senate Bill S919

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Requires rent reduction in cases of submetered utility service

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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 housing, construction and community development
Jan 09, 2013 referred to housing, construction and community development

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S919 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Multiple Dwelling Law
Laws Affected:
Add §302-d, Mult Dwell L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S2757
2009-2010: S6351

S919 - Bill Texts

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Requires rent reduction in cases of submetered utility service; directs the division of housing and community renewal to develop a standard reduction and an appeals process.

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BILL NUMBER:S919

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the multiple dwelling law, in relation to rent reduction in
cases of submetered utility service

PURPOSE:
The bill would require a rent reduction
equal to the amount
of the additional charge for the utilities for tenants in buildings
which convert to submetering of utilities.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The bill proposes adding a section 302-d to the
multiple dwelling law which would, in apartment buildings which
convert to submetering, require a rent reduction equal to the
additional utility cost, and compel the Department of Housing and
Community Renewal to promulgate an appeals' process by which tenants
can challenge the amount of the reduction and have it adjusted. Also,
within ninety days of the enactment of this legislation, the DHCR
must review the rent reductions which have already been made in
submetered buildings in order to ensure that they are equal to the
amount of the utility charges.

JUSTIFICATION:
Many residential apartment buildings in New York
include charges for utilities in the rent. However an increasing
number of landlords are installing "submeters" which monitor utility
use individually for each unit in the building. After the submeters
are installed, the landlords charge tenants for utilities in addition
to the rent. Under current law, the additional utility charges are
accompanied by a rent reduction set by the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal. These rent reductions, however, are based on the
number of rooms in an apartment and do not reflect the actual utility
usage costs of the tenants. This leads to many tenants having to pay
more than they had agreed to pay when they signed their lease in
order to stay in their apartments after their building converts to
submetering.

This bill mandates that the rent reductions which tenants receive
after their building is converted must be based on their actual
utility costs in order to protect against an increase in the cost of
living for tenants. This legislation would also require the DHCR to,
within 90 days, review the rent reductions which have already been
made, and to modify them, if necessary, in order to bring them in
line with tenants' actual costs. The bill would also require the DHCR
to create an appeals process by which tenants can challenge their
rent reductions.

Currently rent reductions are based on the New York City Housing
Vacancy Survey's average monthly costs for utilities. In the Survey,
tenants were asked to "estimate" their monthly utility costs. This
produced highly questionable data, upon which the DHCR's rent
reductions were based.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:


2009-2010: Senate & Assembly Referred to Housing, Construction
& Community Development
2011-2012: S.2757

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                   919

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. SERRANO -- 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 rent reduction
  in cases of submetered utility service

  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 302-d to read as follows:
  S  302-D.  PROVISIONS RELATING TO MULTIPLE DWELLINGS WITH SUBMETERING.
1. ANY TENANT RESIDING IN A BUILDING WHICH IS SUBJECT TO SUBMETERING  OF
UTILITIES SHALL RECEIVE A REDUCTION IN RENT WHICH IS EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT
OF  THE  UTILITY  COSTS FOR WHICH SUCH TENANT IS RESPONSIBLE, WHERE SUCH
COSTS WERE PREVIOUSLY INCLUDED IN SUCH TENANT'S RENT.
  2. THE DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL SHALL, WITHIN  NINETY
DAYS  OF  THE  EFFECTIVE  DATE  OF THIS SECTION, REVIEW THE STANDARD AND
ACTUAL RENT REDUCTIONS  FOR  SUBMETERED  PROPERTIES  AND  SHALL  REQUIRE
INCREASES  WHERE  THE  DIVISION DETERMINES NECESSARY. THE DIVISION SHALL
DEVELOP A PROCESS FOR TENANTS TO APPEAL THEIR RENT REDUCTION IF IT  DOES
NOT  ACCURATELY  REFLECT  THE AMOUNT THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PAY FOR SUBME-
TERED UTILITIES.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.



 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00530-01-3

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