Departments

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...

Landlord v. Tenant: January 2020

December 17, 2019    

RENT OVERCHARGE

No Overcharge Where Tenant Paid Less Than Legal Regulated Rent

Rent-stabilized tenant complained of rent overcharge. The DRA ruled against tenant, finding no overcharge. Tenant appealed, claiming fraud by landlord. The DHCR ruled against tenant, who then filed...

Allowing Electronic Signatures on Rent-Stabilized Leases

November 12, 2019    

Q It seems as though younger tenants want to do everything online and enjoy the convenience of electronically signing documents. Can I offer rent-stabilized renewal leases by electronic means?

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...

Landlord v. Tenant: December 2019

November 12, 2019    

MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

MCI Increase Granted for New Garage Roof that Doubled as Courtyard  

Landlord applied for MCI rent hikes based on the installation of a new garage roof that functioned as a courtyard. The DRA ruled for landlord but disallowed the costs of...

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...

Landlord v. Tenant: November 2019

October 11, 2019    

DISCRIMINATION

Landlord Must Accept Section 8 Vouchers

The NY Attorney General sued landlord and sought an injunction barring landlord from not accepting federal housing subsidized vouchers as a form of rent. The AG claimed that landlord’s refusal to accept the vouchers...

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...