body into the hallway and leaving her to die from her injuries.
This legislation will help prevent future crimes against children like Tamiqua by letting parents know when a known sexual predator moves into their building. The close quarters and shared common areas of in many apartment buildings often put children in closer contact with their fellow apartment dwellers than with a traditional neighbor. Despite this greater proximity, tenants do not ordinarily have access to the pertinent information about their fellow tenants that would enable then to check their identities against the sexual offender
registry. In large apartment buildings, where tenants change frequently, keeping one's family safe can be even more difficult. This legislation also gives tenants the tools they need to perform their own checks of new and existing neighbors to better safeguard their families against sexual predators.
Landlords, however, routinely collect personal information and perform a variety of other background inquiries before entering into a lease agreement with a prospective tenant. Requiring an additional check with the sexual offender registry imposes a relatively small burden on landlords but will make thousands of families safer in their own homes.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10: S.5044/A.3709 (Koon) - Referred to Housing, Construction & Community Development 2007-08: A.1666 Referred to Housing/S.2842 Referred to Housing, Construction & Community Development 2005-06: A.971/S.2241 (Hassel-Thompson) 2007-08: A.1666/S.2842 (Hassel-Thompson) 2003-04: A.2630 (Klein)/S.4492 (Hassell-Thompson) 2001-02: A.9238 Referred to Housing
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to leases or subleases entered into or after such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2763 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. HASSELL-THOMPSON -- 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 multiple dwelling law, in relation to landlord checks of the state sex offender registry and notification of certain tenants THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The multiple dwelling law is amended by adding a new section 301-a to read as follows: S 301-A. SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY CHECK. 1. LANDLORDS OF MULTIPLE DWELL- INGS SHALL, WITHIN THE FIRST SIXTY DAYS FOLLOWING: (A) EXECUTION OF A LEASE WITH A NEW TENANT, OR (B) NOTICE OF OCCUPANCY BY A THIRD PARTY OR ADULT OCCUPANT IN INTEREST TO A LEASED UNIT, PERFORM A CHECK OF SUCH NEW TENANT, SUBTENANT OR ADULT OCCUPANT IN THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY MAIN- TAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-EIGHT-B OF THE CORRECTION LAW. LANDLORD ACCESS TO THE REGISTRY SHALL BE THROUGH THE "900" TELEPHONE NUMBER MAINTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, AND ACCORDING TO THE REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCESS AS SPECIFIED IN SECTION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-EIGHT-P OF THE CORRECTION LAW OR THROUGH THE INTERNET SITE MAINTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES. 2. IF SUCH NEW TENANT, SUBTENANT OR ADULT OCCUPANT IS LISTED IN THE REGISTRY AS A LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDER, THE LANDLORD SHALL PROVIDE WRIT- TEN NOTIFICATION OF SUCH FINDING TO BUILDING TENANTS WITH CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF SIXTEEN WHETHER THE CHILDREN PERMANENTLY RESIDE WITH SUCH TENANT OR RESIDE FROM TIME TO TIME ON A TEMPORARY BASIS. IT SHALL BE THE TENANT'S DUTY TO NOTIFY THE LANDLORD OF THE AGES OF SUCH TENANT'S CHIL- DREN. A LANDLORD OF A MULTIPLE DWELLING SHALL PROVIDE A LIST OF NAMES OF CURRENT TENANTS, SUBTENANTS OR ADULT OCCUPANTS OF SUCH MULTIPLE DWELLING TO ANY TENANT IN SUCH MULTIPLE DWELLING, UPON REQUEST BY SUCHEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06441-01-1 S. 2763 2
TENANT. SUCH LIST SHALL NOT INCLUDE SPECIFIC APARTMENT NUMBERS OR ADDI- TIONAL INFORMATION. 3. ALL LEASES OFFERED TO TENANTS IN MULTIPLE DWELLINGS SHALL CONTAIN A NOTICE, CONSPICUOUSLY SET FORTH THEREIN, ADVISING TENANTS OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION. 4. NO LANDLORD SHALL BE SUBJECT TO ANY CIVIL OR CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES FOR ANY DISCRETIONARY DECISION TO RELEASE RELEVANT INFORMATION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION OR FOR FAILING TO RELEASE RELEVANT INFORMATION PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, UNLESS IT IS SHOWN THAT SUCH LANDLORD ACTED WITH GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR IN BAD FAITH. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to leases or subleases entered into on or after such date.