Bill S516-2013

Creates tenants' right to recover certain attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon false facts or allegations

Creates tenants' right to recover certain attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon false facts or allegations.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S516

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the real property law, in relation to tenants' right to recover attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon false facts or allegations

PURPOSE:

This bill will serve as a strong disincentive for landlords to serve legal notices on tenants that are not factually substantiated.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section One amends the Real Property Law by adding a new section 234-a stating that there should be implied in the lease of residential property a covenant by the landlord to pay to the tenant the reasonable attorney's fees and/or expenses incurred by the tenant as the result of the service by or on behalf of the landlord of a notice to cure a violation of the lease, a notice of termination of the lease or a notice of refusal to renew the lease where such notice contains any fact or allegation that is not true.

If the landlord knowing serves notice to a tenant containing facts or allegations that are not true, the landlord shall be liable for three times (treble) the amount of attorney's fees and expense incurred by the tenant.

JUSTIFICATION:

There have been numerous examples of deliberate attempts by landlords to intimidate and harass tenants by sending notices to cure a violation of the tenant's lease or to terminate or not renew the tenant's lease which are based upon an unsubstantiated allegation.

Up until now, there has been no financial recourse for legitimate tenants who have been forced to retain legal counsel to determine the meaning of such notices and/or to respond to such notices unless the matter has proceeded to court and there has been a judgment against the landlord.

This legislation would allow tenants to recover legal fees and expenses incurred in response to such notices regardless of whether an action or summary proceeding is commenced by the landlord.

This bill would also serve as a strong disincentive for landlords to serve legal notices that are not factually substantiated.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2008: S.8784 (Duane), Died in Rules 2009: S.5367 (Duane), Died in Judiciary 2010: S.5367 (Duane), Died in Judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 516 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to tenants' right to recover attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon false facts or allegations THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The real property law is amended by adding a new section 234-a to read as follows: S 234-A. TENANTS' RIGHT TO RECOVER CERTAIN ATTORNEYS' FEES. THERE SHALL BE IMPLIED IN A LEASE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY A COVENANT BY THE LANDLORD TO PAY TO THE TENANT THE REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES AND/OR EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE TENANT AS THE RESULT OF THE SERVICE BY OR ON BEHALF OF THE LANDLORD OF A NOTICE TO CURE A VIOLATION OF THE LEASE, A NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF THE LEASE OR A NOTICE OF REFUSAL TO RENEW THE LEASE WHERE SUCH NOTICE CONTAINS ANY FACT OR ALLEGATION THAT IS NOT TRUE. WHERE SUCH NOTICE IS KNOWINGLY SERVED CONTAINING ANY FACT OR ALLE- GATION THAT IS NOT TRUE, THE LANDLORD 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 ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS AS DETERMINED BY THE COURT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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