senate Bill S516

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Creates tenants' right to recover certain attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon false facts or allegations

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to judiciary
Jan 09, 2013 referred to judiciary

Co-Sponsors

S516 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6996
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Real Property Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง234-a, RP L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1306
2009-2010: S5367

S516 - Bill Texts

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Creates tenants' right to recover certain attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon false facts or allegations.

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BILL NUMBER:S516

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the real property law, in relation to tenants' right to recover
attorneys' fees incurred as a result of service of notice based upon
false facts or allegations

PURPOSE:

This bill will serve as a strong disincentive for landlords to serve
legal notices on tenants that are not factually substantiated.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section One amends the Real Property Law by adding a new section 234-a
stating that there should be implied in the lease of residential
property a covenant by the landlord to pay to the tenant the
reasonable attorney's fees and/or expenses incurred by the tenant as
the result of the service by or on behalf of the landlord of a notice
to cure a violation of the lease, a notice of termination of the
lease or a notice of refusal to renew the lease where such notice
contains any fact or allegation that is not true.

If the landlord knowing serves notice to a tenant containing facts or
allegations that are not true, the landlord shall be liable for three
times (treble) the amount of attorney's fees and expense incurred by
the tenant.

JUSTIFICATION:

There have been numerous examples of deliberate attempts by landlords
to intimidate and harass tenants by sending notices to cure a
violation of the tenant's lease or to terminate or not renew the
tenant's lease which are based upon an unsubstantiated allegation.

Up until now, there has been no financial recourse for legitimate
tenants who have been forced to retain legal counsel to determine the
meaning of such notices and/or to respond to such notices unless the
matter has proceeded to court and there has been a judgment against
the landlord.

This legislation would allow tenants to recover legal fees and
expenses incurred in response to such notices regardless of whether
an action or summary proceeding is commenced by the landlord.

This bill would also serve as a strong disincentive for landlords to
serve legal notices that are not factually substantiated.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2008: S.8784 (Duane), Died in Rules
2009: S.5367 (Duane), Died in Judiciary
2010: S.5367 (Duane), Died in Judiciary


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                   516

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

AN  ACT to amend the real property law, in relation to tenants' right to
  recover attorneys' fees incurred as a  result  of  service  of  notice
  based upon false facts or allegations

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

  Section 1. The real property law is amended by adding  a  new  section
234-a to read as follows:
  S  234-A.  TENANTS'  RIGHT  TO RECOVER CERTAIN ATTORNEYS' FEES.  THERE
SHALL BE IMPLIED IN A LEASE OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY A  COVENANT  BY  THE
LANDLORD  TO  PAY  TO  THE  TENANT THE REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES AND/OR
EXPENSES INCURRED BY THE TENANT AS THE RESULT OF THE SERVICE  BY  OR  ON
BEHALF  OF  THE LANDLORD OF A NOTICE TO CURE A VIOLATION OF THE LEASE, A
NOTICE OF TERMINATION OF THE LEASE OR A NOTICE OF REFUSAL TO  RENEW  THE
LEASE  WHERE  SUCH  NOTICE  CONTAINS  ANY FACT OR ALLEGATION THAT IS NOT
TRUE. WHERE SUCH NOTICE IS KNOWINGLY SERVED CONTAINING ANY FACT OR ALLE-
GATION THAT IS NOT TRUE, THE LANDLORD SHALL BE LIABLE TO SUCH TENANT FOR
THREE TIMES THE MONTHLY RENT CHARGED SUCH TENANT,  OR  THREE  TIMES  THE
DAMAGES,  IF  ANY,  SUSTAINED BY SUCH TENANT, WHICHEVER IS GREATER, PLUS
REASONABLE ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS AS DETERMINED BY THE COURT.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.



 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02541-01-3

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