assembly Bill A10008

Amended

Clarifies provisions relating to occupancy of class A multiple dwellings

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Sponsor

GOTTFRIED

Co-Sponsors

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Multi-Sponsors

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 24 / Feb / 2010
    • REFERRED TO HOUSING
  • 09 / Jun / 2010
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO HOUSING
  • 09 / Jun / 2010
    • PRINT NUMBER 10008A
  • 15 / Jun / 2010
    • REPORTED REFERRED TO RULES
  • 17 / Jun / 2010
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO RULES 10008B
  • 01 / Jul / 2010
    • REPORTED
  • 01 / Jul / 2010
    • RULES REPORT CAL.528
  • 01 / Jul / 2010
    • SUBSTITUTED BY S6873B

Summary

Relates to clarifying provisions relating to occupancy of class A multiple dwellings.

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Bill Details

See Senate Version of this Bill:
S6873
Versions:
A10008
A10008A
A10008B
Legislative Cycle:
2009-2010
Law Section:
Multiple Dwelling Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§4, 67 & 248, Mult Dwell L; amd §§27-265 & 27-2004, Title 28 Chap 7 §310.1.2, NYC Ad Cd

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:A10008

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the multiple dwelling law and the admin-
istrative code of the city of New York, in relation to clarifying
certain provisions relating to occupancy of class A multiple dwellings

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Sections 1, 4, 5. and 6 of this bill
would amend provisions of (i) the Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL § 4(8)(a))]
and, (ii) the Administrative Code of the City of New York [1968 Building
Code §27-265, New York City Building Code § BC 310.1.2 and New York City
Housing Maintenance Code § 27-2004 (a)(8)(a)) to delete the terms "as a
rule" and "primarily" preceding the term "permanent residence purposes"
or the description of month to month residence as used in such
provisions.

Some owners of class A multiple dwellings have been illegally using
Class A dwelling units as transient hotels. When called upon to justify
this fundamentally unsafe and illegal practice, they have cited the
ambiguity of the terms "as a rule" and "primarily" preceding the
requirement of "permanent residence" or "long term" residence for such
dwellings. These owners have also claimed that the permanent or long
term residence requirement is met when the dwelling unit is leased by a
corporate entity for more than 30 days even though the actual occupancy
by individuals is less than 30 days. This bill would put an end to these
spurious defenses by defining the term "permanent residence purposes" as
occupancy by a natural person or family for 30 consecutive days or long-
er (the permanent occupants). Only the permanent occupants would be
permitted to allow occupancy of the dwelling unit for less than 30
consecutive days and even then only by lawful boarders, roomers or lodg-
ers or house guests living within the household of the permanent occu-
pants or while the permanent occupants are temporarily absent for vaca-
tion or other personal reason if there is no monetary compensation for
such use. (This would not restrict any right a landlord might have to
limit such use.)

Section 2 of this bill adds a new subdivision 16 to Section 67 of the
Multiple Dwelling Law that would permit legalization of the use of Class
A dwelling units for other than permanent residence purposes in certain
dwellings constructed pursuant to plans filed on or prior to April 18,
1929, subject to certain conditions relating to past and present hotel
occupancy and fire safety requirements. Occupancy of such dwelling units
for other than permanent residence purposes would be permitted to
continue for up to two years after the effective date of such subdivi-
sion if that occupancy existed on and after January 1, 2009, and if the
dwelling units are registered with the enforcing agency and the owner
submits certification by an architect or engineer that the dwelling
complies with the fire safety requirements of such subdivision. The
owner must obtain a certificate of occupancy authorizing use. of the
dwelling for other than permanent residence purposes within two years
after such effective date. If no such certificate of occupancy is
obtained within such 2 year period all use of registered dwelling units
for other than permanent residence purposes must thereafter cease.

Section 3 of the bill would amend subdivision 1 of Section 248 of the
Multiple Dwelling Law and delete subdivision 16 of such section to clar-
ify that a dwelling occupied as a class A dwelling pursuant to such
section may only be occupied for permanent residence purposes in accord-
ance with paragraph a of subdivision 8 of Section 4 of this Chapter, as
amended by Section 1 of this bill.

JUSTIFICATION: The Multiple Dwelling Law and local Building, Fire and
Housing Maintenance Codes establish stricter fire safety standards for
dwellings such as hotels that rent rooms on a day to day (transient)
basis than the standards for dwellings intended for month to month
(permanent) residence. There are substantial penalties for owners who
use dwellings constructed for permanent. occupancy (Class A) as illegal
hotels. However, the economic incentive for this unlawful and dangerous
practice has increased, while it is easier than ever to advertise ille-
gal hotel rooms for rent to tourists over the internet. This is espe-
cially so in New York City, which is attracting visitors and tourists
from around the world in record numbers. In most cases tourists respond-
ing to such advertisements are unaware that the rooms are being offered
in violation of the law. Not only does this practice offer unfair compe-
tition to legitimate hotels that have made substantial investments to
comply with the law but it is unfair to the legitimate "permanent" occu-
pants of such dwellings who must endure the inconvenience of hotel occu-
pancy in their buildings and it decreases the supply of affordable
permanent housing. It endangers both the legal and illegal occupants of
t he building because it does not comply with fire and safety codes for
transient use.

Recently, law enforcement actions against illegal hotels have been
hindered by challenges to the interpretation of "permanent residence"
that enforcing agencies have relied on for decades. In City of New York
v. 330 Continental, LLC. 60 AD3d 226, 231 (1st Dept. 2009) the Court
held that the Multiple Dwelling Law allows a minority of the units in
building classified as a Class "A" Multiple Dwelling to be occupied for
nonpermanent or transient occupancy. The court based this holding, in
part, on the definition of Class "A" multiple dwelling, as set forth
under Section 4(8)(a) of the Multiple Dwelling Law. In interpreting
Section 4(8)(a) of the Multiple Dwelling Law, the court held that "the
statute's use of the phrase 'as a rule' indicates that a secondary use
of the building, different from the specified primary use, is permit-
ted." The court concluded that no violation of the Class A certificate
of occupancy would result from use of a minority of the units in one of
the buildings for nonpermanent or transient occupancy.

It is impossible to enforce the law against illegal hotels if the law is
interpreted in the manner compelled in this case. This bill will fulfill
the original intent of the law, as construed by enforcing agencies,.
including the New York City Department of Buildings, by modifying the
specific provisions of the Multiple Dwelling Law and applicable local
codes that have been cited by defendants in enforcement proceedings as
authority for the use of Class A dwellings as illegal transient hotels.
The only "secondary" transient use of class A dwelling units allowed

would be use by the permanent occupants -natural persons, not corporate
entities - for house guests, boarders, roomers or lodgers. living within
the household of the permanent occupants or for circumstances such as
the occasional pet or apartment "sitter" when the permanent occupants
are absent for personal reasons, such as vacation or for medical treat-
ment.

There is a small number of Class A buildings, constructed before 1929,
currently operating as hotels, which have a historic record of hotel use
that precedes a zoning classification that prohibits such hotel use.
These buildings would be allowed to convert to Class B occupancy and to
continue to rent Class A dwelling units as hotel rooms during a two year
conversion period commencing on the effective date of this bill. Hotel
use of Class A dwelling units in such buildings during the conversion
period would be subject to registration and stringent fire safety
requirements and must cease at the end of such period unless the-owner
has obtained a Class B certificate of occupancy which the Department of
Buildings could issue upon compliance with the building codes for tran-
sient occupancy.

There is a more than adequate supply of legitimate hotels with accommo-
dations in all price ranges. Should the growth of tourism result in
increased demand for hotel rooms in the future, commercially zoned areas
of the city allow widespread opportunities for new legitimate hotels.
The enactment of this legislation will protect public safety by assist-
ing law enforcement efforts to curb the proliferation of illegal hotels.

The City of New York supports this bill.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  10008

                          I N  A S S E M B L Y

                            February 24, 2010
                               ___________

Introduced  by  M.  of  A. GOTTFRIED, ROSENTHAL, KELLNER, GLICK, COLTON,
  REILLY, CHRISTENSEN, ESPAILLAT, O'DONNELL, MILLMAN --  Multi-Sponsored
  by  --  M. of A. BING, BRENNAN, HEVESI, JAFFEE, KOLB, McKEVITT -- read
  once and referred to the Committee on Housing

AN ACT to amend the multiple dwelling law and the administrative code of
  the city of New York, in relation  to  clarifying  certain  provisions
  relating to occupancy of class A multiple dwellings

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph a of subdivision 8 of section 4 of  the  multiple
dwelling  law, as amended by chapter 562 of the laws of 1954, is amended
to read as follows:
  a. A "class A" multiple dwelling is a multiple dwelling which is occu-
pied[, as a rule,] for permanent residence purposes.  This  class  shall
include tenements, flat houses, maisonette apartments, apartment houses,
apartment  hotels, bachelor apartments, studio apartments, duplex apart-
ments, kitchenette apartments, garden-type maisonette dwelling projects,
and all other multiple dwellings except class B multiple dwellings.  FOR
THE PURPOSES OF THIS  DEFINITION,  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE  PURPOSES  SHALL
CONSIST  OF  OCCUPANCY  OF A DWELLING UNIT BY THE SAME NATURAL PERSON OR
FAMILY FOR THIRTY CONSECUTIVE DAYS OR MORE AND A  PERSON  OR  FAMILY  SO
OCCUPYING  A  DWELLING UNIT SHALL BE REFERRED TO HEREIN AS THE PERMANENT
OCCUPANTS OF SUCH DWELLING UNIT. THE FOLLOWING USES OF A  DWELLING  UNIT
BY  THE PERMANENT OCCUPANTS THEREOF SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO BE INCONSIST-
ENT WITH THE OCCUPANCY OF SUCH DWELLING  UNIT  FOR  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE
PURPOSES:
  (1)  OCCUPANCY OF SUCH DWELLING UNIT FOR FEWER THAN THIRTY CONSECUTIVE
DAYS BY OTHER NATURAL PERSONS LIVING WITHIN THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE  PERMA-
NENT  OCCUPANT SUCH AS HOUSE GUESTS OR LAWFUL BOARDERS, ROOMERS OR LODG-
ERS; OR
  (2) INCIDENTAL AND OCCASIONAL OCCUPANCY  OF  SUCH  DWELLING  UNIT  FOR
FEWER  THAN  THIRTY  CONSECUTIVE  DAYS BY OTHER NATURAL PERSONS WHEN THE
PERMANENT OCCUPANTS ARE TEMPORARILY ABSENT FOR PERSONAL REASONS SUCH  AS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15564-01-0

A. 10008                            2

VACATION  OR  MEDICAL  TREATMENT,  PROVIDED  THAT  THERE  IS NO MONETARY
COMPENSATION PAID TO THE PERMANENT OCCUPANTS FOR SUCH OCCUPANCY.
  S  2.  Section  67 of the multiple dwelling law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 16 to read as follows:
  16. A. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF  LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY,
WITHIN  A DWELLING TO WHICH THIS SECTION IS APPLICABLE THE USE OF DWELL-
ING UNITS AS A HOTEL FOR OTHER THAN  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE  PURPOSES,  AS
DEFINED  IN  PARAGRAPH  A  OF  SUBDIVISION EIGHT OF SECTION FOUR OF THIS
CHAPTER, THAT WOULD  OTHERWISE  BE  PROHIBITED  SHALL  BE  PERMITTED  TO
CONTINUE  FOR  A  PERIOD  OF  TWO YEARS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS
SUBDIVISION PROVIDED THAT:
  (1) SUCH DWELLING UNITS WERE USED FOR OTHER THAN  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE
PURPOSES  ON  JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND NINE AND ON THE EFFECTIVE DATE
OF THIS SUBDIVISION AND FIFTY-ONE PERCENT OR MORE OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF
DWELLING UNITS IN SUCH DWELLING WERE USED FOR OTHER THAN PERMANENT RESI-
DENCE PURPOSES ON SUCH DATES;
  (2) SUCH DWELLING WAS OCCUPIED AS A HOTEL  FOR  OTHER  THAN  PERMANENT
RESIDENCE PURPOSES ON DECEMBER FIFTEENTH, NINETEEN HUNDRED SIXTY-ONE;
  (3)  SUCH  DWELLING  IS OF FIREPROOF CONSTRUCTION AND WAS OF FIREPROOF
CONSTRUCTION ON JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND NINE;
  (4) SUCH DWELLING  UNITS  USED  FOR  OTHER  THAN  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE
PURPOSES  HAVE  AT  LEAST  TWO  LAWFUL  MEANS  OF EGRESS, INCLUDING EXIT
STAIRS, FIRE TOWERS OR EXTERIOR STAIRS BUT EXCLUDING  FIRE  ESCAPES  AND
HAD SUCH LAWFUL MEANS OF EGRESS ON JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND NINE;
  (5)  SUCH  DWELLING HAS OPERATIONAL EXIT SIGNS AND A FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
COMPLYING WITH THE PROVISIONS  FOR  EXISTING  TRANSIENT  OCCUPANCIES  IN
ACCORDANCE  WITH LOCAL LAW AND HAD SUCH EXIT SIGNS AND FIRE ALARM SYSTEM
ON JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND NINE; AND
  (6) SUCH DWELLING  UNITS  USED  FOR  OTHER  THAN  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE
PURPOSES  ARE  REGISTERED  WITH THE DEPARTMENT WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
DAYS AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION IN A FORM  AND  MANNER
TO  BE  PROVIDED  BY  SUCH  DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING A REQUIREMENT THAT THE
APPLICANT SUBMIT CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH  SUBPARAGRAPHS  THREE,
FOUR  AND  FIVE  OF  THIS  PARAGRAPH,  SIGNED AND SEALED BY A REGISTERED
ARCHITECT OR LICENSED PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER IN GOOD STANDING  UNDER  THE
EDUCATION  LAW.  THE DEPARTMENT MAY ASSESS FEES TO COVER ALL COSTS ASSO-
CIATED WITH SUCH REGISTRATION. THE DEPARTMENT  MAY  REFUSE  TO  REGISTER
DWELLING  UNITS  OR  MAY  REVOKE SUCH REGISTRATION IF IT DETERMINES SUCH
DWELLING UNITS OR DWELLING DO NOT COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS FOR  REGIS-
TRATION SET FORTH IN SUBPARAGRAPHS ONE THROUGH FIVE OF THIS PARAGRAPH.
  B.  THE  OWNER  SHALL OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY FOR THE USE OF
REGISTERED DWELLING UNITS FOR OTHER THAN  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE  PURPOSES
WITHIN  TWO  YEARS  AFTER  THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE OF THIS SUBDIVISION. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL ISSUE SUCH CERTIFICATE OF  OCCUPANCY  UPON  PROOF  THAT
SAID DWELLING CONFORMS IN ALL RESPECTS TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS CHAP-
TER AND ALL LOCAL HOUSING, BUILDING AND FIRE CODES FOR THE USE OF DWELL-
ING  UNITS  FOR  OTHER  THAN  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE  PURPOSES. IF NO SUCH
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY IS ISSUED WITHIN SUCH TWO YEAR PERIOD  ALL  USE
OF  DWELLING  UNITS  FOR  OTHER  THAN PERMANENT RESIDENCE PURPOSES SHALL
THEREAFTER CEASE.
  C. IF AFTER A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY IS ISSUED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH
B OF THIS SUBDIVISION, THE USE OF SUCH DWELLING  UNITS  FOR  OTHER  THAN
PERMANENT  RESIDENCE  PURPOSES IS DISCONTINUED, NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVI-
SION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT THE APPLICATION  OF  THE  LOCAL  ZONING
RESOLUTION WITH RESPECT TO SUCH DISCONTINUANCE.

A. 10008                            3

  S  3.  Subdivisions  1  and 16 of section 248 of the multiple dwelling
law, subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 116 of the laws  of  1950,  are
amended to read as follows:
  1.  It  shall  be  unlawful  to occupy any frame multiple dwelling for
single room occupancy. It shall be unlawful to occupy any other existing
class A dwelling or part thereof as a rooming house  or  furnished  room
house  or  for  single room occupancy unless such dwelling or part shall
conform to the provisions of this section and to such  other  provisions
of  this chapter as were applicable to such dwelling before such conver-
sion. This section shall not be construed to prohibit the letting  by  a
family  of  one  or more rooms within their apartment to not more than a
total of four boarders, roomers or lodgers provided, however, that every
room in such apartment shall have free and unobstructed access  to  each
required exit from such apartment as required by the provisions of para-
graphs  a, b and c of subdivision four of this section. A dwelling occu-
pied pursuant to this section shall be deemed a  class  A  dwelling  AND
DWELLING  UNITS  OCCUPIED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE OCCUPIED FOR
PERMANENT RESIDENCE PURPOSES, AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH A  OF  SUBDIVISION
EIGHT OF SECTION FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER.
  [16.  It shall be unlawful to rent any room in any such dwelling for a
period of less than a week.]
  S 4. Section 27-265 of the administrative code of the city of New York
is amended to read as follows:
  S 27-265 Occupancy group J-2. Shall include buildings  with  three  or
more  dwelling  units  that  are [primarily occupied for the shelter and
sleeping accommodation of individuals on a month-to-month or longer-term
basis] OCCUPIED FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE PURPOSES AS DEFINED IN  SUBPARA-
GRAPH  (A) OF PARAGRAPH EIGHT OF SUBDIVISION A OF SECTION 27-2004 OF THE
HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE.
  S 5. Section 310.1.2 of BC 310 of the New York City building  code  of
chapter  7  of  title  28  of the administrative code of the city of New
York, as added by local law 33 of the city of  New  York  for  the  year
2007, is amended to read as follows:
  310.1.2  Group R-2. This occupancy shall include buildings or portions
thereof containing sleeping units or more than two dwelling  units  that
are  occupied[,  as  a rule, for shelter and sleeping accommodation on a
long-term basis for a month or more at a time] FOR  PERMANENT  RESIDENCE
PURPOSES  AS  DEFINED IN SUBPARAGRAPH (A) OF PARAGRAPH EIGHT OF SUBDIVI-
SION A OF SECTION 27-2004 OF THE NEW YORK CITY HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE.
Such occupancy shall be subject to the New York State Multiple  Dwelling
Law. This group shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
  Adult  homes  or enriched housing with 16 or fewer occupants requiring
supervised care on a 24-hour basis in the same building,  provided  that
the number of occupants per dwelling unit does not exceed the definition
of a family
  Apartment houses
  Apartment hotels (nontransient)
  Class  A  multiple  dwellings as defined in Section 27-2004 of the New
York City Housing Maintenance Code and Section 4 of the New  York  State
Multiple Dwelling Law, including the following:
  1.  Dwelling  units  where the resident of the unit provides custodial
care to no more than four persons on less than a 24-hour basis  and  not
overnight.
  2. Dwelling units where the resident of the unit provides child custo-
dial  care  as  a family day care home registered with the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in accordance with the New  York

A. 10008                            4

State  Social  Services  Law  with no more than six children between the
ages of 2 and 13, or with no more than five children if  any  are  under
the age of 2, receiving supervised care on less than a 24-hour basis and
not overnight.
  Exception: Class A multiple dwellings classified in Group I-1.
  Convents and monasteries with more than 20 occupants in the building
  Student apartments
  S  6.  Subparagraph  (a)  of  paragraph  8 of subdivision a of section
27-2004 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended to
read as follows:
  (a) A class A multiple dwelling is a multiple dwelling which is  occu-
pied[,  as  a  rule,] for permanent residence purposes. This class shall
include tenements, flat houses, maisonette apartments, apartment houses,
apartment hotels, bachelor apartments, studio apartments, duplex  apart-
ments, kitchenette apartments, garden-type maisonette dwelling projects,
and all other multiple dwellings except class B multiple dwellings.  FOR
THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS SUBPARAGRAPH, PERMANENT RESIDENCE PURPOSES SHALL
CONSIST OF OCCUPANCY OF A DWELLING UNIT BY THE SAME  NATURAL  PERSON  OR
FAMILY FOR THIRTY CONSECUTIVE DAYS OR MORE AND A NATURAL PERSON OR FAMI-
LY  SO  OCCUPYING  A  DWELLING  UNIT  SHALL BE REFERRED TO HEREIN AS THE
PERMANENT OCCUPANTS OF SUCH DWELLING  UNIT.  THE  FOLLOWING  USES  OF  A
DWELLING  UNIT BY THE PERMANENT OCCUPANTS THEREOF SHALL NOT BE DEEMED TO
BE INCONSISTENT WITH OCCUPANCY OF SUCH DWELLING UNIT FOR PERMANENT RESI-
DENCE PURPOSES:
  (1) OCCUPANCY OF SUCH DWELLING UNIT FOR FEWER THAN THIRTY  CONSECUTIVE
DAYS  BY OTHER NATURAL PERSONS LIVING WITHIN THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE PERMA-
NENT OCCUPANT SUCH AS HOUSE GUESTS OR LAWFUL BOARDERS, ROOMERS OR  LODG-
ERS; OR
  (2)  INCIDENTAL  AND  OCCASIONAL  OCCUPANCY  OF SUCH DWELLING UNIT FOR
FEWER THAN THIRTY CONSECUTIVE DAYS BY OTHER  NATURAL  PERSONS  WHEN  THE
PERMANENT  OCCUPANTS ARE TEMPORARILY ABSENT FOR PERSONAL REASONS SUCH AS
VACATION OR MEDICAL  TREATMENT,  PROVIDED  THAT  THERE  IS  NO  MONETARY
COMPENSATION PAID TO THE PERMANENT OCCUPANTS FOR SUCH OCCUPANCY.
  S  7.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all
buildings  in  existence  on  such  effective  date  and  to   buildings
constructed after such effective date.

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