Bill S3396-2013

Relates to abandoned dwellings in N.Y. city

Relates to abandoned dwellings in any city with a population of one million or more; authorizes such city to declare dwellings abandoned; requires the owner to seal such dwelling within 30 days and if such owner does not, the city may then impose a lien on the property for the cost thereof.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Feb 1, 2013: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3396

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property actions and proceedings law, in relation to abandoned dwellings in any city with a population of one million or more

PURPOSE: To curb criminal activity and prevention of property value loss in neighborhoods that sustain abandoned dwellings due to neglect by the owner and/or city, and overrun by thieves and squatters.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Article heading of 19-A of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings law is amended to reflect special proceedings for abandoned dwellings.

Section 2: Defines applicability of proposed law and the authority of a departmental or city agency, town or village to institute a proceeding for a vested judgment upon an abandoned dwelling after inaction by owner.

Section 3: Subdivision 2, section 1971, of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings law is amended to incorporate mailing of certified dwelling records language to last known owner of abandoned residence for purposes of informing.

Section 4: Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 1972 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings law is amended to read that an owner has up to thirty-days to board and seal the abandon dwelling, otherwise the city, town or village has the authority to place a lien on the dwelling and have an additional sixty days to board and seal such dwelling.

Section 5: The inapplicability of section 1973 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings law to cities with population of one million or more persons.

Section 6: The inapplicability of section 1974 of the Real Property Actions and Proceedings law to cities with populations of one million or more persons.

Section 7: A new section, 1975, proposed to the Real Property Actions and Proceedings law that specifies special proceeding for abandoned dwellings in any city with a population of one million or more persons. An owner shall have up to thirty days to seal a dwelling, otherwise a city, town or village can institute a proceeding for a vested judgment. The city, town or village will have up to an additional sixty days to seal such dwelling.

Section 8: The effective date of the bill.

EXISTING LAW: A city, town or village may find a dwelling abandoned either if it is not sealed, or is guarded by a person other than the owner, a mortgagee, lienor or agent thereof and a vacate order of the department or other governmental agency currently prohibits occupancy of the dwelling, or the tax on such premises is past due and unpaid for a one year period or more.

JUSTIFICATION: Recently in Woodhaven, Queens, residents have endured a spike in criminal activity due to abandoned homes overburdened by thieves and squatters. On March 12, 2011, a birthday party had taken place inside an abandoned Woodhaven home sans electricity. Sadly, a teen was beaten to death following an onslaught by five suspects who had forced their way in to the party and belittled the victim with anti-gay remarks.

Events like this lead residents to become and remain fearful of inhabiting their neighborhood. Much of the criminal activity could be dissuaded if the owner of an abandoned dwelling properly boards and seals his/her dwelling. If an owner is unable to, is negligent to, or has no intention to seal such dwelling, it should then become the responsibility of the city, town or village to seal such dwelling and place a lien on the residence. The city, town or village will make a profit while upholding the surroundings of the community and reducing crime activity. Passing this proposed measure will also alleviate extra police manpower to overseeing and protecting the residents of this neighborhood - and others -that may be currently experiencing depressed conditions.

Although this may be a recent problem, the advocacy group ACORN had determined increased crime activity connected to foreclosed homes for the neighborhoods Jackson Heights, Kew Gardens, Woodhaven, Jamaica, Hollis, Rockaway and Broad Channel between the period 2006-2008. Further, these neighborhoods had an average of 420 more incidents than other foreclosed areas within Queens in 2008. Between January 2008 to January 2009, foreclosure Queens auctions rose 62%.

Not only is threat of crime a real problem; the loss of property values and beautifying neighborhoods is in danger. By owner responsibility, or city, village or town intervention will crime activity be minimized and neighborhoods be safe.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S. 4237 - Referred to Judiciary.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect 120 days after becoming a law, with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3396 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 1, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ADDABBO -- 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 abandoned dwellings in any city with a population of one million or more THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The article heading of article 19-a of the real property actions and proceedings law, as amended by chapter 573 of the laws of 1982, is amended to read as follows: SPECIAL [PROCEEDING TO CONVEY TITLE TO] PROCEEDINGS REGARDING ABANDONED [DWELLING TO CITY, TOWN OR VILLAGE] DWELLINGS S 2. Section 1970 of the real property actions and proceedings law, as amended by chapter 593 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: S 1970. Applicability. The department or agency of a city, town or village, responsible for the enforcement of the multiple dwelling law, the multiple residence law, or any other law, code or ordinance govern- ing the occupancy and maintenance of residential property (hereinafter in this article referred to as "the department") may institute a proceeding in accordance with the provisions of this article for a judg- ment vesting in the city, town or village title to a dwelling which has been abandoned by the owner. [This article shall not apply to a one-fa- mily or two-family dwelling occupied by the owner thereof.] S 3. Subdivision 2 of section 1971 of the real property actions and proceedings law, as amended by chapter 496 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: 2. When the department finds that a dwelling is abandoned within the meaning of this article, it shall make and file among its records a certification containing such finding and the facts on which it is
based. Further, it shall immediately affix to the dwelling in a promi- nent and conspicuous location, a notice that the building has been found to be an abandoned building and that it is a crime to take, remove or otherwise damage any fixture or part of the building structure. FURTHER, IT SHALL IMMEDIATELY MAIL A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATION WITH SUCH FACTS AND FINDINGS BY REGISTERED OR CERTIFIED MAIL TO THE LAST KNOWN OWNER AT SUCH OWNER'S LAST KNOWN ADDRESS. S 4. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 1972 of the real property actions and proceedings law, as amended by chapter 573 of the laws of 1982, are amended and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows: 1. If the department proposes to institute proceedings pursuant to this article, it [may] SHALL file a copy of the certification and a notice of intention to commence such proceedings in the office of the clerk of the county in which the dwelling is located. Such notice shall contain the names of all persons required to be served pursuant to this section and shall otherwise meet the requirements of subdivision (b) of [section] RULE six thousand five hundred eleven of the civil practice law and rules. The notice shall be indexed by the clerk in the manner prescribed by subdivision (c) of [section] RULE sixty-five hundred elev- en of the civil practice law and rules for a notice of pendency of action and shall have the same effect as such notice. It shall expire one year after filing, if no proceeding pursuant to this article has been commenced. Except as otherwise provided herein, all of the provisions of article sixty-five of the civil practice law and rules shall be applicable to the notice filed pursuant to this article. 2. The department shall serve upon the owner of the dwelling, a copy of the certification. Service shall be made personally or by posting in a conspicuous place upon the dwelling and mailing a copy by registered or certified mail to the last known owner at such owner's last known address. In the case of a dwelling subject to the provisions of section three hundred twenty-five of the multiple dwelling law, such mailing may be made to the last registered owner at his last registered address. The copy of the certification shall be accompanied by a notice stating that proceedings pursuant to this [title] ARTICLE may be instituted unless the owner notifies the department that the property has not been aban- doned. Such notification shall be made by a showing that the conditions upon which the findings in such certification are based do not exist or have been corrected. Such showing shall be made not later than thirty days after the date of such notice. 5. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY IN ANY CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. S 5. Section 1973 of the real property actions and proceedings law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY IN ANY CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. S 6. Section 1974 of the real property actions and proceedings law is amended by adding a new subdivision 6 to read as follows: 6. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY IN ANY CITY HAVING A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. S 7. The real property actions and proceedings law is amended by adding a new section 1975 to read as follows: S 1975. SPECIAL PROCEEDING FOR ABANDONED DWELLINGS IN ANY CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE. 1. IN ANY CITY WITH A POPULATION OF ONE MILLION OR MORE, ONCE A DEPARTMENT FINDS, PURSUANT TO SECTION NINE- TEEN HUNDRED SEVENTY-ONE OF THIS ARTICLE, THAT A DWELLING IS ABANDONED, AND HAS NOTIFIED THE OWNER THEREOF, SUCH OWNER SHALL HAVE THIRTY DAYS TO
SEAL SUCH DWELLING OR CORRECT THE FACTS UPON WHICH THE ABANDONMENT CERTIFICATION IS BASED. 2. IF, AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIRTY DAYS, SUCH OWNER HAS NOT SEALED SUCH DWELLING OR CORRECTED THE FACTS UPON WHICH THE ABANDONMENT CERTIF- ICATION IS BASED, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL: (A) SEAL SUCH DWELLING WITHIN SIXTY DAYS; AND (B) INITIATE A PROCEEDING TO PLACE A LIEN ON THE PROPERTY IN AN AMOUNT TO RECOVER THE COSTS INCURRED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVI- SION. S 8. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate- ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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