A09024 Summary:

BILL NO    A09024 

SAME AS    SAME AS S02329-A

SPONSOR    Sepulveda

COSPNSR    Colton, Hikind, Robinson, Crespo, Mosley, Moya, Zebrowski, Graf,
           McDonough, Rivera, Hooper, Markey

MLTSPNSR   Arroyo, Cook, Giglio, Goodell, Lupinacci, Weisenberg

Add S309-b, Mult Dwell L; add S235-h, RP L

Prohibits the owner, agent or operator of a multiple dwelling from hiring as a
building superintendent, managing agent, or resident manager any person who is
registered as a level two or level three sex offender in New York state, and
provides that sexual harassment of a tenant by any owner, agent or operator of
a multiple dwelling or for any employee or contractor of such owner, agent or
operator constitutes a violation of the warranty of habitability.
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A09024 Actions:

BILL NO    A09024 

03/07/2014 referred to housing
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A09024 Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A09024 Memo:

BILL NUMBER:A9024

TITLE OF BILL:  An act to amend the multiple dwelling law, in relation
to prohibiting the owner, agent or operator of a multiple dwelling
from hiring as a building superintendent, managing agent, or resident
manager any person who is designated as a level two or level three sex
offender; and to amend the real property law, in relation to providing
that sexual harassment of a tenant by any owner, agent or operator of
a multiple dwelling, or any employee or contractor of such an owner,
agent or operator constitutes a violation of the warranty of
habitability

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To forbid owners of multiple dwellings from hiring dangerous sex
offenders as building superintendents or property managers; to permit
tenants to refuse access to registered sex offenders who may be
employed by a building owner; and to provide that sexual harassment of
a tenant by any building owner or agent thereof constitutes a
violation of the warranty of habitability.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends the multiple dwelling law by adding a new section
309-b, to require that an owner or operator of a multiple dwelling
shall not hire as a building superintendent, managing agent, or
resident manager any person who is registered as a level two or level
three sex offender in New York state; provides that no tenant shall be
required to give access to his or her apartment to any person who is a
registered sex offender.

Section 2: Amends the real property law by adding a new section 235-h,
to provide that it shall be unlawful and shall constitute a violation
of the warranty of habitability for any owner, agent, or operator of a
multiple dwelling or any employee or contractor of such owner, agent,
or operator to subject any tenant of the building to sexual
harassment. Defines "tenant" and "sexual harassment" as used in this
section and explains the process by which tenants may apply to the
Supreme Court to seek a restraining or similar order in the case of
sexual harassment.

Further stipulates that the powers and remedies set forth in this
section shall be in addition to all other powers and remedies in
relation to sexual harassment including the award of damages and do
not limit or restrict existing local laws, ordinance, or provisions of
New York City's administrative code. Any agreement by a tenant in a
written lease or other rental agreement waiving or modifying his or
her rights as set forth in this section shall be void as contrary to
public policy.

JUSTIFICATION:

Current laws and regulations require tenants in New York City and
other jurisdictions to allow landlords access to their apartments,
subject to certain restrictions, and permit landlords to seek eviction
of tenants who unreasonably refuse such access (HMC S 27-2008; 28 RCNY


S 25-101; 9 NYCRR S 2524.3 (e); NYCAC S 26-408 (a)(6); 9 NYCRR
2204.2 (a) (6)).

Additionally, the multiple dwelling law requires tenants who install
their own locks to provide landlords with duplicate keys upon request
(Multiple Dwelling Law S 51-c).

In practice, landlords may designate building superintendents,
property managers, contractors, or other individuals to enter tenants'
apartments for inspections or repairs, and/or to have possession of
keys to residents' apartments. Tenants may have little or no
information as to the identity and background of the people to whom
they are required to allow access, and could be subject to eviction
for "unreasonable" refusal to provide access should they object to the
entry of an owner's agent. In these circumstances, tenants are
vulnerable to the possibility that they may be required to provide
access to persons who are sex offenders.

New York and other states have developed sex offender registration
systems in order to provide the public and the police with information
about the location of individuals who have been convicted of rape,
sexual assault, and other sex offenses, as well as the risk that any
particular offender might re-offend. However, many tenants do not
regularly search the New York State Sex Offender Registry;
additionally, some contractors or other agents employed by landlords
may not appear in the database as being in proximity to the buildings
in which they are doing work. What is more, landlords may use the
threat of eviction to compel tenants to provide access even to persons
who are known sex offenders.

For these reasons, it is important that the burden of ensuring that
dangerous sex offenders are not employed so as to be able to gain
access to tenants' apartments be placed on the landlords who might
employ them. This legislation would forbid landlords from employing as
superintendents, property managers, or other agents any level two or
level three registered sex offenders. Additionally, it would permit
tenants to deny access to any registered sex offenders without fear of
eviction or other sanction.

While current law forbids landlords from harassing tenants, whether
through physical or verbal abuse, willful denial of services, or
multiple instances of frivolous litigation, it does not specifically
protect tenants from sexual harassment by landlords or their agents.
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature can be used to victimize
tenants and to force them from their apartments. By defining sexual
harassment as a breach of the warranty of habitability, this
legislation gives tenants recourse against such behavior, allowing
them to sue landlords who commit or allow their agents to commit
sexually harassing acts.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2010 - S.6760 Referred to Housing- A.9858 Referred to Codes
2012 - S.987 Referred to Housing Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:


None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

On the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall
have become law.
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A09024 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         9024

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                     March 7, 2014
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  SEPULVEDA  --  read once and referred to the
         Committee on Housing

       AN ACT to amend the multiple dwelling law, in  relation  to  prohibiting
         the  owner,  agent or operator of a multiple dwelling from hiring as a
         building superintendent,  managing  agent,  or  resident  manager  any
         person  who  is designated as a level two or level three sex offender;
         and to amend the real property law,  in  relation  to  providing  that
         sexual  harassment  of  a  tenant by any owner, agent or operator of a
         multiple dwelling, or any employee or contractor  of  such  an  owner,
         agent  or  operator constitutes a violation of the warranty of habita-
         bility

         THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    1    Section  1.  The  multiple  dwelling  law  is  amended by adding a new
    2  section 309-b to read as follows:
    3    S 309-B. PROHIBITED HIRING. 1.   AN OWNER,  AGENT  OR  OPERATOR  OF  A
    4  MULTIPLE  DWELLING SHALL NOT HIRE AS A BUILDING SUPERINTENDENT, MANAGING
    5  AGENT OR RESIDENT MANAGER ANY PERSON WHO IS REGISTERED AS A LEVEL TWO OR
    6  LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDER IN THIS STATE PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SIX-C OF  THE
    7  CORRECTION LAW.
    8    2.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  PROVISION  OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY, NO TENANT
    9  SHALL BE REQUIRED TO GIVE ACCESS TO HIS OR HER APARTMENT TO  ANY  PERSON
   10  WHO IS A REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER.
   11    S 2. The real property law is amended by adding a new section 235-h to
   12  read as follows:
   13    S  235-H. SEXUAL HARASSMENT. 1. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL AND SHALL CONSTI-
   14  TUTE A VIOLATION OF THE WARRANTY OF HABITABILITY FOR ANY OWNER, AGENT OR
   15  OPERATOR OF A MULTIPLE DWELLING OR FOR ANY  EMPLOYEE  OR  CONTRACTOR  OF
   16  SUCH  OWNER,  AGENT OR OPERATOR TO SUBJECT ANY TENANT OF THE BUILDING TO
   17  SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
   18    2. AS USED IN THIS SECTION:
   19    (A) "TENANT" MEANS A PERSON OR BUSINESS OCCUPYING OR RESIDING  AT  THE
   20  PREMISES PURSUANT TO A WRITTEN LEASE OR OTHER RENTAL AGREEMENT; AND

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD01816-04-4
       A. 9024                             2

    1    (B)  "SEXUAL  HARASSMENT"  MEANS  UNWELCOME SEXUAL ADVANCES, UNWELCOME
    2  REQUESTS FOR SEXUAL FAVORS,  AND  OTHER  UNWELCOME  VERBAL  OR  PHYSICAL
    3  CONDUCT OF A SEXUAL NATURE.
    4    3. A TENANT MAY APPLY TO THE SUPREME COURT FOR AN ORDER ENJOINING ACTS
    5  OR PRACTICES WHICH CONSTITUTE SEXUAL HARASSMENT UNDER SUBDIVISION ONE OF
    6  THIS SECTION; AND UPON SUFFICIENT SHOWING, THE SUPREME COURT MAY ISSUE A
    7  TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT INJUNCTION, RESTRAINING ORDER OR OTHER ORDER, ALL
    8  OF  WHICH  MAY,  AS  THE  COURT  DETERMINES IN THE EXERCISE OF ITS SOUND
    9  DISCRETION, BE GRANTED WITHOUT BOND. IN THE EVENT  THE  COURT  ISSUES  A
   10  PRELIMINARY  INJUNCTION IT SHALL MAKE PROVISION FOR AN EXPEDITIOUS TRIAL
   11  OF THE UNDERLYING ACTION.
   12    4. THE POWERS AND REMEDIES SET FORTH IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDI-
   13  TION TO ALL OTHER POWERS AND REMEDIES IN RELATION TO  SEXUAL  HARASSMENT
   14  INCLUDING  THE AWARD OF DAMAGES. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION SHALL
   15  BE CONSTRUED TO AMEND, REPEAL, MODIFY OR AFFECT ANY EXISTING  LOCAL  LAW
   16  OR  ORDINANCE, OR PROVISION OF THE CHARTER OR ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF THE
   17  CITY OF NEW YORK, OR TO LIMIT OR RESTRICT THE POWER OF THE CITY  OF  NEW
   18  YORK  TO  AMEND OR MODIFY ANY EXISTING LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE OR PROVISION
   19  OF SUCH CHARTER OR ADMINISTRATIVE CODE, OR  TO  RESTRICT  OR  LIMIT  ANY
   20  POWER OTHERWISE CONFERRED BY LAW WITH RESPECT TO SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
   21    5. ANY AGREEMENT BETWEEN A TENANT AND A LANDLORD IN A WRITTEN LEASE OR
   22  ANY OTHER RENTAL AGREEMENT WAIVING OR MODIFYING HIS OR HER RIGHTS AS SET
   23  FORTH  IN  THIS  SECTION SHALL BE VOID AS AGAINST AND CONTRARY TO PUBLIC
   24  POLICY.
   25    S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
   26  ing the date on which it shall have become a law.
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