In the News

NYC's Right-to-Counsel Program Expands to Five More Neighborhoods

December 17, 2019    

The de Blasio administration recently announced the expansion of free legal services to more New York residents facing eviction. This expansion represents the next phase in the right-to-counsel initiative, originally passed in 2017 by the City Council, which became the first-in-the-nation plan...

Bill Requires Units for Homeless in City-Backed Projects

December 17, 2019    

As New York City grapples with record numbers of homeless people, city officials have agreed to force developers of designated low-income projects to set aside 15 percent of the units for the homeless. The requirement will be the centerpiece of a bill that has broad support among City Council...

Industry Group Asks City to Help Pay for Lead Abatement

December 17, 2019    

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) recently asked the city to help owners cover the costs of lead abatement in their buildings in testimony submitted to the City Council. The industry group argued that changes to the state’s rent law hinders owners’ abilities to pay for lead...

Queens Owners Settle $1M Discrimination Case

November 12, 2019    

Former owners of a rental building in Far Rockaway have agreed to pay $1 million to settle a federal lawsuit accusing them of discriminating against people who had been incarcerated. The lawsuit claimed that the owner refused to rent apartments to applicants who had served time in prison. The...

Council Considers Regulating Biometric Data at Apartment Buildings

November 12, 2019    

The City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings recently received a bill that would require building owners to provide residents with mechanical keys to their buildings and individual apartments. This would allow residents to bypass keyless entry systems, which can include facial...

City Council Bill Would Limit Facial Recognition Technology

October 11, 2019    

Privacy concerns by tenants and civil liberties experts have prompted the New York City Council to consider legislation that would regulate the use of facial recognition technology by both business owners and landlords. The KEYS (Keep Entry to Your Home Surveillance Free) Act, introduced by...

Judge Recommends Fine Against Owner for Threatening to Report Tenant to ICE

October 11, 2019    

An administrative judge recently ruled that a landlord had violated the city’s human rights law for threatening to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers on a tenant. The judge recommended she pay $17,000 in a fine and damages. New York’s Commission on Human Rights...

City Council Enhances HPD's Ability to Recoup Relocation Expenses

September 19, 2019    

On Aug. 14, 2019, the City Council passed Intro 30-A, which gives HPD liens a stronger position. It establishes that outstanding charges resulting from relocation expenses incurred by HPD following the issuance of certain vacate orders constitute a tax lien on a property. In other words, after...

Comment Period Ends for FDNY's Proposed Emergency Checklist, 'Close Door' Sign Requirements

September 19, 2019    

The public comment period for the Fire Department’s proposed rule regarding implementation of Local Law Nos. 114 and 115 of 2018 recently closed. The Fire Department will review the testimony and modify the rules based on the public’s feedback, if necessary, then draft a final...

DCP Releases Storefront Vacancy Report

September 19, 2019    

The Department of City Planning (DCP) recently released “Assessing Storefront Vacancy in NYC,” a report that examines retail patterns and storefront vacancies across 24 different neighborhood shopping corridors around the city. Recently, news media, communities, and elected officials...

City Sues Commercial Building Owner in Airbnb Crackdown

September 19, 2019    

New York City recently filed a lawsuit against an owner of three Manhattan buildings over allegedly using Airbnb to advertise illegal short-term rental units in the properties. According to the lawsuit, the owner and his companies formed at least 21 illegal listings at the buildings through...

City Sues Owners for Renting Out Stabilized Apartments on Airbnb

August 22, 2019    

The city has named the owners of three Hell’s Kitchen buildings in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court for operating illegal short-term rentals in rent-stabilized apartments. Tenants of one building were left without gas or a roof for six months in 2015 due to a fire caused by...