senate Bill S837

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires landlord to grant access to engineer or architect hired by tenants to inspect major capital improvements in certain multiple dwellings

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to housing, construction and community development
Jan 09, 2013 referred to housing, construction and community development

Co-Sponsors

S837 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Housing, Construction And Community Development
Law Section:
New York City Administrative Code
Laws Affected:
Amd §§26-405, 26-511 & 26-520, NYC Ad Cd; amd §6, Emerg Ten Prot Act of 1974
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1282A
2009-2010: S1443

S837 - Bill Texts

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Provides that no landlord shall deny access to a licensed professional engineer or licensed registered architect hired by any tenant or tenant association representing tenants of a multiple dwelling of six units or more for the purpose of conducting an inspection of a major capital improvement for which an application for a maximum rent adjustment has been filed by the landlord; provides that such inspection shall be conducted after notice to the landlord and during normal business hours; provides for the filing of such inspection report by such tenants with the New York city rent agency for consideration in such application's determination.

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BILL NUMBER:S837

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the administrative code of the city of New York and the
emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four, in
relation to inspection of major capital improvements for which rent
increases are requested
and in relation to extending the provisions of the rent
stabilization law

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

This legislation would require landlords of rent-stabilized and
rent controlled apartment buildings who are applying for major capital
improvement increases to allow access to a professional engineer or
architect hired by the tenant, tenants or tenants' association to
inspect the improvements done by the landlord. In turn, the report
filed by the engineer or architect can be submitted with the NYC rent
agency or the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal by the
tenants in objection to the major capital improvement increase.

JUSTIFICATION:

In order to receive a major capital improvement rent increase, a
landlord must file a report with the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal (DHCR) which sends a copy of that report to the
tenants of the building. The DHCR then gives the tenants an
opportunity to verify the information in the report, and, if the
tenants disagree with the landlord's claims, to object to the
proposed rent increase. In order for tenants to verify what is stated
in the landlord's report, they must be able to hire experts to
inspect the improvements described in the report. Presently,
landlords can deny access to engineers or architects hired by the
tenants. This legislation requires landlords to allow access to
engineers or architects hired by the tenants to inspect building
improvements, and enables tenants to use reports prepared by their
experts to object to the proposed rent increase.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

1999-2000: S.3671 Died in Senate Housing Committee
2001-2002: S 2043 Died in Senate Housing Committee
2003-2004: S.627 Died in Senate Housing Committee
2003-2004: S.627 Died in Senate Housing Committee
2005-2006: S.4156 Died in Senate Housing Committee
2009: S.1443/A.1357 Died in Senate Housing/Died in
Assembly Housing
2010: S.1443/A.1357 Died in Senate Housing/Died in Assembly Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:


This act shall take effect on the 120th day after it shall have become
a law.

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

                                   837

                       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 Housing, Construction and
  Community Development

AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York and  the
  emergency  tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four, in relation
  to inspection of major capital improvements for which  rent  increases
  are  requested and in relation to extending the provisions of the rent
  stabilization law

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

  Section 1. Subparagraph (g) of paragraph 1 of subdivision g of section
26-405 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as amended by
chapter 749 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows:
  (g) There has been since July first, nineteen hundred seventy, a major
capital  improvement required for the operation, preservation or mainte-
nance of the structure. An  adjustment  under  this  subparagraph  [(g)]
shall  be  in  an amount sufficient to amortize the cost of the improve-
ments pursuant to this subparagraph [(g)] over a seven-year period.   NO
LANDLORD  SHALL DENY ACCESS TO A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER LICENSED TO PRAC-
TICE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK OR  A  REGISTERED  ARCHITECT  LICENSED  TO
PRACTICE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK HIRED BY ANY TENANT, TENANTS OR TENANT
ASSOCIATION  REPRESENTING TENANTS OF A MULTIPLE DWELLING OF SIX UNITS OR
MORE FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AN  INSPECTION  OF  A  MAJOR  CAPITAL
IMPROVEMENT  FOR WHICH AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTMENT OF MAXIMUM RENT HAS
BEEN FILED. SUCH INSPECTION SHALL BE CONDUCTED AFTER NOTICE TO THE LAND-
LORD AND DURING NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS. SUCH TENANT MAY FILE  THE  REPORT
OF  THE  INSPECTION  WITH  THE CITY RENT AGENCY FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE
DETERMINATION OF SUCH APPLICATION; or

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00602-02-3

S. 837                              2

  S 2. Paragraph 6 of subdivision c of section 26-511 of the administra-
tive code of the city of New York, as amended by chapter 116 of the laws
of 1997, is amended to read as follows:
  (6)  provides  criteria whereby the commissioner may act upon applica-
tions by owners for increases in  excess  of  the  level  of  fair  rent
increase  established under this law provided, however, that such crite-
ria shall provide (a) as to hardship applications, for  a  finding  that
the level of fair rent increase is not sufficient to enable the owner to
maintain  approximately  the same average annual net income (which shall
be computed without regard to debt service, financing costs  or  manage-
ment  fees)  for the three year period ending on or within six months of
the date of an application pursuant to such criteria  as  compared  with
annual  net income, which prevailed on the average over the period nine-
teen hundred sixty-eight through nineteen hundred seventy,  or  for  the
first three years of operation if the building was completed since nine-
teen  hundred  sixty-eight  or  for the first three fiscal years after a
transfer of title to a new owner provided the new owner can establish to
the satisfaction of the commissioner that he or she  acquired  title  to
the  building as a result of a bona fide sale of the entire building and
that the new owner is unable to obtain requisite records for the  fiscal
years  nineteen  hundred  sixty-eight  through  nineteen hundred seventy
despite diligent efforts to obtain same from predecessors in  title  and
further  provided that the new owner can provide financial data covering
a minimum of six years under his or  her  continuous  and  uninterrupted
operation  of  the building to meet the three year to three year compar-
ative test periods herein provided; and (b) as  to  completed  building-
wide  major  capital  improvements, for a finding that such improvements
are deemed depreciable under the Internal Revenue Code and that the cost
is to be amortized over a seven-year period, based  upon  cash  purchase
price  exclusive  of interest or service charges. NO LANDLORD SHALL DENY
ACCESS TO A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THE  STATE  OF
NEW  YORK OR A REGISTERED ARCHITECT LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE OF
NEW YORK HIRED BY ANY TENANT, TENANTS OR TENANT ASSOCIATION REPRESENTING
TENANTS OF A MULTIPLE DWELLING OF SIX UNITS OR MORE FOR THE  PURPOSE  OF
CONDUCTING  AN  INSPECTION  OF  A MAJOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FOR WHICH AN
APPLICATION  FOR  ADJUSTMENT  OF  MAXIMUM  RENT  HAS  BEEN  FILED.  SUCH
INSPECTION  SHALL  BE  CONDUCTED AFTER NOTICE TO THE LANDLORD AND DURING
NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS. SUCH TENANT MAY FILE THE REPORT OF THE INSPECTION
WITH THE CITY RENT AGENCY FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE DETERMINATION OF SUCH
APPLICATION. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained  herein,
no  hardship  increase  granted  pursuant  to this paragraph shall, when
added to the annual gross rents,  as  determined  by  the  commissioner,
exceed  the sum of, (i) the annual operating expenses, (ii) an allowance
for management services as determined by the commissioner, (iii)  actual
annual  mortgage debt service (interest and amortization) on its indebt-
edness to a lending institution, an insurance company, a retirement fund
or welfare fund which is operated under the supervision of  the  banking
or  insurance  laws  of  the state of New York or the United States, and
(iv) eight and one-half percent of that portion of the fair market value
of the property which exceeds the unpaid principal amount of  the  mort-
gage  indebtedness  referred to in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph.
Fair market value for the purposes of this paragraph shall be six  times
the  annual gross rent. The collection of any increase in the stabilized
rent for any apartment pursuant to this paragraph shall not  exceed  six
percent  in  any  year from the effective date of the order granting the
increase over the rent set forth in the schedule of  gross  rents,  with

S. 837                              3

collectability  of any dollar excess above said sum to be spread forward
in similar increments and added to the stabilized rent as established or
set in future years;
  S 3. Paragraph 3 of subdivision d of section 6 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 749 of the  laws  of
1990, is amended to read as follows:
   (3) there has been since January first, nineteen hundred seventy-four
a  major capital improvement required for the operation, preservation or
maintenance of the structure. An adjustment under this  paragraph  shall
be  in  an  amount  sufficient  to amortize the cost of the improvements
pursuant to this paragraph over a seven-year period.  NO LANDLORD  SHALL
DENY ACCESS TO A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE
OF  NEW YORK OR A REGISTERED ARCHITECT LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN THE STATE
OF NEW YORK HIRED BY ANY TENANT, TENANTS OR TENANT  ASSOCIATION  REPRES-
ENTING  TENANTS  OF  A  MULTIPLE  DWELLING  OF SIX UNITS OR MORE FOR THE
PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AN INSPECTION OF A MAJOR CAPITAL  IMPROVEMENT  FOR
WHICH AN APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTMENT OF MAXIMUM RENT HAS BEEN FILED. SUCH
INSPECTION  SHALL  BE  CONDUCTED AFTER NOTICE TO THE LANDLORD AND DURING
NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS. SUCH TENANT MAY FILE THE REPORT OF THE INSPECTION
WITH THE CITY RENT AGENCY FOR CONSIDERATION IN THE DETERMINATION OF SUCH
APPLICATION, or
  S 4. Section 26-520 of the administrative code  of  the  city  of  New
York,  as amended by local law number 16 of the city of New York for the
year 2012, is amended to read as follows:
  S 26-520 Expiration date. This chapter shall expire  on  April  first,
two  thousand [fifteen] EIGHTEEN unless rent control shall sooner termi-
nate as provided in subdivision three of section one of the local  emer-
gency housing rent control law.
  S 5. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it shall have become a law, except that any rules and regulations neces-
sary  for  the  timely  implementation of this act on its effective date
shall be promulgated on or before such date; provided that the amendment
to section 26-405 of the  city  rent  and  rehabilitation  law  made  by
section  one  of  this act shall remain in full force and effect only so
long as the public emergency requiring the  regulation  and  control  of
residential  rents and evictions continues, as provided in subdivision 3
of section 1 of  the  local  emergency  housing  rent  control  act  and
provided  further  that  the  amendment  to  section  26-511 of the rent
stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine made by section two  of
this act shall expire on the same date as such law expires and shall not
affect  the  expiration  of such law as provided under section 26-520 of
such law and provided further that the amendment to  section  6  of  the
emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four made by section
three  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, as amended.

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