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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 33
Discontinuance of residential utility service to multiple dwellings
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 2
§ 33. Discontinuance of residential utility service to multiple
dwellings. 1. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no public
utility company or municipality shall discontinue gas, electric or steam
service to an entire multiple dwelling (as defined in the multiple
dwelling law or the multiple residence law) located anywhere in this
state for nonpayment of bills rendered for service unless such utility
shall have given fifteen days written notice of its intention so to
discontinue as follows:

(a) Such notice shall be served personally on the owner of the
premises affected, or in lieu thereof, to the person, firm, or
corporation to whom or which the last preceding bill has been rendered
and from whom or which the utility has received payment therefor, and to
the superintendent or other person in charge of the building or premises
affected, if it can be readily ascertained that there is such
superintendent or other person in charge.

(b) In lieu of personal delivery to the person or persons, firm or
corporation specified in (a) above, such notice may be mailed in a
postpaid wrapper to the address of such person or persons, firm or
corporation.

(c) In addition to the notice prescribed by paragraph (a) or (b) of
this subdivision, fifteen days written notice shall be (i) posted in the
public areas of such multiple dwelling, (ii) mailed to the "Occupant" of
each unit in that multiple dwelling, (iii) mailed to the local health
officer and the director of the social services district for the
political subdivision in which the multiple dwelling is located, (iv) if
the multiple dwelling is located in a city or a village, mailed to the
mayor thereof, or if there be none, to the manager, or, if the multiple
dwelling is located in a town, then mailed to the town supervisor, (v)
mailed to the county executive of the county in which the multiple
dwelling is located, or if there be none, then to the chairman of such
county's legislative body, and (vi) mailed to the office of the New York
state long term care ombudsman, if the multiple dwelling is a
residential health care facility as defined in subdivision three of
section twenty-eight hundred one of the public health law, an adult care
facility as defined in subdivision twenty-one of section two of the
social services law, or an assisted living residence as defined in
subdivision one of section forty-six hundred fifty-one of the public
health law as added by chapter two of the laws of two thousand four.
Notice required by subparagraphs (iv) and (v) of this paragraph may be
mailed to the persons specified therein or to their respective
designees. The notice required by this paragraph shall state the
intended date of discontinuance of service, the amount due for such
service, and the procedure by which any tenant or public agency may make
such payment and thereby avoid discontinuance of service.

(d) The written notice required by subparagraphs (iii), (iv), (v) and
(vi) of paragraph (c) of this subdivision shall be repeated not more
than four days nor less than two days prior to such discontinuance.

1-a. Whenever a notice of intention to discontinue utility service has
been made pursuant to the provisions of this section and obligations
owed the utility or municipality have been satisfied, the utility or
municipality shall notify, in the same manner as it gave such notice of
intention, the occupant of each unit that the intention to discontinue
utility service no longer exists.

2. For the purposes of this section, the department charged with
enforcing the multiple dwelling law shall prepare a schedule of all
multiple dwellings within its jurisdiction and shall provide a copy of
such schedule to any gas, steam or electric corporation or municipality
subject to the provisions of this section. Such schedule shall be
revised semi-annually and a revised copy provided to such corporation.
Every county, and every municipality to which the multiple dwelling law
does not apply, which county or municipality has compiled or hereafter
may compile a listing of all multiple dwellings within its jurisdiction
shall make such listing available without charge to any gas, steam or
electric corporation providing service in such county or municipality.

3. Any gas, electric or steam corporation or municipality which
willfully fails to comply with the provisions of this section shall be
liable for a penalty of twenty-five dollars for each occupied unit of
the multiple dwelling for each day during which service is unlawfully
discontinued; provided, however, that when the only non-compliance with
this section is failure to mail notice to each "Occupant" as required by
clause (ii) of paragraph (c) of subdivision one above the penalty shall
be twenty-five dollars for each occupied unit of the multiple dwelling
to which notice was not mailed for each day during which service is
unlawfully discontinued. An action to recover a penalty under this
section may be brought by the counsel to the commission in any court of
competent jurisdiction in this state in the name of the people of the
state of New York. Any moneys recovered in such action shall be paid to
the state treasury to the credit of the general fund.

4. Any person who willfully interferes with the posting of the notice
specified in clause (i) of paragraph (c) of subdivision one above by any
gas, steam or electric corporation or municipality, willfully defaces or
mutilates any such notice, or willfully removes the same from the place
where it is posted by such company prior to the date specified therein
for the discontinuance of service shall be guilty of a violation and,
upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding twenty-five
dollars.

5. The commission shall maintain rules and regulations for the payment
by tenants of utility bills for gas, electric or steam service in a
multiple dwelling to which this section applies where the owner of any
such multiple dwelling, or the person, firm or corporation to whom or
which the last preceding bill has been rendered or from whom or which
the utility or municipality has received payment therefor, has failed to
pay such utility bills. Such rules and regulations shall (a) provide
that utility service may not be discontinued to any such multiple
dwelling as long as the tenants continue to make timely payments in
accordance with established procedures; (b) include designation of an
office to advise tenants of the rights and procedures available pursuant
to such rules and regulations; (c) assure that tenants shall not be
liable for bills more than two months in arrears; and (d) require the
commission upon petition of twenty-five percent of the tenants of such
multiple dwelling to meet with representatives of such tenants and the
owner, person, firm or corporation to whom or which the last preceding
bill has been rendered or from whom or which the utility has received
payment therefor.