senate Bill S7858

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Tolls the four year statute of limitations look back period on rent overcharges where the owner of a housing accommodation acts in a wrongful or fraudulent manner

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (1)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 16, 2014 referred to rules

S7858 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9908A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
New York City Administrative Code
Laws Affected:
Amd §26-516, NYC Ad Cd; amd §12, Emerg Ten Prot Act of 1974; amd §213-a, CPLR

S7858 - Bill Texts

view summary

Tolls the four year statute of limitations look back period on rent overcharges where the owner of a housing accommodation acts in a wrongful or fraudulent manner.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S7858

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of
New York, the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four,
and the civil practice law and rules, in relation to rent overcharges

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To PROTECT TENANTS FROM WRONGFUL OR
FRAUDULENT CONDUCT BY LANDLORDS.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: AMENDS VARIOUS RELEVANT SECTIONS OF LAW
TO TOLL THE FOUR YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS-"LOOK BACK PERIOD"-ON RENT
OVERCHARGES WHERE THE OWNER OF A HOUSING ACCOMMODATION ACTS IN A WRONG-
FUL OR FRAUDULENT MANNER.

JUSTIFICATION: RECENT COURT DECISIONS HAVE CREATED AMBIGUITY IN SOME OF
THE LANGUAGE IN THE TENANT PROTECTION ACT OF 1974. THIS LEGISLATION IS
NECESSARY TO CLARIFY THE COURT-CREATED UNCERTAINTY AND TO ENSURE THAT
TENANTS ARE PROTECTED FROM THE UNSCRUPULOUS, UNETHICAL AND UNLAWFUL
ACTIONS OF LANDLORDS WHO WOULD SEEK TO QUELL THE COMMENCEMENT OF RENT
OVERCHARGE ACTIONS.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: NEW BILL.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: NONE.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

IMMEDIATELY.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7858

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 16, 2014
                               ___________

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

AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city  of  New  York,  the
  emergency  tenant  protection  act  of  nineteen seventy-four, and the
  civil practice law and rules, in relation to rent overcharges

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

  Section  1.  Clause  (i)  of the opening paragraph of subdivision a of
section 26-516 of the administrative code of the city of  New  York,  as
amended  by  chapter  116  of  the  laws  of 1997, is amended to read as
follows:
  (i) Except as to complaints filed pursuant  to  clause  (ii)  of  this
paragraph, the legal regulated rent for purposes of determining an over-
charge, shall be the rent indicated in the annual registration statement
filed  four  years prior to the most recent registration statement, (or,
if more recently filed, the initial registration statement) plus in each
case any subsequent lawful increases and adjustments. Where  the  amount
of  rent  set forth in the annual rent registration statement filed four
years prior to the most recent registration statement is not  challenged
within  four  years  of its filing, neither such rent nor service of any
registration shall be subject to challenge at any time thereafter.  SUCH
FOUR YEAR LOOK BACK PERIOD TO  CHALLENGE  A  RENT  OVERCHARGE  SHALL  BE
DEEMED  TOLLED  WHERE  THE TENANT CAN SHOW THAT THE TENANT WAS PREVENTED
FROM ASSERTING HIS OR HER CLAIM BY SOME KIND OF WRONGFUL CONDUCT ON  THE
PART  OF  THE  OWNER.  FOR  PURPOSES  OF  THIS SUBDIVISION SUCH WRONGFUL
CONDUCT SHALL INCLUDE, BUT  NOT  BE  LIMITED  TO,  MISREPRESENTATION  OR
FRAUD.   WHERE A TENANT IN A RENT OVERCHARGE ACTION ALLEGES MISREPRESEN-
TATION OR FRAUD ON THE PART OF THE OWNER, THE OWNER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO
PROVIDE THE TENANT WITH THE RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS FOR ANY  REPAIRS,
UPGRADES  OR  RENOVATIONS  MADE  TO SUCH PREMISES DURING THE PERIOD FOUR
YEARS PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE OVERCHARGE  ACTION.    THE  OWNER
SHALL  ALSO  BE  REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ANY NEW PROSPECTIVE TENANT WITH THE
RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS FOR ANY  REPAIRS,  UPGRADES  OR  IMPROVEMENTS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15432-04-4

S. 7858                             2

MADE  TO  A  PREMISES  IN  THE FOUR YEAR PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE
TENANT SIGNING A LEASE FOR SUCH PREMISES.
  S  2. The opening paragraph of paragraph 1 of subdivision a of section
12 of section 4 of chapter 576 of the  laws  of  1974  constituting  the
emergency  tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four, as amended by
chapter 116 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  Subject to the conditions and limitations of this paragraph, any owner
of housing accommodations in a city having a population of less than one
million or a town or village as to which an emergency has been  declared
pursuant  to  section  three,  who, upon complaint of a tenant or of the
state division of housing and community renewal, is found by  the  state
division  of  housing and community renewal, after a reasonable opportu-
nity to be heard, to have collected an overcharge above the rent author-
ized for a housing accommodation subject to this act shall be liable  to
the  tenant  for a penalty equal to three times the amount of such over-
charge. In no event shall such treble damage penalty be assessed against
an owner based solely on said owner's failure to file a proper or timely
initial or annual rent registration statement. If the owner  establishes
by a preponderance of the evidence that the overcharge was neither will-
ful  nor  attributable  to his negligence, the state division of housing
and community renewal shall establish the penalty as the amount  of  the
overcharge  plus  interest at the rate of interest payable on a judgment
pursuant to section five thousand four of the  civil  practice  law  and
rules. (i) Except as to complaints filed pursuant to clause (ii) of this
paragraph, the legal regulated rent for purposes of determining an over-
charge, shall be deemed to be the rent indicated in the annual registra-
tion  statement  filed  four years prior to the most recent registration
statement, (or, if more recently filed, the initial registration  state-
ment) plus in each case any subsequent lawful increases and adjustments.
Where  the  amount  of  rent  set  forth in the annual rent registration
statement filed four years prior to the most recent registration  state-
ment  is  not  challenged  within four years of its filing, neither such
rent nor service of any registration shall be subject  to  challenge  at
any  time  thereafter. (ii) As to complaints filed within ninety days of
the initial registration of a housing accommodation, the legal regulated
rent for purposes of determining an overcharge shall be deemed to be the
rent charged on the date four years prior to the  date  of  the  initial
registration  of  the housing accommodation (or, if the housing accommo-
dation was subject to this act for less than  four  years,  the  initial
legal  regulated  rent)  plus  in  each  case,  any lawful increases and
adjustments. Where the rent charged on the date four years prior to  the
date  of  the initial registration of the accommodation cannot be estab-
lished, such rent shall be established by the division. Where the amount
of rent set forth in the annual rent registration statement  filed  four
years  prior to the most recent registration statement is not challenged
within four years of its filing, neither such rent nor  service  of  any
registration shall be subject to challenge at any time thereafter.  SUCH
FOUR  YEAR  LOOK  BACK  PERIOD  TO  CHALLENGE A RENT OVERCHARGE SHALL BE
DEEMED TOLLED WHERE THE TENANT CAN SHOW THAT THE  TENANT  WAS  PREVENTED
FROM  ASSERTING HIS OR HER CLAIM BY SOME KIND OF WRONGFUL CONDUCT ON THE
PART OF THE OWNER.  FOR  PURPOSES  OF  THIS  SUBDIVISION  SUCH  WRONGFUL
CONDUCT  SHALL  INCLUDE,  BUT  NOT  BE  LIMITED TO, MISREPRESENTATION OR
FRAUD.  WHERE A TENANT IN A RENT OVERCHARGE ACTION ALLEGES  MISREPRESEN-
TATION OR FRAUD ON THE PART OF THE OWNER, THE OWNER SHALL BE REQUIRED TO
PROVIDE  THE TENANT WITH THE RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS FOR ANY REPAIRS,
UPGRADES OR RENOVATIONS MADE TO SUCH PREMISES  DURING  THE  PERIOD  FOUR

S. 7858                             3

YEARS  PRIOR  TO  THE  COMMENCEMENT OF THE OVERCHARGE ACTION.  THE OWNER
SHALL ALSO BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ANY NEW PROSPECTIVE  TENANT  WITH  THE
RECEIPTS  AND  DISBURSEMENTS  FOR  ANY REPAIRS, UPGRADES OR IMPROVEMENTS
MADE  TO  A  PREMISES  IN  THE FOUR YEAR PERIOD PRIOR TO THE DATE OF THE
TENANT SIGNING A LEASE FOR SUCH PREMISES.
  S 3. Section 213-a of the civil practice law and rules, as amended  by
chapter 116 of the laws of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  S  213-a.  Actions to be commenced within four years; residential rent
overcharge.  An  action  on  a  residential  rent  overcharge  shall  be
commenced  within  four  years  of  the  first overcharge alleged and no
determination of an overcharge and no award or calculation of  an  award
of  the  amount of any overcharge may be based upon an overcharge having
occurred more than four years  before  the  action  is  commenced.  This
section  shall preclude examination of the rental history of the housing
accommodation prior to the four-year period  immediately  preceding  the
commencement  of the action. THE FOUR-YEAR PERIOD WITHIN WHICH AN ACTION
MUST BE COMMENCED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE DEEMED TOLLED  WHERE
THE CLAIMANT CAN SHOW THAT THE CLAIMANT WAS PREVENTED FROM ASSERTING HIS
OR HER CLAIM BY SOME KIND OF WRONGFUL CONDUCT ON THE PART OF THE DEFEND-
ANT.  FOR  PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION SUCH WRONGFUL CONDUCT SHALL INCLUDE,
BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, MISREPRESENTATION OR FRAUD.  WHERE A CLAIMANT  IN
A  RENT OVERCHARGE ACTION ALLEGES MISREPRESENTATION OR FRAUD ON THE PART
OF THE DEFENDANT, THE DEFENDANT SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THE  CLAIM-
ANT  WITH  THE  RECEIPTS  AND DISBURSEMENTS FOR ANY REPAIRS, UPGRADES OR
RENOVATIONS MADE TO SUCH PREMISES DURING THE PERIOD FOUR YEARS PRIOR  TO
THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE OVERCHARGE ACTION.
  S  4.  This  act shall take effect immediately, and shall apply to any
action or proceeding pending in any court or any application,  complaint
or  proceeding  before an administrative agency on the effective date of
this act, as well as any  action  or  proceeding  commenced  thereafter;
provided, however, that:
  (a)  the amendments to subdivision a of section 26-516 of the adminis-
trative code of the city of New York made by section  one  of  this  act
shall  expire  on the same date as such law expires and shall not affect
the expiration of such section as provided under section 26-520 of  such
code; and
  (b)  the amendments to the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen
seventy-four made by section two of this act shall expire  on  the  same
date as such act expires and shall not affect the expiration of such act
as provided in section 17 of chapter 576 of the laws of 1974.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.