senate Bill S2329

Amended

Prohibits the hiring of a level 2 or level 3 sex offender as a building superintendent or resident manager, provides that sexual harassment of a tenant is violation of habitability

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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

  • 16 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • 06 / Mar / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO HOUSING, CONSTRUCTION AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  • 06 / Mar / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 2329A

Summary

Prohibits the owner, agent or operator of a multiple dwelling from hiring as a building superintendent, managing agent, or resident manager any person who is registered as a level two or level three sex offender in New York state, and provides that sexual harassment of a tenant by any owner, agent or operator of a multiple dwelling or for any employee or contractor of such owner, agent or operator constitutes a violation of the warranty of habitability.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1122A
Versions:
S2329
S2329A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Housing, Construction And Community Development
Law Section:
Multiple Dwelling Law
Laws Affected:
Add §309-b, Mult Dwell L; add §235-h, RP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S987, A856A
2009-2010: S6760, A9858

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2329

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the multiple dwelling law, in relation
to prohibiting the owner, agent or operator of a multiple dwelling
from hiring as a building superintendent, managing agent, or resident
manager any person who is registered as a level two or level three sex
offender in New York state, and to amend the real property law, in
relation to providing that sexual harassment of a tenant by any owner,
agent or operator of a multiple dwelling or any employee or contractor
of such owner, agent or operator constitutes a violation of the
warranty of habitability

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To forbid owners of multiple
dwellings from hiring dangerous sex offenders as building
superintendents or property managers; 'to permit tenants to refuse
access to registered sex offenders who may be employed by a building
owner; and to provide that sexual harassment of a tenant by any
building owner or agent thereof constitutes a violation of the
warranty of habitability.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends the multiple dwelling law by adding a new section
309-b, to require that an owner or operator of a multiple dwelling
shall not hire as a building superintendent, managing agent, or
resident manager any person who is registered as a level two or level
three sex offender in New York state; provides that no tenant shall be
required to give .access to his or her apartment to any person who is
a registered sex offender.

Section 2: Amends the real property law by adding a new section 235-h,
to provide that it shall be unlawful and shall constitute a violation
of the warranty of habitability for any owner, agent, or operator of a
multiple dwelling or any employee or contractor of such owner, agent,
or operator to subject any tenant of the building to sexual
harassment. Defines "tenant" and "sexual harassment" as used in this
section and explains the process by which tenants may apply to the
Supreme Court to seek a restraining or similar order in the case of
sexual harassment.

Further stipulates that the powers and remedies set forth in this
section shall be in addition to all other powers and remedies in
relation to sexual harassment including the award of damages and do
not limit or restrict existing local laws, ordinance, or provisions of
New York City's administrative code. Any agreement by a tenant in a
written lease or other rental agreement waiving or modifying his or
her rights as set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to
public policy.

JUSTIFICATION: Current laws and regulations require tenants in New
York City and other jurisdictions to allow landlords access to their
apartments, subject to certain restrictions, and permit landlords to
seek eviction of tenants who unreasonably refuse such access (HMC
27-2008; 28 RCNY § 25-101; 9 NYCRR § 2524.3 (e); NYCAC § 26-408 (a)
(6); 9 NYCRR § 2204.2 (a) (6)).


Additionally, the multiple dwelling law requires tenants who install
their own locks to provide landlords with duplicate keys upon request
(Multiple Dwelling Law § 51-c).

In practice, landlords may designate building superintendents,
property managers, contractors, or other individuals to enter tenants'
apartments for inspections or repairs, and/or to have possession of
keys to residents' apartments. Tenants may have little or no
information as to the identity and background of the people to whom
they are required to allow access, and could be subject to eviction
for "unreasonable" refusal to provide access should they object to the
entry of an owner's agent. In these circumstances, tenants are
vulnerable to the possibility that they may be required to provide
access to persons who are sex offenders.

New York and other states have developed sex offender registration
systems in order to provide the public and the police with information
about the location of individuals who have been convicted of rape,
sexual assault, and other sex offenses, as well as the risk that any
particular offender might re-offend. However, many tenants do not
regularly search the New York State Sex Offender Registry;
additionally, some contractors or other agents employed by landlords
may not appear in the database as being in proximity to the buildings
in which they are doing work. What is more, landlords may use the
threat of eviction to compel tenants to provide access even to persons
who are known sex offenders.

For these reasons, it is important that the burden of ensuring that
dangerous sex offenders are not employed so as to be able to gain
access to tenants' apartments be placed on the landlords who might
employ them. This legislation would forbid landlords from employing as
superintendents, property managers, or other agents any level two or
level three registered sex offenders. Additionally, it would permit
tenants to deny access to any registered sex offenders without fear of
eviction or other sanction.

While current law forbids landlords from harassing tenants, whether
through physical or verbal abuse, willful denial of services, or
multiple instances of frivolous litigation, it does not specifically
protect tenants from sexual harassment by landlords or their agents.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can be used to victimize
tenants and to force them from their apartments. By defining sexual
harassment as a breach of the warranty of habitability, this
legislation gives tenants recourse against such behavior, allowing
them to sue landlords who commit or allow their agents to commit
sexually harassing acts.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010 - S.6760 Referred to Housing- A.9858
Referred to Codes 2012 - S.987 Referred to Housing Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 days after it shall have become law.


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

                                  2329

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  KLEIN  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Housing, Construction  and
  Community Development

AN  ACT  to  amend the multiple dwelling law, in relation to prohibiting
  the owner, agent or operator of a multiple dwelling from hiring  as  a
  building  superintendent,  managing  agent,  or  resident  manager any
  person who is registered as a level two or level three sex offender in
  New York state, and to amend the real property  law,  in  relation  to
  providing  that  sexual  harassment of a tenant by any owner, agent or
  operator of a multiple dwelling or any employee or contractor of  such
  owner,  agent  or  operator constitutes a violation of the warranty of
  habitability

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

  Section  1.  The  multiple  dwelling  law  is  amended by adding a new
section 309-b to read as follows:
  S 309-B. PROHIBITED HIRING. 1.   AN OWNER,  AGENT  OR  OPERATOR  OF  A
MULTIPLE  DWELLING SHALL NOT HIRE AS A BUILDING SUPERINTENDENT, MANAGING
AGENT OR RESIDENT MANAGER ANY PERSON WHO IS REGISTERED AS A LEVEL TWO OR
LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDER IN THIS STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SIX-C OF  THE
CORRECTION LAW.
  2.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  PROVISION  OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, NO TENANT
SHALL BE REQUIRED TO GIVE ACCESS TO HIS OR HER APARTMENT TO  ANY  PERSON
WHO IS A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER.
  S 2. The real property law is amended by adding a new section 235-h to
read as follows:
  S  235-H. SEXUAL HARASSMENT. 1. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL AND SHALL CONSTI-
TUTE A VIOLATION OF THE WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY FOR ANY OWNER, AGENT OR
OPERATOR OF A MULTIPLE DWELLING OR FOR ANY  EMPLOYEE  OR  CONTRACTOR  OF
SUCH  OWNER,  AGENT OR OPERATOR TO SUBJECT ANY TENANT OF THE BUILDING TO
SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01816-02-3

S. 2329                             2

  2. AS USED IN THIS SECTION:
  (A)  "TENANT"  MEANS A PERSON OR BUSINESS OCCUPYING OR RESIDING AT THE
PREMISES PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN LEASE OR OTHER RENTAL AGREEMENT; AND
  (B) "SEXUAL HARASSMENT" MEANS  UNWELCOME  SEXUAL  ADVANCES,  UNWELCOME
REQUESTS  FOR  SEXUAL  FAVORS,  AND  OTHER  UNWELCOME VERBAL OR PHYSICAL
CONDUCT OF A SEXUAL NATURE.
  3. A TENANT MAY APPLY TO THE SUPREME COURT FOR AN ORDER ENJOINING ACTS
OR PRACTICES WHICH CONSTITUTE SEXUAL HARASSMENT UNDER SUBDIVISION ONE OF
THIS SECTION; AND UPON SUFFICIENT SHOWING, THE SUPREME COURT MAY ISSUE A
TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT INJUNCTION, RESTRAINING ORDER OR OTHER ORDER, ALL
OF WHICH MAY, AS THE COURT DETERMINES  IN  THE  EXERCISE  OF  ITS  SOUND
DISCRETION,  BE  GRANTED  WITHOUT  BOND. IN THE EVENT THE COURT ISSUES A
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION IT SHALL MAKE PROVISION FOR AN EXPEDITIOUS  TRIAL
OF THE UNDERLYING ACTION.
  4. THE POWERS AND REMEDIES SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDI-
TION  TO  ALL OTHER POWERS AND REMEDIES IN RELATION TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT
INCLUDING THE AWARD OF DAMAGES. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION  SHALL
BE  CONSTRUED  TO AMEND, REPEAL, MODIFY OR AFFECT ANY EXISTING LOCAL LAW
OR ORDINANCE, OR PROVISION OF THE CHARTER OR ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF  THE
CITY  OF  NEW YORK, OR TO LIMIT OR RESTRICT THE POWER OF THE CITY OF NEW
YORK TO AMEND OR MODIFY ANY EXISTING LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE  OR  PROVISION
OF THE CHARTER OR ADMINISTRATIVE CODE, OR TO RESTRICT OR LIMIT ANY POWER
OTHERWISE CONFERRED BY LAW WITH RESPECT TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
  5. ANY AGREEMENT BY A TENANT IN A WRITTEN LEASE OR OTHER RENTAL AGREE-
MENT WAIVING OR MODIFYING HIS OR HER RIGHTS AS SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION
SHALL BE VOID AS CONTRARY TO PUBLIC POLICY.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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