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A02964 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          2964
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 28, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. BICHOTTE, MOSLEY, SEAWRIGHT, RICHARDSON -- read
          once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary
 
        AN ACT to amend the real property law, the multiple  dwelling  law,  the
          multiple  residence law, the real property actions and proceedings law
          and the general obligations law, in relation to requiring all residen-
          tial leases to disclose tenants' rights
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The  real property law is amended by adding a new section
     2  235-h to read as follows:
     3    § 235-h.  Standard lease clause. 1. Every  written  residential  lease
     4  shall contain the following clauses:
     5    a.  "Warranty  of habitability". The landlord promises that the apart-
     6  ment and building are fit to live in and  not  dangerous  to  the  life,
     7  health  or  safety  of  the  occupants. Unless the apartment or building
     8  becomes unfit to live in due to the misconduct  of  the  tenant  or  the
     9  tenant's family or guests, the landlord will be held responsible if this
    10  promise is broken, even if it is not his fault.
    11    Conditions  which  would  violate  this  promise  include, but are not
    12  limited to: insect or rodent infestation, insufficient heat and plumbing
    13  facilities, significantly dangerous electrical outlets  or  wiring,  and
    14  inadequate sanitation facilities.
    15    If the promise is violated, the tenant may withhold from rent the loss
    16  in the value of the apartment due to the violation.
    17    b.  "Willful  violation  of lease". If the landlord or his employee or
    18  agent intentionally violates a provision of this lease or  intentionally
    19  interferes with the tenant's quiet enjoyment of the apartment, the land-
    20  lord is guilty of a criminal offense.
    21    c.  "Tenant's  associations". The tenant has the right to organize and
    22  participate in the activities of any group or  association  of  tenants.
    23  Tenant groups have the legal right to meet in common areas of the build-
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00287-01-9

        A. 2964                             2
 
     1  ing  at reasonable hours as long as these meetings do not interfere with
     2  the right of others to enter, leave or move about the building.
     3    The landlord will not punish, harass, or evict any tenant for exercis-
     4  ing this right.
     5    d.  "No eviction for good faith complaint". The landlord may not evict
     6  a tenant or refuse to renew the lease for one year  in  retaliation  for
     7  the  tenant  bringing a good faith complaint to a governmental authority
     8  for an alleged violation of this lease or any law or regulation  govern-
     9  ing the apartment.
    10    e. "Trial by jury". The landlord and tenant have the right to trial by
    11  jury in any action for personal injury or property damage.
    12    f.  "Utility  payment  offset".  If  the  landlord  is responsible for
    13  payment to a utility company, and in order to avoid  a  shut-off  or  to
    14  restore  service  the tenant pays a portion of the utility bill directly
    15  to the utility, the amount paid may be deducted from the rent.
    16    2. Every written residential lease  for  a  residence  in  a  dwelling
    17  having  four  or  more  residential  units  shall  contain the following
    18  clause:
    19    "Sublet". The tenant has the right  to  turn  over  the  apartment  to
    20  another  qualified  person  for the time remaining under this lease. But
    21  the tenant will still be responsible to the landlord if the other person
    22  does not pay the rent or violates the lease in any other way.
    23    The following steps must be taken if the tenant wants to turn over the
    24  apartment to another person:
    25    a. The tenant must send the landlord a letter by registered or  certi-
    26  fied  mail  asking  permission  to  turn  over the apartment. The letter
    27  should have the name, business and home addresses of the person who will
    28  take the apartment.
    29    b. Within ten days after the request is mailed the  landlord  may  ask
    30  for additional information about the person who wants to take the apart-
    31  ment.
    32    c. The landlord has thirty days from either the mailing of the request
    33  or  the  sending  of  the additional information, whichever is later, to
    34  answer the tenant's request. If the landlord  does  not  respond  within
    35  that time, the tenant may turn over the apartment.
    36    d.  If  the landlord denies permission without good reason, the tenant
    37  has the right to cancel the lease.
    38    3. If a residential lease  provides  that  the  landlord  may  recover
    39  attorneys' fees or expenses from the tenant for any action or proceeding
    40  arising out of the lease, the lease shall contain the following clause:
    41    "If  the  tenant  is  successful  in  the defense or prosecution of an
    42  action or proceeding arising out of this lease, the tenant  may  recover
    43  attorneys' fees and expenses from the landlord."
    44    4.  a.  Every  monthly  tenant  and  tenant  from month-to-month shall
    45  receive from the landlord at the start of the tenancy, written notice of
    46  their rights as a tenant. For the purposes  of  this  section,  adequate
    47  notice shall be deemed to have been satisfied if the writing consists of
    48  language  used  under  the  requirements for a written lease pursuant to
    49  this section, section 5-907 of  the  general  obligations  law,  section
    50  eighty-five  of  the multiple dwelling law, section three hundred five-b
    51  of the multiple residence law and section seven hundred  eighty-four  of
    52  the  real property actions and proceedings law for each section applica-
    53  ble to the tenant.
    54    b. Every landlord shall give the notice required under subdivision one
    55  of this section to each of his tenants residing as of January first, two
    56  thousand eighteen.

        A. 2964                             3
 
     1    c. A landlord is not required to give this notice to  a  tenant  whose
     2  month-to-month tenancy is created by section two hundred thirty-two-c of
     3  this article.
     4    5. A violation of any provision of this section or any other provision
     5  requiring  that  residential  leases  contain specific language shall be
     6  punishable by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.
     7    § 2. The multiple dwelling law is amended by adding a new  section  85
     8  to read as follows:
     9    §  85. Standard lease clauses. 1. Every written lease for an apartment
    10  for which section fifty-one-c of this article applies shall contain  the
    11  following clause:  "The tenant has the right to install an extra lock on
    12  any  entrance  door  to  the  apartment. The landlord may not refuse the
    13  tenant permission to install the lock and may not charge a fee  for  the
    14  right  to  install the lock. The tenant must provide the landlord with a
    15  duplicate key to all extra locks installed by the tenant upon request."
    16    2. Every written lease for an apartment  for  which  section  seventy-
    17  eight of this title applies shall contain the following clause:
    18    "Landlord shall keep every part of the building in good repair. Howev-
    19  er,  the tenant shall be responsible for damage caused by the misconduct
    20  or negligence of the tenant, tenant's family or guests."
    21    3. Every written lease for an apartment for which  section  eighty  of
    22  this title applies shall contain the following clause:
    23    "Landlord shall keep every common area in the building, and the lot in
    24  which it is situated, clean and free from vermin, garbage, dirt or other
    25  matter dangerous to life or health."
    26    4. Every written lease for an apartment for which section seventy-nine
    27  of this title applies shall contain the following clause:
    28    "Landlord must provide heat sufficient to maintain the minimum temper-
    29  atures  of  _____  degrees Fahrenheit during the hours of _____ to _____
    30  and _____ degrees Fahrenheit during the hours of _____ to _____  between
    31  the  dates  of  _____  to _____," with the landlord filling in the lease
    32  with the appropriate temperatures, hours, and dates  required  by  local
    33  law,  ordinance, rule, or regulation or by the local public health offi-
    34  cer.
    35    5. Every written lease  for  an  apartment  for  which  section  three
    36  hundred  two-c  of  this  chapter  applies  shall  contain the following
    37  clause:
    38    "If the landlord is responsible for paying  for  delivery  of  heating
    39  oil,  and there is a lack of heat because the landlord fails to have the
    40  oil supplied, the tenant, alone or together with other tenants, may  pay
    41  for the oil delivery and deduct the payment from the rent. The following
    42  procedures must be followed:
    43    a.  Reasonable  efforts  must first be made to inform the owner or his
    44  agent of the lack of oil and to have the normal  fuel  supplier  to  the
    45  apartment  deliver  the oil (Note: the tenant need only comply with this
    46  step if the landlord has conspicuously posted a notice with  an  address
    47  and  phone  number  where  he or his agent can be contacted and with the
    48  name, address, and phone number of the normal fuel supplier).
    49    b. Delivery of fuel oil to the premises must be secured  from  a  fuel
    50  supplier  regularly  engaged in the business at a price within the range
    51  of prices listed by the department charged with enforcing  landlord-ten-
    52  ant laws and regulations.
    53    c.  The  fuel supplier from whom oil is secured must provide a written
    54  statement containing the following:
    55    (1) The name of the person or persons who requested the delivery; and
    56    (2) The date, time and premises to which delivery was made; and

        A. 2964                             4
 
     1    (3) The amount, grade and price of the oil delivered; and
     2    (4)  A  certification that the usable fuel supply was exhausted before
     3  the delivery; and
     4    (5) The charge, if any, for refiring the burner; and
     5    (6) The amounts and from whom any payments were received."
     6    § 3. The multiple residence law is amended by  adding  a  new  section
     7  305-b to read as follows:
     8    §  305-b. Standard lease clauses. 1. Every written lease for an apart-
     9  ment for which section one hundred seventy-three of this chapter applies
    10  shall contain the following clause:
    11    "Landlord must provide heat sufficient to maintain the minimum temper-
    12  atures of _____ degrees Fahrenheit, for the hours of _____ to _____  and
    13  _____  degrees Fahrenheit during the hours of _____ to _____ between the
    14  date of _____ to _____" with the landlord filling in the lease with  the
    15  appropriate  temperatures, hours, and dates required by local law, ordi-
    16  nance, rule, or regulation or by the local public health officer.
    17    2. Every written lease for an apartment for which section one  hundred
    18  seventy-four of this chapter applies shall contain the following clause:
    19    "Landlord  shall  keep every part of the building and the lot on which
    20  it is situated in  good repair, clean and  free  from  vermin,  rodents,
    21  dirt, filth, garbage or other matter dangerous to life or health. Howev-
    22  er,  the  tenant  shall also be responsible for any damage caused by the
    23  misconduct or negligence of the tenant, tenant's family or guests."
    24    3. Every written lease  for  an  apartment  for  which  section  three
    25  hundred  five-a  of  this  article  applies  shall contain the following
    26  clause:
    27    "A rent-impairing violation is defined in New York  Codes,  Rules  and
    28  Regulations, Title 9, Part 1300. It includes, but is not limited to:
    29    (a)  failure  to  keep  premises  in  good repair, clean and free from
    30  vermin and rodents, (b) failure to provide an adequate supply  of  heat,
    31  and (c) lack of artificial lights in every public hall and stair."
    32    "If  such a violation exists, the tenant should report it to the divi-
    33  sion of housing and community renewal. If within six  months  after  the
    34  division  cites  the  building  for  the violation the landlord does not
    35  correct the violation or file a plan to correct it, the landlord may not
    36  recover rent from any tenant whose apartment contains the violation.  If
    37  the violation is in an area common  to  all  tenants,  no  rent  may  be
    38  collected from any tenant."
    39    "If  the  landlord  sues  to recover the rent withheld or to evict for
    40  non-payment of rent, the tenant must deposit the rent  sought  with  the
    41  clerk of the court where the landlord's suit was brought. After deposit-
    42  ing the rent, the tenant may not be evicted for non-payment of rent."
    43    4.  Every  written  lease  for  an  apartment  for which section three
    44  hundred five-c of this  article  applies  shall  contain  the  following
    45  clause:
    46    "If  the  landlord  is  responsible for paying for delivery of heating
    47  oil, and there is a lack of heat because the landlord fails to have  the
    48  oil  supplied, the tenant, alone or together with other tenants, may pay
    49  for the oil delivery and deduct the payment from the rent. The following
    50  procedures must be followed:
    51    a. Reasonable efforts must first be made to inform the  owner  or  his
    52  agent  of  the  lack  of oil and to have the normal fuel supplier to the
    53  apartment deliver the oil (Note: the tenant need only comply  with  this
    54  step  if  the landlord has conspicuously posted a notice with an address
    55  and phone number where he or his agent can be  contacted  and  with  the
    56  name, address, and phone number of the normal fuel supplier).

        A. 2964                             5

     1    b.  Delivery  of  fuel oil to the premises must be secured from a fuel
     2  supplier regularly engaged in the business at a price within  the  range
     3  of  prices listed by the department charged with enforcing landlord-ten-
     4  ant laws and regulations.
     5    c.  The  fuel supplier from whom oil is secured must provide a written
     6  statement containing the following:
     7    (1) The name of the person or persons who requested the delivery; and
     8    (2) The date, time and premises to which delivery was made; and
     9    (3) The amount, grade and price of the oil delivered; and
    10    (4) A certification that the usable fuel supply was  exhausted  before
    11  the delivery; and
    12    (5) The charge, if any, for refiring the burner; and
    13    (6) The amounts and from whom any payments were received."
    14    §  4.  The  real  property  actions  and proceedings law is amended by
    15  adding a new section 784 to read as follows:
    16    § 784. Required lease provisions. Every written lease for an apartment
    17  for which this article applies shall contain the following clause:
    18    "Rent deposited in court". If there exists in any part of the building
    19  a lack of running water, light, electricity,  adequate  sewage  disposal
    20  facilities,  or any other condition dangerous to life, health or safety,
    21  which has existed for five days, or an infestation by rodents, one-third
    22  or more of the tenants living  in  the  building  may  bring  a  special
    23  proceeding  in  court.  The court may order that the rents due and rents
    24  due in the future be deposited with the court to be used exclusively  to
    25  remedy any of these conditions.
    26    "No  rent  may  be  withheld or deposited or deposited with the court,
    27  however, if the tenant or tenant's family or guests  caused  the  condi-
    28  tion."
    29    §  5.  The  general obligations law is amended by adding a new section
    30  5-907 to read as follows:
    31    § 5-907. Standard lease clauses. 1. Every  written  residential  lease
    32  shall contain the following clause:
    33    "Landlord's  liability". The landlord is legally responsible for inju-
    34  ries to people and property resulting from his negligence or the  negli-
    35  gence  of his agents or employees in the operation or maintenance of the
    36  building or the lot containing the building.
    37    2. Every written residential lease for an apartment for which subdivi-
    38  sion two-a of section 7-103 of this chapter applies  shall  contain  the
    39  following clause:
    40    "Security  deposit". The landlord must put the security deposit into a
    41  bank account paying the prevailing rate of interest.  The  landlord  may
    42  keep  one  percent  a  year for administrative expenses. The rest of the
    43  interest will be paid to the tenant each year or treated as an  addition
    44  to the tenant's security deposit.
    45                    The security deposit will be located in
    46                       Bank___________________________
    47                      Address_________________________,
    48  with  the landlord filling in how the interest will be disbursed and the
    49  name and address of the bank holding the security deposit.
    50    § 6. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
    51  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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