Brewer and Mendez celebrate mayor’s signature of new tenant notification law

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Please Contact:
Andrew Goldston | | 917.960.1187
John Blasco | | 212.677.1077

Brewer and Mendez celebrate mayor’s signature of new tenant notification law
New law will protect tenants’ quality of life and minimize disruptions from repair work

Rosie Bill Intr222

NEW YORK – Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Council Member Rosie Mendez yesterday celebrated Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature of Int. 222, legislation requiring landlords provide tenants with advance notice for non-emergency repair work that will result in disruptions to building services.

The new law establishes a general baseline of 24 hours’ advance notice for most work. For work affecting elevators, the bill requires 10 business days’ notice for major alteration work and 24 hours’ notice for any other work that will suspend all elevator service for more than two hours.

This legislation, sponsored jointly by Council Member Mendez and Borough President Brewer, closes a gaping hole in the city’s tenant-protection laws, which previously did not provide no such advance-notice requirements.

“Before this law, 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. Now tenants will have a right to 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. The new notice requirements in this law will be easy for honest, everyday landlords and building managers to respect, but they 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.”

Many landlords and management companies already provide advance notice of planned repairs to tenants – but many others do not. The reasonable notice requirements established by Int. 222 would help tenants plan ahead to minimize the impacts of these service disruptions on their lives, and also help tenants distinguish between disruptions for planned work on the one hand, and emergent service failures or landlord harassment tactics on the other.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Buildings will be responsible for enforcement and rulemaking in relation to the new law. The law will take effect in the fall of 2015.

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