City Council Passes New Bill Requiring Landlords to Provide Advance Notice to Tenants of Any Repair Work

Posted on: June 2nd, 2015 at 5:12 am by

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Inside Mahfar’s 102 Norfolk, July 2014

It’s pretty crazy, but as the law currently stands, landlords in New York City aren’t required to provide prior notice to tenants ahead of repair activity. That means notorious building owners can easily harass residents without warning. We’ve seen these predatory landlords around the Lower East Side exploiting the loophole for years.

But that soon may change.

City Council backed a Rosie Mendez-Gale Brewer co-sponsored bill two weeks ago that would require landlords to provide tenants at least 24 hours notice before launching into any renovations that would “disrupt building services.” That ranges from building heat, to water and electricity. HPD would assume responsibility for enforcing the potential law.

As The Villager points out, though, it might still be a while before Mayor de Blasio signs the bill into law. The publication says that his staff “took part in navigating the bill through City Council,” and that there is no indication that he would not support it. No timetable.

“Today, a wheelchair-bound tenant could leave for work in the morning and return in the evening to find the elevator offline for hours, having never heard a whisper about it. Tenants deserve fair warning and an opportunity to plan around disruptive maintenance work,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “It’s also no secret that no-notice quality-of-life disruptions labeled as ‘maintenance work’ are a frequent harassment tactic to push tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments. Our notice requirement will be easy for honest, everyday landlords and building managers to respect, but it will take another harassment tool away from abusive landlords.”

“This legislation codifies common sense and common courtesy,” said Councilwoman Rosie Mendez. “No longer will tenants come home from a hard day’s work to find out that work in their building is interrupting some basic service and/or possibly obstructing access to their apartment. This law requires that landlords notify tenants when such work will affect services and for how long.”

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