Bill S6110A-2013

Relates to surcharges for the installation or use of air conditioner units in housing accommodations subject to rent control

Relates to surcharges for the installation or use of air conditioner units in housing accommodations subject to rent control.

Details

Actions

  • Mar 25, 2014: PRINT NUMBER 6110A
  • Mar 25, 2014: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6110A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four and the emergency housing rent control law, in relation to prohibiting surcharges for the installation or use of air conditioner units in housing accommodations subject to rent regulation

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill would prohibit a landlord from imposing a surcharge on a tenant for the use of a tenant-installed air conditioning unit if the tenant pays for the electric utility service.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends the administrative code of the city of New York by adding and new section 26-416 that would prohibit a landlord of any housing accommodation subject to rent regulation laws from imposing a surcharge for the use of a tenant-installed air conditioning unit, provided that the tenant pays for the electrical utility service.

Section 2 amends section 4 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974, constituting the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy four, by adding a new subdivision that would prohibit a landlord of any housing accommodation subject to rent regulation laws from imposing a surcharge for the use of a tenant-installed air conditioning unit, provided that the tenant pays for the electrical utility service.

Section 3 amends section 26-512 of the administrative code of the city of New York by adding a new subdivision that would prohibit a landlord of any housing accommodation subject to sent regulation laws from imposing a surcharge for the use of a tenant-installed air conditioning unit, provided that the tenant pays for the electrical utility service.

Section 4 amends subdivision 4 of section 4 of chapter 274 of the laws of 1946, constituting the emergency housing rent control law, by adding a new paragraph f that would prohibit a landlord of any housing accommodation subject to rent regulation laws from imposing a surcharge for the use of a tenant-installed air conditioning unit, provided that the tenant pays for the electrical utility service.

Section 5 sets the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Nearly half of all New Yorkers live below or close to the poverty line. Accordingly, it is critical that New York City has protections in place to safeguard its residents' basic necessities, one of the most important of which is housing. With an average rent of over $1,000 in the City, programs that reduce the rent burden are essential. One important example is New York City's system of rent stabilization, which provides a variety of tenant protections to over 2 million people.

Despite the high need for these tenant protections, many landlords are increasing the cost of housing by imposing non-rent fees on rent stabilized tenants. One major example, and the focus of-this bill, is a surcharge for air conditioner units that tenants install in their apartments. While this type of surcharge is sometimes allowed in accordance with the operational bulletin 84-4 and Operational Bulletin 2005-01 issued by the NYS Division of Homes and Community Renewal, many landlords do not follow the regulations set forth in the Operational Bulletin for when the surcharges can be applied. Also, the purported rationale was to take into account the increased wear on plumbing and electrical systems and the increased utility costs paid by landlords. But these costs are already taken into account when calculating rent increases each year.

Most of the time, landlords add these surcharges without meeting any of the conditions set forth in Operational Bulletin, 2005-01. A recent survey of rent stabilized tenants indicates that 68% were charged a surcharge for their air conditioner or washing machine in the last year.{1} These surcharges can add hundreds of dollars to a tenant's rent, making rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments unaffordable for low-income New Yorkers. Because these costs are already accounted for in the rent itself and to end the landlords' abuse of this system of appliance surcharges, this bill is necessary to protect low-income tenants in New York City and ensure that they are not being charged more than they legally owe for rent, This extra cost raises rents and makes rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments unaffordable for many New Yorkers.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a New Bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately; provided that: (a) section 26-416 of the city rent and rehabilitation law as added by section one of this act shall remain in full force and effect only as 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; (b) the amendments to section 4 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974 constituting the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four made by section two of this act shall expire on the same date as such act expires and shall not affect the expiration of such act as provided in section 17 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974; and (c) the amendments to section 26-512 of chapter 4 of title 26 of the administrative code of the city of New York, made by section three 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; and (d) the amendments to section 5 of the emergency housing rent control law made by section four of this act shall expire on the same date as such law expires and shall not affect the expiration of such law as provided in subdivision 2 of section 1 of chapter 274 of the

laws of 1946 (1) "The Burden of Fees: How Affordable Housing is Made Unaffordable." Community Action for Safe Apartments and the Community Development Project, September 2013. http//www.cdp-ny.org/reort/The Burden of Fees FINAL.pdf


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6110--A IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. ESPAILLAT, SERRANO -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four and the emer- gency housing rent control law, in relation to prohibiting surcharges for the installation or use of air conditioner units in housing accom- modations subject to rent regulation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 26-416 to read as follows: S 26-416 SURCHARGES FOR TENANT-INSTALLED AIR CONDITIONER UNITS; PROHIBITED. THE IMPOSITION OF A SURCHARGE FOR THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A TENANT-INSTALLED AIR CONDITIONER UNIT IS PROHIBITED WHERE THE TENANT PAYS FOR ELECTRIC UTILITY SERVICE. S 2. Section 6 of section 4 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974, constituting the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy- four, is amended by adding a new subdivision h to read as follows: H. NO OWNER OF A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL IMPOSE A SURCHARGE FOR THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A TENANT-INSTALLED AIR CONDITIONER UNIT WHERE THE TENANT PAYS FOR ELECTRIC UTILITY SERVICE. S 3. Section 26-512 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subdivision g to read as follows: G. NO OWNER OF A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW SHALL IMPOSE A SURCHARGE FOR THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A TENANT-INSTALLED AIR CONDITIONER UNIT WHERE THE TENANT PAYS FOR ELECTRIC UTILITY SERVICE.
S 4. Subdivision 4 of section 4 of chapter 274 of the laws of 1946, constituting the emergency housing rent control law, is amended by adding a new paragraph (f) to read as follows: (F) NO OWNER OF A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS LAW SHALL IMPOSE A SURCHARGE FOR THE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A TENANT-INSTALLED AIR CONDITIONER UNIT WHERE THE TENANT PAYS FOR ELECTRIC UTILITY SERVICE. S 5. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that: (a) section 26-416 of the city rent and rehabilitation law as added by section one of this act shall remain in full force and effect only as 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; (b) the amendments to section 4 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974 constituting the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy- four made by section two of this act shall expire on the same date as such act expires and shall not affect the expiration of such act as provided in section 17 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974; and (c) the amendments to section 26-512 of chapter 4 of title 26 of the administrative code of the city of New York, made by section three 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; and (d) the amendments to section 4 of the emergency housing rent control law made by section four of this act shall expire on the same date as such law expires and shall not affect the expiration of such law as provided in subdivision 2 of section 1 of chapter 274 of the laws of 1946.

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