Distribute Notice of Disability Accommodation Rights to Tenants
On March 25, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed Chapter 82 of the Laws of 2021, enacting a new provision codified as Executive Law §170d. This statute requires the New York State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations requiring housing providers “to provide notice to all tenants and prospective tenants … of their rights to request reasonable modifications and accommodations” for persons with disabilities.
All residential building owners are now required to disclose to all tenants and prospective tenants of their right to request reasonable modifications and accommodations if they have a disability. The law, which went into effect on March 2, requires building owners to provide a notice that outlines these rights to all tenants and prospective tenants within 30 days of the beginning of their tenancy, or 30 days from the effective date of the law for all tenants that were living in the building prior to March 2, 2021.
If you haven’t sent or delivered the required notice to current tenants, you should do so as soon as you can. For new tenants, you can provide the written notice within 30 days from the beginning of their tenancy.
The law requires the notice to be in writing in 14 point or other easily legible font. For new and current tenants, the notice must be provided individually and delivered by electronic transmission (such as email) or by paper notice to the individual, or by including the notice in or with other written communications, such as a lease or other written materials routinely provided to tenants.
The law says that “Posting” of the notice, either on paper on a bulletin board, or on an electronic bulletin board or notice area, or by providing a link to such posting, is not sufficient.
State vs. City Fair Housing Law
It’s important to note that there are important distinctions between the NYS Human Rights Law and the NYC Human Rights Law. The city’s law provides more expansive anti-discrimination protections for residents with disabilities than the state’s law.
For example, NYC Human Rights Law requires the housing provider to pay for the reasonable modification unless doing so would cause an undue hardship or is architecturally infeasible. In contrast, a private housing provider under NYS law is required to pay for reasonable modifications made in common areas. But for changes to the interior of the unit under state law, the tenant is required to pay for these modifications and the owner may require that the tenant restore the unit to its original condition upon vacancy.
The sample notice recently provided by NYS states that the tenant is required to pay for modifications. In our Model Notice, for NYC owners, we’ve removed this language so the notice will also comply with the NYC Human Rights Law. The notice provides not only statements that tenants with disabilities can request accommodations by law, but also examples of such requests, accessible design requirements for covered buildings, and how to file agency complaints against housing providers that fail to comply.
See The Model Tools For This Article
|Notice Disclosing Tenants' Rights to Reasonable Accommodations|