Bill S3164-2013

Requires landlord to pay penalties if he fails in action to evict tenant on grounds of primary residency

Provides that where the owner or lessor of a rent controlled or rent stabilized unit commences an action in bad faith to recover possession on the grounds that it is not occupied as the tenant's primary residence shall be liable for the tenant's court costs and attorney's fees in addition to an amount which is three times the monthly rent or actual damages.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Jan 31, 2013: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3164

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to primary residence

PURPOSE: To discourage frivolous, groundless or bad faith primary-residence eviction attempts.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Would allow tenants to recover attorneys, fees and damages in cases where landlords act in bad faith to bring eviction proceedings against tenants on the basis of non-primary residence.

JUSTIFICATION: Landlords have increasingly brought court actions against tenants in recent years to eliminate their rent-stabilization protections on the basis of non-primary residence. In many of these cases, however, landlords have little reason to believe a non-primary residence violation exists and have brought actions as a way of forcing tenants to vacate their apartments, sometimes even ignoring proof submitted by tenants establishing primary residence. This bill seeks to discourage this practice by awarding tenants attorneys' fees and damages in cases where they successfully defend primary residence actions that were brought in bad faith.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.748-A/A.473-B 2011-2012: S.434/A.5986

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3164 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 31, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KRUEGER, PARKER, PERKINS, SERRANO, STAVISKY -- 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 administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to primary residence THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 26-413 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subdivision f to read as follows: F. (1) IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF ANY OTHER APPLICABLE PROVISION OF LAW, WHERE AN OWNER OR LESSOR SEEKS TO RECOVER POSSESSION OF A DWELLING UNIT PURSUANT TO ITEM TEN OF SUBPARAGRAPH (I) OF PARAGRAPH TWO OF SUBDIVISION E OF SECTION 26-403 OF THIS CHAPTER, ON THE GROUND THAT THE DWELLING UNIT IS NOT OCCUPIED BY THE TENANT AS SUCH TENANT'S PRIMARY RESIDENCE, SUCH OWNER OR LESSOR SHALL COMMENCE THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING IN A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION ONLY UPON A GOOD FAITH BELIEF THAT SUCH DWELLING UNIT IS NOT THE PRIMARY RESIDENCE OF SUCH TENANT. (2) IF ANY OWNER OR LESSOR COMMENCES AN ACTION OR PROCEEDING TO RECOVER POSSESSION OF A DWELLING UNIT IN VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH ONE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SUCH OWNER OR LESSOR SHALL BE LIABLE TO SUCH TENANT FOR THREE TIMES THE MONTHLY RENT CHARGED SUCH TENANT, OR THREE TIMES THE DAMAGES, IF ANY, SUSTAINED BY SUCH TENANT, WHICHEVER IS GREATER, PLUS REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS AS DETERMINED BY SUCH COURT. S 2. Section 26-515 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subdivision e to read as follows: E. (1) IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF ANY OTHER APPLICABLE PROVISION OF LAW, WHERE AN OWNER OR LESSOR SEEKS TO RECOVER POSSESSION OF A DWELLING UNIT PURSUANT TO SUBPARAGRAPH (F) OF PARAGRAPH ONE OF SUBDIVISION A OF SECTION 26-504 OF THIS CHAPTER, ON THE GROUND THAT THE DWELLING UNIT IS NOT OCCUPIED BY THE TENANT AS SUCH TENANT'S PRIMARY
RESIDENCE, SUCH OWNER OR LESSOR SHALL COMMENCE THE ACTION OR PROCEEDING IN A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION ONLY UPON A GOOD FAITH BELIEF THAT SUCH DWELLING UNIT IS NOT THE PRIMARY RESIDENCE OF SUCH TENANT. (2) IF ANY OWNER OR LESSOR COMMENCES AN ACTION OR PROCEEDING TO RECOVER POSSESSION OF A DWELLING UNIT IN VIOLATION OF PARAGRAPH ONE OF THIS SUBDIVISION, SUCH OWNER OR LESSOR SHALL BE LIABLE TO SUCH TENANT FOR THREE TIMES THE MONTHLY RENT CHARGED SUCH TENANT, OR THREE TIMES THE DAMAGES, IF ANY, SUSTAINED BY SUCH TENANT, WHICHEVER IS GREATER, PLUS REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS AS DETERMINED BY SUCH COURT. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all actions or proceedings pending on or commenced after such date, provided that the amendments to section 26-413 of the city rent and rehabili- tation law made by section one of this act shall remain in full force and effect only so long as the public emergency requiring the regulation and control of residential rents and evictions continues, as provided in subdivision 3 of section 1 of the local emergency housing rent control act and provided further that the amendment to section 26-515 of the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine made by section two of this act shall expire on the same date as such law expires and shall not affect the expiration of such law as provided under section 26-520 of such law.

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