Provides for the delivery of a notice of enforcement of a lien by means of verified electronic mail.
BILL NUMBER:S7576 REVISED MEMO 05/22/2014
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the lien law, in relation to notice of enforcement of a lien
The purpose of the bill is to allow for more efficient modes of communication between owner and occupant in self storage operations to better serve the purpose of notifying occupants of their account status and other important information.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Provides definitions. Section 1 of the bill amends subdivision 1 of section 182 of the Lien Law by adding three new paragraphs defining "electronic mail", "verified mail", "verified electronic mail" and amending "last known address".
Section 2: Amends subdivision 7 of section 182 of the Lien Law to allow that the owner's lien notice be personally delivered to the occupant, or sent by verified mail or verified electronic mail to the occupant's last known address provided by the occupant, pursuant to the occupancy agreement.
Section 3: Provides for this act to take effect immediately.
Under current law, requires the notice to personally delivered to the occupant, or sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the occupant to the last address provided by the occupant, pursuant to the occupancy agreement.
Under the Lien Law, self-service storage facility operators have lien enforcement rights to collect overdue fees and to recover their storage space from a delinquent occupant by conducting a lien sale of the contents of their unit as a last resort.
This legislation will expand notification options for self storage operations to allow the use of verified mail and verified email when notifying defaulted tenants of impending lien procedures. Utilization of these methods will help to ensure that self storage tenants are being notified of their account status in a timely manner.
Sending lien notices via "verified mail" provides proof that the letter was mailed and insures that if the Post Office has a change of address on file, the letter will be forwarded. Verified mail is defined as "any method of mailing that is offered by the United States Postal Service or private delivery service that provides evidence of mailing". Examples of available methods of mailing under this definition include: certified mail, certificate of mailing, return receipt, registered mail, signature confirmation, USPS tracking.
Verified e-mail means electronic mail that is transmitted to an e-mail address that the occupant has verified as being their operable e-mail address and has expressly elected to receive notice by email to that address. While self storage tenants tend to be mobile, they are less likely to change their email address. While status of a mailing address may be in flux, e-mail moves with the tenant and can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. They are more likely to receive notices and read them when contacted electronically.
Through the use of everyday technology, this legislation will improve communications between landlord and tenant in the self storage industry and reduce the financial responsibilities of those tenants who are already struggling to make ends meet.
With the addition of verified mail and verified electronic mail notification, more tenants will have received and read important notices and will therefore be more aware of their financial responsibilities which will reduce chances of default without the additional burden of high advertising and mailings costs to the landlord.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7576 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary AN ACT to amend the lien law, in relation to notice of enforcement of a lien THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 182 of the lien law is amended by adding four new paragraphs (f), (g), (h) and (i) to read as follows: (F) "ELECTRONIC MAIL" SHALL MEAN AN ELECTRONIC MESSAGE OR AN EXECUTA- BLE PROGRAM OR COMPUTER FILE THAT CONTAINS AN IMAGE OF A MESSAGE THAT IS TRANSMITTED BETWEEN TWO OR MORE COMPUTERS OR ELECTRONIC TERMINALS. SUCH TERM SHALL INCLUDE ELECTRONIC MESSAGES THAT ARE TRANSMITTED WITHIN OR BETWEEN COMPUTER NETWORKS. (G) "LAST KNOWN ADDRESS" SHALL MEAN THE POSTAL ADDRESS OR ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS PROVIDED BY THE OCCUPANT IN THE LATEST OCCUPANCY AGREEMENT, OR THE POSTAL ADDRESS OR ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS PROVIDED BY THE OCCU- PANT IN A SUBSEQUENT WRITTEN NOTICE OF A CHANGE OF ADDRESS. (H) "VERIFIED MAIL" SHALL MEAN ANY METHOD OF MAILING THAT IS OFFERED BY THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE OR PRIVATE DELIVERY SERVICE THAT PROVIDES EVIDENCE OF MAILING. (I) "VERIFIED ELECTRONIC MAIL" MEANS ELECTRONIC MAIL THAT IS TRANSMIT- TED TO AN E-MAIL ADDRESS THAT THE OCCUPANT HAS VERIFIED AS BEING THEIR OPERABLE E-MAIL ADDRESS AND HAS EXPRESSLY ELECTED TO RECEIVE NOTICE BY ELECTRONIC MAIL TO THAT ADDRESS. S 2. Subdivision 7 of section 182 of the lien law, as added by chapter 975 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: 7. Enforcement of lien. (A) An owner's lien may be enforced by public or private sale of the goods that have been removed from the storage space at a self-service storage facility, in block, or in parcel, at any time or place and on any terms which are commercially reasonable after notice to all persons known to claim an interest in the goods. The notice shall include an itemized statement of the amount due, the description of the property subject to the lien, the nature of the proposed sale, a demand for payment within a specified time not lessEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15283-01-4 S. 7576 2
than ten days from receipt of notification and a conspicuous statement that unless the claimant pays within that time the goods will be adver- tised for sale and sold at public or private sale in a commercially reasonable manner. The notice shall further include the time and place of any public or private sale and it shall state that any person claim- ing an interest in the goods is entitled to bring a proceeding hereunder within ten days of the service of the notice if he disputes the validity of the lien, or the amount claimed. The notice shall be personally delivered to the occupant, or sent by
[registered or certified mail, return receipt requested,]VERIFIED MAIL OR VERIFIED ELECTRONIC MAIL to the [occupant to the]OCCUPANT'S last KNOWN address provided by the occupant, pursuant to the occupancy agreement. (B) ANY NOTICE MADE PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE PRESUMED DELIV- ERED WHEN IT IS DEPOSITED WITH THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE OR PRIVATE DELIVERY SERVICE, AND PROPERLY ADDRESSED WITH POSTAGE PREPAID OR SENT BY VERIFIED ELECTRONIC MAIL TO THE OCCUPANT'S LAST KNOWN ADDRESS. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.