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Section 352-EEE Conversions to cooperative or condominium ownership in certain cities, towns and villages located in the counties of Nassau, Westchester ...

General Business (GBS)

Conversions to cooperative or condominium ownership in certain cities, towns and villages located in the counties of Nassau, Westchester and Rockland. 1. As used in this section, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings:

  (a) "Plan". Every offering statement or prospectus submitted to the department of law pursuant to section three hundred fifty-two-e of this article for the conversion of a building or group of buildings or development from residential rental status to cooperative or condominium ownership or other form of cooperative interest in realty, other than an offering statement or prospectus for such conversion pursuant to article two, eight or eleven of the private housing finance law.

  (b) "Non-eviction plan". A plan which may not be declared effective until at least fifteen percent of those bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the plan is declared effective shall have executed and delivered written agreements to purchase under the plan. As to tenants who were in occupancy on the date a letter was issued by the attorney general accepting the plan for filing, the purchase agreement shall be executed and delivered pursuant to an offering made in good faith without fraud and discriminatory repurchase agreements or other discriminatory inducements.

  (c) "Eviction plan". A plan which, pursuant to the provisions of this section, can result in the eviction of a non-purchasing tenant by reason of the tenant failing to purchase pursuant thereto, and which may not be declared effective until written agreements to purchase under the plan pursuant to an offering made in good faith without fraud and with no discriminatory repurchase agreements or other discriminatory inducements shall have been executed and delivered by: (i) at least fifty-one percent of the bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the offering statement or prospectus was accepted for filing by the attorney general excluding, for the purposes of determining the number of bona fide tenants in occupancy on such date, eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons; and (ii) at least thirty-five percent of the bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the offering statement or prospectus was accepted for filing by the attorney general including, for the purposes of determining the number of bona fide tenants in occupancy on such date eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons.

  (d) "Purchaser under the plan". A person who owns the shares allocated to a dwelling unit or who owns such dwelling unit itself.

  (e) "Non-purchasing tenant". A person who has not purchased under the plan and who is a tenant entitled to possession at the time the plan is declared effective or a person to whom a dwelling unit is rented subsequent to the effective date. A person who sublets a dwelling unit from a purchaser under the plan shall not be deemed a non-purchasing tenant.

  (f) "Eligible senior citizens". Non-purchasing tenants who are sixty-two years of age or older on the date the plan is declared effective and the spouses of any such tenants on such date; provided that such tenant shall not be precluded from subsequently purchasing the dwelling unit on the terms then offered to tenants in occupancy.

  (g) "Eligible disabled persons". Non-purchasing tenants who have an impairment which results from anatomical, physiological or psychological conditions, other than addiction to alcohol, gambling, or any controlled substance, which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques, and which are expected to be permanent and which prevent the tenant from engaging in any substantial gainful employment on the date the attorney general has accepted the plan for filing, and the spouses of any such tenants on such date, and who have elected, within sixty days of the date the attorney general has accepted the plan for filing, on forms promulgated by the attorney general and presented to such tenants by the offeror, to become non-purchasing tenants under the provisions of this section; provided, however, that if the disability first occurs after acceptance of the plan for filing, then such election may be made within sixty days following the onset of such disability unless during the period subsequent to sixty days following the acceptance of the plan for filing but prior to such election, the offeror accepts a written agreement to purchase the apartment from a bona fide purchaser; and provided further that such election shall not preclude any such tenant from subsequently purchasing the dwelling unit or the shares allocated thereto on the terms then offered to tenants in occupancy.

  2. The attorney general shall refuse to issue a letter stating that the offering statement or prospectus required in subdivision one of section three hundred fifty-two-e of this chapter has been filed whenever it appears that the offering statement or prospectus offers for sale residential cooperative apartments or condominium units pursuant to a plan unless:

  (a) The plan provides that it will be deemed abandoned, void and of no effect if it does not become effective within twelve months from the date of issue of the letter of the attorney general stating that the offering statement or prospectus has been accepted for filing and, in the event of such abandonment, no new plan for the conversion of such building or group of buildings or development shall be submitted to the attorney general for at least fifteen months after such abandonment.

  (b) The plan provides either that it is an eviction plan or that it is a non-eviction plan.

  (c) The plan provides, if it is a non-eviction plan, as follows:

  (i) The plan may not be declared effective until at least fifteen percent of those bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the plan is declared effective shall have executed and delivered written agreements to purchase under the plan. As to tenants who were in occupancy on the date a letter was issued by the attorney general accepting the plan for filing, the purchase agreement shall be executed and delivered pursuant to an offering made in good faith without fraud and discriminatory repurchase agreements or other discriminatory inducements.

  (ii) No eviction proceedings will be commenced at any time against non-purchasing tenants for failure to purchase or any other reason applicable to expiration of tenancy; provided that such proceedings may be commenced for non-payment of rent, illegal use or occupancy of the premises, refusal of reasonable access to the owner or a similar breach by the non-purchasing tenant of his obligations to the owner of the dwelling unit or the shares allocated thereto; and provided further that an owner of a unit or of the shares allocated thereto may not commence an action to recover possession of a dwelling unit from a non-purchasing tenant on the grounds that he seeks the dwelling unit for the use and occupancy of himself or his family.

  (iii) Non-purchasing tenants who reside in dwelling units subject to government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy prior to the conversion of the building or group of buildings or development to cooperative or condominium ownership shall continue to be subject thereto.

  (iv) The rentals of non-purchasing tenants who reside in dwelling units not subject to government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy and non-purchasing tenants who reside in dwelling units with respect to which government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy is eliminated or becomes inapplicable after the plan has been accepted for filing by the attorney general shall not be subject to unconscionable increases beyond ordinary rentals for comparable apartments during the period of their occupancy. In determining comparability, consideration shall be given to such factors as building services, level of maintenance and operating expenses.

  (v) The plan may not be amended at any time to provide that it shall be an eviction plan.

  (vi) The rights granted under the plan to purchasers under the plan and to non-purchasing tenants may not be abrogated or reduced notwithstanding any expiration of, or amendment to, this section.

  (vii) After the issuance of the letter from the attorney general stating that the offering statement or prospectus required in subdivision one of section three hundred fifty-two-e of this article has been filed, the offeror shall, on the thirtieth, sixtieth, eighty-eighth and ninetieth day after such date and at least once every thirty days until the plan is declared effective or is abandoned, as the case may be, and on the second day before the expiration of any exclusive purchase period provided in a substantial amendment to the plan, (1) file with the attorney general a written statement, under oath, setting forth the percentage of bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development who have executed and delivered written agreements to purchase under the plan as of the date of such statement, (2) before noon on the day such statement is filed post a copy of such statement in a prominent place accessible to all tenants in each building covered by the plan.

  (d) The plan provides, if it is an eviction plan, as follows:

  (i) The plan may not be declared effective unless: (1) at least fifty-one percent of the bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the offering statement or prospectus was accepted for filing by the attorney general excluding, for the purposes of determining the number of bona fide tenants in occupancy on such date, eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons; and (2) at least thirty-five percent of the bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the offering statement or prospectus was accepted for filing by the attorney general including, for the purposes of determining the number of bona fide tenants in occupancy on such date eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons; shall have executed and delivered written agreements to purchase under the plan pursuant to an offering made in good faith without fraud and with no discriminatory repurchase agreements or other discriminatory inducements.

  (ii) No eviction proceedings will be commenced against a non-purchasing tenant for failure to purchase or any other reason applicable to expiration of tenancy until the later to occur of (1) the date which is the expiration date provided in such non-purchasing tenant's lease or rental agreement, and (2) the date which is three years after the date on which the plan is declared effective. Non-purchasing tenants who reside in dwelling units subject to government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy prior to conversion shall continue to be subject thereto during the period of occupancy provided in this paragraph. Thereafter, if a tenant has not purchased, he may be removed by the owner of the dwelling unit or the shares allocated to such dwelling unit.

  (iii) No eviction proceedings will be commenced, except as hereinafter provided, at any time against either eligible senior citizens or eligible disabled persons. The rentals of eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons who reside in dwelling units not subject to government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy and eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons who reside in dwelling units with respect to which government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy is eliminated or becomes inapplicable after the plan has been accepted for filing shall not be subject to unconscionable increases beyond ordinary rentals for comparable apartments during the period of their occupancy considering, in determining comparability, such factors as building services, level of maintenance and operating expenses; provided that such proceedings may be commenced against such tenants for non-payment of rent, illegal use or occupancy of the premises, refusal of reasonable access to the owner or a similar breach by the tenant of his obligations to the owner of the dwelling unit or the shares allocated thereto; and provided further that an owner of a unit or of the shares allocated thereto may not commence an action to recover possession of a dwelling unit from a non-purchasing tenant on the grounds that he seeks the dwelling unit for the use and occupancy of himself or his family.

  (iv) Eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons who reside in dwelling units subject to government regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy shall continue to be subject thereto.

  (v) The rights granted under the plan to eligible senior citizens and eligible disabled persons may not be abrogated or reduced notwithstanding any expiration of, or amendment to, this section.

  (vi) Any offeror who disputes the election by a person to be an eligible senior citizen or an eligible disabled person must apply to the attorney general within thirty days of the receipt of the election forms for a determination by the attorney general of such person's eligibility. The attorney general shall, within thirty days thereafter, issue his determination of eligibility. The foregoing shall, in the absence of fraud, be the sole method for determining a dispute as to whether a person is an eligible senior citizen or an eligible disabled person. The determination of the attorney general shall be reviewable only through a proceeding under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, which proceeding must be commenced within thirty days after such determination by the attorney general becomes final.

  (vii) After the issuance of the letter from the attorney general stating that the offering statement or prospectus required in subdivision one of section three hundred fifty-two-e of this article has been accepted for filing, the offeror shall, on the thirtieth, sixtieth, eighty-eighth and ninetieth days after such date and at least once every thirty days until the plan is declared effective or abandoned, as the case may be, and on the second day before the expiration of any exclusive purchase period provided in a substantial amendment to the plan, (1) file with the attorney general a written statement, under oath, setting forth the percentage of bona fide tenants in occupancy of all dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development on the date the offering statement or prospectus was accepted for filing by the attorney general who have executed and delivered written agreements to purchase under the plan as of the date of such statement, and (2) before noon on the day such statement is filed post a copy of such statement in a prominent place accessible to all tenants in each building covered by the plan.

  (viii) If the plan is amended before it is declared effective to provide that it shall be a non-eviction plan, any person who has agreed to purchase under the plan prior to such amendment shall have a period of thirty days after receiving written notice of such amendment to revoke his agreement to purchase under the plan.

  (ix) The tenants in occupancy on the date the attorney general accepts the plan for filing shall have the exclusive right to purchase their dwelling units or the shares allocated thereto for ninety days after the plan is accepted for filing by the attorney general, during which time a tenant's dwelling unit shall not be shown to a third party unless he has, in writing, waived his right to purchase; subsequent to the expiration of such ninety day period, a tenant in occupancy of a dwelling unit who has not purchased shall be given the exclusive right for an additional period of six months from said expiration date to purchase said dwelling unit or the shares allocated thereto on the same terms and conditions as are contained in an executed contract to purchase said dwelling unit or shares entered into by a bona fide purchaser, such exclusive right to be exercisable within fifteen days from the date of mailing by registered mail of notice of the execution of a contract of sale together with a copy of said executed contract to said tenant.

  (e) The attorney general finds that an excessive number of long-term vacancies did not exist on the date that the offering statement or prospectus was first submitted to the department of law. "Long-term vacancies" shall mean dwelling units not leased or occupied by bona fide tenants for more than five months prior to the date of such submission to the department of law. "Excessive" shall mean a vacancy rate in excess of the greater of (i) ten percent and (ii) a percentage that is double the normal average vacancy rate for the building or group of buildings or development for two years prior to the January preceding the date the offering statement or prospectus was first submitted to the department of law.

  (f) The attorney general finds that, following the submission of the offering statement or prospectus to the department of law, each tenant in the building or group of buildings or development was provided with a written notice stating that such offering statement or prospectus has been submitted to the department of law for filing. Such notice shall be accompanied by a copy of the offering statement or prospectus and a statement that the statements submitted pursuant to subparagraph (vii) of paragraph (c) or subparagraph (vii) of paragraph (d) of this subdivision, whichever is applicable, will be available for inspection and copying at the office of the department of law where the submission was made and at the office of the offeror or a selling agent of the offeror. Such notice shall also be accompanied by a statement that tenants or their representatives may physically inspect the premises at any time subsequent to the submission of the plan to the department of law, during normal business hours, upon written request made by them to the offeror, provided such representatives are registered architects or professional engineers licensed to practice in the state of New York. Such notice shall be sent to each tenant in occupancy on the date the plan is first submitted to the department of law and to the clerk of the municipality wherein such building or group of buildings or development is located.

  3. All dwelling units occupied by non-purchasing tenants shall be managed by the same managing agent who manages all other dwelling units in the building or group of buildings or development. Such managing agent shall provide to non-purchasing tenants all services and facilities required by law on a non-discriminatory basis. The offeror shall guarantee the obligation of the managing agent to provide all such services and facilities until such time as the offeror surrenders control to the board of directors or board of managers, at which time the cooperative corporation or the condominium association shall assume responsibility for the provision of all services and facilities required by law on a non-discriminatory basis.

  4. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any course of conduct, including, but not limited to, interruption or discontinuance of essential services, which substantially interferes with or disturbs the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of any tenant in his use or occupancy of his dwelling unit or the facilities related thereto. The attorney general may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order restraining such conduct and, if he deems it appropriate, an order restraining the owner from selling the shares allocated to the dwelling unit or the dwelling unit itself or from proceeding with the plan of conversion; provided that nothing contained herein shall be deemed to preclude the tenant from applying on his own behalf for similar relief.

  5. Any local legislative body may adopt local laws and any agency, officer or public body may prescribe rules and regulations with respect to the continued occupancy by tenants of dwelling units which are subject to regulation as to rentals and continued occupancy pursuant to law, provided that in the event that any such local law, rule or regulation shall be inconsistent with the provisions of this section, the provisions of this section shall control.

  6. Any provision of a lease or other rental agreement which purports to waive a tenant's rights under this section or rules and regulations promulgated pursuant hereto shall be void as contrary to public policy.

  7. The provisions of this section shall only be applicable in the cities, towns and villages located in the counties of Nassau, Westchester and Rockland which by resolution adopted by the respective local legislative body of such city, town or village, elect that the provisions hereof shall be applicable therein. A certified copy of such resolution shall be filed in the office of the attorney general at Albany and shall become effective on the date of such filing.