How to Comply with NYC's New Smoking Policy Rule

August 27, 2018    

In August 2017, New York City passed Local Law 147, which requires residential buildings with three or more residential units to create a policy on smoking and to share it with current and future tenants. For years, the city has banned smoking in the common areas of buildings with 10 or more...

FDNY Proposes Changes to Fire Safety Guides, Distribution Requirements

July 26, 2018    

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) recently proposed a rule that would change the content and delivery of the annual residential fire safety guides. A rule is a type of law that is proposed and adopted by a city agency. The rulemaking process generally takes a minimum of 60 days, and...

Q & A on Collecting Security Deposits from Rent-Stabilized Tenants

June 20, 2018    

When renting rent-stabilized apartments, you probably require security deposits from tenants, in case they cause any damage. A security deposit is money that a tenant deposits with the owner of the apartment for the repair of any damages to...

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-...