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S02505 Summary:

BILL NOS02505
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORKAVANAGH
 
COSPNSRHINCHEY, MAY, RIVERA, SKOUFIS
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §381-a, Exec L; amd §54-g, St Fin L; amd §307, Mult Res L; amd §328, Mult Dwell L
 
Relates to the creation of a statewide residential rental registry providing information relating to rental units including the number and types of code violations issued by the appropriate enforcement agency, and the number of findings of harassment currently on record with the code enforcement agencies.
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S02505 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          2505
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 20, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sens.  KAVANAGH,  HINCHEY,  MAY, RIVERA, SKOUFIS -- 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 executive law, the state finance law, the multiple
          residence law and the multiple dwelling law, in relation to  a  state-
          wide residential rental registry
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section  381-a
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  381-a.  Statewide  rental  registry. 1.   Notwithstanding any other
     4  provision of law to the contrary, and in furtherance of  chapter  fifty-
     5  three of the laws of two thousand twenty-one enacting the aid to locali-
     6  ties  budget  and appropriating funds for costs associated with services
     7  and expenses of a local code enforcement program, the secretary of state
     8  is authorized and directed to use such funds to reimburse localities for
     9  reasonable costs incurred to comply with the provisions of this section.
    10  The secretary is further authorized and directed to use moneys  held  in
    11  the  fund  designated  for  state  assistance  to  local governments for
    12  support of activities related to  fire  prevention  and  building  codes
    13  under  section  fifty-four-g of the state finance law for the purpose of
    14  implementing and complying with the provisions of this  section  and  to
    15  reimburse  localities  for  reasonable costs incurred to comply with the
    16  provisions of this section. Any fees or penalties collected pursuant  to
    17  this  section  shall also be deposited into such fund and made available
    18  to the department of state and to any city, village or town,  as  neces-
    19  sary, to cover such reasonable costs.
    20    2.  The  secretary  shall  administer  a  statewide residential rental
    21  registry pursuant to the requirements of this section and shall  develop
    22  a public online rental registry database designed to receive information
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00969-02-3

        S. 2505                             2
 
     1  from  landlords  and local governments and code enforcement agencies and
     2  to disseminate such information to the public.
     3    3.  The following words or terms when used in this section are defined
     4  as follows:
     5    (a) "Code enforcement" means the administration and enforcement of the
     6  uniform fire prevention code and building code promulgated in accordance
     7  with sections three hundred seventy-seven  and  three  hundred  seventy-
     8  eight  of  this article, the state energy conservation construction code
     9  adopted in accordance with article eleven of the  energy  law,  and  any
    10  local  building  and  fire regulations and any local residential housing
    11  codes enacted or adopted by any local  government  that  are  in  effect
    12  pursuant to section three hundred seventy-nine of this article.
    13    (b)  "Covered  dwelling"  means  a  dwelling  which  is either rented,
    14  leased, let or hired out, to be occupied, or is occupied  as  the  resi-
    15  dence  or  home  of  two  or  more families living independently of each
    16  other.
    17    (c) "Department" means the department of state.
    18    (d) "Dwelling" means any building  or  structure  or  portion  thereof
    19  which  is occupied in whole or in part as the home, residence, or sleep-
    20  ing place of one or more human beings.
    21    (e) "Family" means either a person occupying a dwelling and  maintain-
    22  ing  a  household, with not more than four boarders, roomers or lodgers,
    23  or two or more persons occupying a dwelling, living together  and  main-
    24  taining a common household, with not more than four boarders, roomers or
    25  lodgers.  A "boarder", "roomer" or "lodger" residing with a family shall
    26  mean a person living within the household who pays a  consideration  for
    27  such residence and does not occupy such space within the household as an
    28  incident of employment therein.
    29    (f)  "Managing  agent"  means  a natural person who is over the age of
    30  twenty-one years and a resident of the county in which the  property  is
    31  located, resides within thirty miles of the property, or customarily and
    32  regularly  attends  a business office maintained in the county or within
    33  thirty miles of the property, and is designated by the owner to  receive
    34  service  of  notices  and  summons  issued by the local code enforcement
    35  agency.  Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as  abrogating  or
    36  impairing  the power of any local government to promulgate more restric-
    37  tive definitions or rules related to managing agents.
    38    (g) "Owner" means the owner or owners of the freehold of the  premises
    39  or  lessor estate therein, a mortgagee or vendee in possession, assignee
    40  of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, agent, or any other person,  firm
    41  or corporation, directly or indirectly in control of a dwelling.
    42    (h)  "Private  dwelling"  means any building or structure designed and
    43  occupied exclusively for residential purposes by not more than one fami-
    44  ly.
    45    (i) "Secretary" means the secretary of state.
    46    4. The owner of a covered dwelling shall register such  dwelling  with
    47  the  department  annually  in  accordance with the rules and regulations
    48  prescribed by the secretary, except that registration with  the  depart-
    49  ment  shall not be required where the owner is required to register with
    50  a local government under which the property is situated in a manner that
    51  complies with the rules and  regulations  prescribed  by  the  secretary
    52  pursuant to this section, provided that a public online searchable data-
    53  base  of  residential rental units registered with such local government
    54  shall be available and shall comply with the requirements applicable  to
    55  the online database provided for in subdivision eight of this section.

        S. 2505                             3

     1    5.  An  owner  who  is required to register under this section and who
     2  fails to register: (a) shall be subject to a civil  penalty  of  twenty-
     3  five  dollars per residential unit contained in the covered dwelling for
     4  each year in which such covered dwelling is not registered  as  required
     5  under  this section, and in no event shall a covered dwelling be consid-
     6  ered properly registered under this section until any  penalty  that  is
     7  due  has  been  paid;  and  (b)  shall  be  denied  the right to recover
     8  possession of the premises for nonpayment of rent during the  period  of
     9  noncompliance,  and shall, at the discretion of the court, suffer a stay
    10  of proceeding to recover rents, during such period.  In  any  action  to
    11  recover  possession under section seven hundred eleven of the real prop-
    12  erty actions and proceedings law, the owner shall allege that  they  are
    13  properly registered under this section.
    14    6.  The secretary shall develop and maintain an online portal or other
    15  electronic means for local governments to submit or  make  available  to
    16  the  department registration and code enforcement violations as required
    17  under this section.  Where a local government lacks the technical capac-
    18  ity to comply with any aspect of  this  section,  the  department  shall
    19  provide  financial  and  technical  assistance to facilitate and improve
    20  such capacity, including but not limited to the capacity to collect code
    21  violation data in  a  machine-readable  format  for  submission  to  the
    22  department.
    23    7.  The  secretary  shall promulgate rules and regulations prescribing
    24  standards for administration and enforcement  of  the  statewide  rental
    25  registry. Such rules and regulations shall address (a) information to be
    26  collected including, but not limited to:
    27    (i)  a  valid  identifying address of the property and the appropriate
    28  designations of all rental units on the property;
    29    (ii) the total number of rooms,  the  number  of  bathrooms,  and  the
    30  number of bedrooms in each rental unit;
    31    (iii)  the  accessibility  features,  if any, of the building and each
    32  rental unit;
    33    (iv) whether a unit is subject to any rent  regulation  or  regulatory
    34  agreement;
    35    (v)  the legal name of the owner or owners, including, but not limited
    36  to, the partners, general partners, LLC members, and shareholders;
    37    (vi) a physical address, mailing address,  and  telephone  number  for
    38  each  owner.  The physical address and telephone number contained in the
    39  registration shall not constitute a public record and shall be  accessi-
    40  ble  only  to  duly authorized employees of local government agencies or
    41  the department and used exclusively by such personnel in connection with
    42  an emergency arising on the premises for which the owner is  responsible
    43  or for such purposes as the secretary shall authorize;
    44    (vii)  the  name,  physical  address,  mailing  address, and telephone
    45  number for the managing agent of the rental unit, if any;
    46    (viii) where the  local  government  requires  regular  inspection  of
    47  rental units, the date of the last inspection in each unit; and
    48     (ix)  to  the extent practicable, any violations issued for a covered
    49  dwelling, type of such violations, and whether the property owner or the
    50  local government's  records  indicate  that  the  violations  have  been
    51  corrected.
    52    (b)  a  schedule  of reasonable registration fees based on the type of
    53  dwelling and number of units registered; and
    54    (c) the process and timeframe for updating  the  registration  upon  a
    55  change in title, address, or managing agent.

        S. 2505                             4
 
     1    8.  The  secretary  shall create and maintain through the department's
     2  website a public online searchable database of residential rental  units
     3  registered under this section. The public shall be able to search by, at
     4  a  minimum,  the address of the dwelling, the name of the owner, and tax
     5  map  designation. The database shall generate a report of the last valid
     6  information registered with the department and information submitted  by
     7  local  governments  as  required  by  this  section.  Such  report shall
     8  include, but shall not be limited to, the following information:
     9    (a) the names of each  registered  property  owner  and  the  managing
    10  agent, if any;
    11    (b)  the  address of each registered property owned by such registered
    12  owner;
    13    (c) the address of the managing agent, if any;
    14    (d) the number of registered rental units on the property;
    15    (e) the current number of outstanding violations issued  by  any  code
    16  enforcement  agencies,  disaggregated by violations that are immediately
    17  hazardous, hazardous, and non-hazardous where such designation is avail-
    18  able;
    19    (f) the number of findings of harassment currently on record with  any
    20  code enforcement agencies;
    21    (g) the number and types of active violations and orders issued by any
    22  code  enforcement  agencies,  including a description of each violation,
    23  the status of each violation or order, and the date  each  violation  or
    24  order  was  issued  including any violations that were active within the
    25  year prior to the date the report is generated; and
    26    (h) the date the information was last updated and the date the portfo-
    27  lio is generated.
    28    9. In any action to recover possession of a rental unit or to  enforce
    29  housing  maintenance  standards  in  county court, the court of a police
    30  justice of the village, a justice court, a court of  civil  jurisdiction
    31  in  a  city  or  a district court, (a) the visually displayed or (b) the
    32  printed computerized portfolio registration and  violation  files  main-
    33  tained  by the department pursuant to this section and all other comput-
    34  erized data as shall be relevant to the enforcement of state  and  local
    35  laws  for  the establishment and maintenance of housing standards, shall
    36  be prima facie evidence of any matter  stated  therein  and  the  courts
    37  shall take judicial notice thereof as if the same were certified as true
    38  under the seal and signature of the secretary.
    39    10.  Registration  of  covered  dwellings  under  this  section  shall
    40  commence on July first of the year next succeeding  the  year  in  which
    41  this  section  shall  become effective and shall be due by July first of
    42  each subsequent year.  The public online searchable  database  shall  be
    43  active  as  soon  as  practicable  and  no later than two years from the
    44  effective  date  of  this  section.  All  information  related  to  code
    45  violations  and  harassment  provided  through  the  database  shall  be
    46  prospective from the date it becomes active unless the secretary  deter-
    47  mines  that  it  is  feasible to include retrospective information where
    48  such information is otherwise available in electronic form.
    49    § 2. Subdivision 1 of section 54-g of the state finance law is amended
    50  by adding a new paragraph c to read as follows:
    51    c. Beginning on the effective date of this paragraph, the state  shall
    52  provide  moneys  to  the department of state and to any city, village or
    53  town for reasonable costs  of  activities  necessary  to  implement  and
    54  comply  with  the  provisions  of such section, with such amounts and in
    55  such manner determined by the secretary of state. Any fees or  penalties
    56  collected  pursuant  to such section shall also be made available to the

        S. 2505                             5
 
     1  department of state and to any city, village or town, as  necessary,  to
     2  cover such reasonable costs.
     3    §  3.  Section 307 of the multiple residence law is amended to read as
     4  follows:
     5    § 307. Records and searches. (a) All records of the  department  shall
     6  be  public.    Upon  request  the department shall be required to make a
     7  search and  issue  a  certificate  of  any  of  its  records,  including
     8  violations,  and  shall  have the power to charge and collect reasonable
     9  fees for searches or certificates.
    10    (b) In any action to recover possession of a rental unit or to enforce
    11  housing maintenance standards in county court, the  court  of  a  police
    12  justice  of  the village, a justice court, a court of civil jurisdiction
    13  in a city or a district court either (i) the visually displayed or  (ii)
    14  the  printed  computerized  portfolio  registration  and violation files
    15  maintained by the department of state pursuant to section three  hundred
    16  eighty-one-a  of  the  executive  law and all other computerized data as
    17  shall be relevant to the enforcement of state and  local  laws  for  the
    18  establishment and maintenance of housing standards, shall be prima facie
    19  evidence of any matter stated therein and the courts shall take judicial
    20  notice  thereof as if the same were certified as true under the seal and
    21  signature of the secretary of state.
    22    § 4. Subdivision 3 of section 328 of the  multiple  dwelling  law,  as
    23  amended  by  chapter  403  of  the  laws  of 1983, is amended to read as
    24  follows:
    25    3. In any action or proceeding before the housing part of the New York
    26  city civil court either (a) the visually displayed or  (b)  the  printed
    27  computerized violation files of the department responsible for maintain-
    28  ing such files, portfolio registration and violation files maintained by
    29  the  department  of state pursuant to section three hundred eighty-one-a
    30  of the executive law, and all other computerized data as shall be  rele-
    31  vant  to  the  enforcement of state and local laws for the establishment
    32  and maintenance of housing standards, including but not limited  to  the
    33  name,  address and telephone number of the present owner of the building
    34  and whether or not he is a member in good standing of the rent  stabili-
    35  zation  association  or  registered  pursuant  to  the  emergency tenant
    36  protection act of nineteen seventy-four or the rent stabilization law of
    37  nineteen hundred sixty-nine where one or more dwelling units therein are
    38  subject to the rent stabilization law, shall be prima facie evidence  of
    39  any  matter  stated  therein  and  the courts shall take judicial notice
    40  thereof as if same were certified as true under the seal  and  signature
    41  of the commissioner of that department.
    42    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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