City Council Approves Fire Safety Bills for Residential Buildings

May 22, 2018    

The City Council recently voted to approve a series of eight fire safety bills with the goal of making residential buildings safer. The bills were created in response to the Dec. 28, 2017, Bronx fire that killed 13 people, making it the city’s deadliest fire in more than a quarter century...

How to Avoid Violating NYC’s Expanding ‘Tenant Harassment’ Laws

May 9, 2018    

By Eileen O’Toole, Esq.

Avoid Rent Overcharge Finding If No Rent Was Charged on Base Date

April 19, 2018    

When you defend against a tenant’s rent overcharge complaint, you must prove that you didn’t illegally increase the rent after the apartment’s base date. Section 2520.6(f) of the revised Rent Stabilization Code defines the base date as the date four years before the tenant...

Follow Four Rules to Guard Against Race Discrimination Claims

March 27, 2018    

Last October, the Fair Housing Justice Center (FHJC), a New York City-based nonprofit civil rights organization, filed a lawsuit against an apartment building owner for allegedly defying housing discrimination laws. The owner, through its employees, allegedly lied to African Americans about the...

Q&A on HPD's Alternative Enforcement Program

February 23, 2018    

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that 250 apartment buildings have been placed in the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s (HPD’s) Alternative Enforcement Program (AEP). The AEP was established in 2007 with the New York City Safe Housing Law (Local Law No. 29...

Follow Five Dos & Don’ts When Tenant Denies Access for Repairs

January 26, 2018    

If a rent-regulated tenant has filed a reduced service complaint with the DHCR, you’ll need access to the tenant’s apartment to investigate the complaint and make any needed repairs. You’ll also need access to make repairs if you’re trying to get the rent restored after a...

Handling Reasonable Accommodation Requests from Tenants with Nonobvious Disabilities

December 20, 2017    

The DHCR recently revised Operational Bulletin 2016-1 to include changes or modifications made to an apartment that are reasonable modifications for a tenant with disabilities. Operational Bulleting 2016-1 provides guidance to owners and tenants of rent-stabilized apartments on how the DHCR will...

How to Respond to a TPU Audit or Investigation

December 11, 2017    

Owners most familiar with the DHCR’s Tenant Protection Unit (TPU) have probably received audit notices seeking either DHCR rent registration compliance for rent-stabilized buildings or proof of individual apartment improvements (IAIs) performed that resulted in significant rent hikes. The...

What to Do if SCRIE Tenant Doesn’t Renew Eligibility for Benefits

November 28, 2017    

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE, also known as the NYC Rent Freeze Program) freezes the rent for head-of-household seniors 62 and older who live in rent-regulated apartments. The NYC Department of Finance (DOF) administers SCRIE for rent-regulated (rent-stabilized and rent-...

HPD Finalizes Rules Concerning Gas Leak Notices, Procedures

October 19, 2017    

HPD has officially adopted amendments to Administrative Code Section 27-2005, which governs procedures during suspected gas leaks and recordkeeping for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. As a result of adopting the amendments and finalizing the proposed rule, HPD has formally adopted...

How to Deal with a Tenant's 'Nuisance' Pet

September 19, 2017    

Tenants often have pets that cause problems. For example, a tenant’s dog may relieve itself in the building’s hallways, bark at all hours of the day and night, or threaten other tenants. You can get rid of problem pets, whether or not the tenant’s lease bars pets. To do so, you...

Ask Judge to Order Use & Occupancy Payment in Eviction Case

August 18, 2017    

If you sue to evict a tenant in housing court for a reason other than nonpayment of rent (such as nonprimary residence), the law says you’re entitled to what’s known as “use and occupancy” (U & O). Getting U & O while your case is pending is critical, since...