New York City Council has passed a measure that will require landlords to provide at least 24-hours’ notice before conducting any work that would disrupt building services. Elevator repairs that suspend all service for two hours or more must be announced ten business days in advance.
The measure, which was passed 50-0, has been signed into law by Mayor de Blasio.
Two proponents of the bill, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Council Member Rosie Mendez, praised Mayor de Blasio for signing off on the bill which requires landlords to provide tenants with advance notice for non-emergency repair work that will result in disruptions to building services.
“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,” Brewer stated.
Brewer suggests, however, that the bill serves another purpose. “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. She says the new law will “take another harassment tool” away from bad landlords.
According to Brewer and Mendez, many of the city’s landlords and management companies already provide advance notice of planned repairs to tenants – but many others do not. They say the intent of this law is to help tenants plan ahead, to minimize the impact of needed repairs, but at the same time to recognize when disruptions are for legitimate repairs versus contrived by landlords in order to harass tenants.
The law requires that landlords notify tenants when such work will affect services, and for how long.
The law will take affect later this fall. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the Department of Buildings are tasked with regulating and, ultimately, with enforcing the law.
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