Bill S3990-2015

Relates to willful neglect of real property prevention

Relates to willful neglect of real property prevention.

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  • Feb 25, 2015: REFERRED TO CITIES

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BILL NUMBER:S3990

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city charter, in relation to willful neglect of real property prevention

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill provides for protection, preservation and improvement of rent stabilized multi-family rental property in which some landlords willfully neglect repairs, improvements, or otherwise affected the existing conditions of properties precipitating the conditions that reduce the habitability of the units, resulting in condemnation and eviction of existing tenants with the intent to build higher cost or luxury housing in a climate wherein real property prices are rising at an unprecedented rate.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Provides that HPD after three or more good faith complaints by or on behalf of tenants and wherein within 120 days such conditions have not been addressed or remedied by the landlord; and following the consensus of fifty percent or more of the tenants, the city shall compel the landlord or responsible entity to undertake repairs and/or cease in actions that affect the safety and well-being of tenants. Furthermore, the bill provides that if the repairs are not completed or negative actions have not ceased and if elements essential to the safety and well-being of residents have not been replaced, the city shall place a lien on the property equal to the costs of repairs, improvements, replacements and treatment measures and administrative fees required to remedy the property.

The bill further requires that HPD shall assess the costs of repair and actions needed to make property habitable and safe and assign a community based housing corporation to manage the repair process for a fee. Financing of the repairs shall be made possible by a personal income tax revenue bond authorized by the New York state housing finance agency. The responsible landlord shall be responsible reimbursing the city for the costs of repairs, interest, penalties and administrative management fees to the community based housing corporation.

Should repairs require the relocation of tenants, the responsible party will be responsible for finding comparable housing for the tenants in a closely proximate area, at a comparable or lower rate and assume relocation costs and should the rent be higher, the difference between the current rent and the rent at the relocated site.

Finally the bill requires HPD to establish an imminent danger list of properties for which more than five complaints, the nature of which pose a threat to the health and safety of tenants, are filed during the course of a calendar year.

JUSTIFICATION: For a number of years, reports of willful neglect on the part of predatory landlords appeared to be isolated and random against the backdrop of thousands of rent-regulated properties. As the demand for housing and increasing commensurate costs and development profit margins, the trend to willfully debilitate the integrity of rent-regulated properties to the point of condemnation leading to demolition for the purpose of developing high income luxury units.

The desire to live in locations within or in proximity of Manhattan has impacted housing in central/northeastern Brooklyn, from Flatbush to Bushwick; the western Bronx; Upper Manhattan, from East Harlem to Washington Heights; and Lower Manhattan, Chinatown and the Lower East Side{1}.

The acts have included failure to maintain exterior walls, interior walls, and boilers and as of late have escalated to outright acts of demolition in the name of bogus non-sanctioned construction; removing essential services i.e. water, heat, commodes; and threats of imminent eviction without cause.

Mayor DeBlasio has established a ten-year housing $41 billion plan that aspires to the creation or preservation of 200,000 affordable housing units.The actions of this group of landlords threatens to take the plan two steps back for every step forward. Moreover, the displacement of the affected tenants threatens to change the character of the targeted communities with no possibility of reintegrating tenants in need of affordable housing e.g. municipal employees, service industry workers, and health care providers ranging from the working poor to the middle class. Justifiably, residents in these communities are suspicious of any development efforts in their neighborhoods maintaining that development is being done to them without consideration and not with them in consultation. The prevailing opinion is that a wave of secondary displacement pressures, would negatively affect both long-term residents and existing businesses.{2}

{1} Metropolitan Council

{2} Michael McKee, treasure! of Tenants Political Action Committee

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3990 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 25, 2015 ___________
Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the New York city charter, in relation to willful neglect of real property prevention THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The New York city charter is amended by adding a new section 1806 to read as follows: S 1806. WILLFUL NEGLECT OF PROPERTY PREVENTION. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION "WILLFUL NEGLECT" SHALL MEAN IMPROPER MAINTENANCE OR LACK OF MAINTENANCE RESULTING IN SUBSTANTIAL DETERIORATION OF THE PROP- ERTY. 2. WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN THREE OR MORE GOOD FAITH COMPLAINTS, BY OR ON BEHALF OF THE TENANT, TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ANY HEALTH OR SAFETY LAW, REGULATION, CODE OR ORDINANCE, OR ANY LAW OF REGULATION WHICH HAS AS ITS OBJECTIVE THE REGULATION OF PREMISES USED FOR DWELLING PURPOSES WITHIN A PERIOD OF ONE HUNDRED TWENTY DAYS AND THE CONDITIONS HAVE NOT BEEN REME- DIED AND ARE NOT IN THE PROCESS OF BEING REMEDIED THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY THE TENANTS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS OF THE FAILURE TO REPAIR. 3. UPON THE CONSENSUS OF MORE THAN FIFTY PERCENT OF THE TENANTS, AN ACTION SHALL BE COMMENCED BY THE CITY TO COMPEL THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY TO UNDERTAKE REPAIRS AND IF NECESSARY TO CEASE AND DESIST FROM REMOVING AND DESTROYING STRUCTURAL, MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS NECESSARY FOR THE DELIVERY OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES, INCLUDING APPLIANCES, TO THE TENANTS. 4. IF THE REPAIRS ARE NOT COMPLETED OR IF THE REMOVED OR DESTROYED SYSTEMS HAVE NOT BEEN REPLACED WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF THE JUDGMENT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOTIFY THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY THAT THE CITY SHALL PLACE A LIEN ON THE PROPERTY EQUAL TO THE
COSTS OF THE REPAIRS, IMPROVEMENTS, REPLACEMENT AND TREATMENT MEASURES REQUIRED TO REMEDY THE PROPERTY AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE FEES. 5. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ASSESS AND PREPARE A LIST OF REPAIRS, IMPROVE- MENTS, REPLACEMENTS AND TREATMENT MEASURES TO BE TAKEN BY THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY. 6. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ASSIGN A COMMUNITY BASED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION TO MANAGE THE REPAIRS. 7. THE REPAIRS SHALL BE FINANCED BY PERSONAL INCOME TAX REVENUE BONDS AUTHORIZED BY THE NEW YORK STATE HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY. 8. THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REIMBURSING THE CITY FOR THE COSTS OF REPAIRS IN ADDI- TION TO INTEREST AND PENALTIES AND ANY ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT FEES. 9. SHOULD THE REPAIRS, IMPROVEMENTS OR REPLACEMENTS REQUIRE RELOCATION OF THE TENANT THE PERSON OR ENTITY REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE PROPERTY MUST, AT THE TENANT'S OPTION, EITHER RELOCATE THE TENANT TO A COMPARABLE HOUSING ACCOMMODATION IN A CLOSELY PROXIMATE AREA THAT IS THE SAME OR LOWER RENT OR COMPENSATE THE TENANT IN AN AMOUNT NECESSARY TO COVER THEIR COSTS OF RELOCATION FOR THE DURATION OF THE REPAIR. 10. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL CREATE AN "IMMINENT DANGER" LIST OF PROPER- TIES FOR WHICH MORE THAN FIVE COMPLAINTS HAVE BEEN FILED DURING THE COURSE OF ANY GIVEN CALENDAR YEAR. SAID LIST SHALL BE AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE. 11. 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.

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