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A05970 Summary:

BILL NOA05970
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01106
 
SPONSORBurdick
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add §228-a, RP L
 
Prohibits the termination of tenancy in housing occupied by substantially all persons over sixty-five years of age and/or persons with disabilities without cause; prohibits increasing rent more than one percent above the percentage change.
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A05970 Actions:

BILL NOA05970
 
03/03/2021referred to aging
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A05970 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A5970
 
SPONSOR: Burdick
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property law, in relation to prohibiting the termination of tenancy in certain housing occupied by senior citizens and/or persons with disabilities   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would require the approval of a court before the termi- nation of, or failure to renew, a lease for tenants in rental buildings where substantially all of the lessees or tenants occupying such units are sixty-five years of age or older and/or are persons with disabili- ties.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new Section 228a of the real property law to require landlords to obtain court approval prior to seeking the termination of, or failure to renew, more than one lease, for tenants in rental buildings where substantially all of the lessees or tenants occu- pying such units are sixty-five years of age or older and/or are persons with disabilities, unless the lessor has cause such as nonpayment of rent. This section also requires notice to lessees, tenants and local governments, if such court approval is sought and provides factors the court may consider when making a termination. Paragraph 2 of Section 1 of the bill limits rent increases in senior housing and/or housing for the disabled rental buildings to no more than one percent above the percentage change in the CPI since the start of the tenancy or most recent renewal, whichever is more recent at the time of renewal and further stipulates that such rents may not be increased more than once annually. Paragraph 3 of Section 1 of the bill states lessors of qualified senior housing and/or housing for the disabled shall provide prospective tenants with a notice in the lease of the tenant's rights provided under this section. Paragraph 4 of Section 1 of the bill provides that any owner or landlord of a senior housing and/or housing for the disabled rental building who does not comply with these provisions shall be liable for reasonable costs such as court fees, attorney expenses and relocation costs borne by affected lessees. Additionally, lessors shall return initiation fees and security deposits to lessees or tenants where appropriate. An action to recover for loss, damage or injury may be brought in any court with jurisdiction by the affected tenant or lessee. Paragraph 5 of Section 1 defines terms as used in the section. 5(a) defines "lessor" as the owner or landlord of a rental building; 5(b) defines "person with a disability" as an individual who is currently receiving SSDI or SSI benefits; 5(c) defines "rental building" as twenty or more residential units and 5(d) defines "substantially all" as approximately eighty percent or more of the lessees or tenants occupying units in a rental building, provided that the court need not rely on a strict percentage when, in its determination the interests of justice warrant it. Section 2 states this act shall take effect immediately   JUSTIFICATION: The number of older Americans is increasing rapidly. As this population grows, they will require access to stable, affordable and physically accessible housing. To ensure these needs are met, many seniors opt to move from their homes into senior living facilities, as they are typi- cally centrally located and can provide many of the unique supports and services seniors require. Often, when residents move into senior housing they expect they may be there possibly for the rest of their lives. Recently in White Plains, the Esplanade Senior Living facility decided to re-purpose that location into higher-end apartments and gave all of their senior tenants' notice of their pending eviction. This was despite the fact the facility allowed new tenants to move in and renew leases as late as one month before the evictions were announced. The residents, approximately 150 senior citizens, were required to move out. However, many of these senior citizens were on fixed incomes and many were not be able to quickly secure new housing or had limited mobility and were not easily able to move to a new location. This legislation would prevent similar circumstances from occurring in the future by adding certain rights and protections for seniors living in senior housing that is not otherwise regulated by the state.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   IMPACT ON REGULATION OF BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS: This legislation would prohibit certain lessors from removing elderly and/or disabled tenants without cause.   EFFECT ON FINES, TERMS OF IMPRISONMENT OR OTHER PENAL SANCTIONS: None.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2019 - 2020: S2592 (Stewart-Cousins) - Referred to Judiciary / A46 (Buchwald) 2017 - 2018: S.6883 (Stewart-Cousins) - Referred to Judiciary / A.6449A (Buchwald) Referred to Aging 2016: S.6883 (Stewart-Cousins) Referred to Judiciary / A.9460 (Buchwald) - Referred to Aging   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A05970 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5970
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      March 3, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. BURDICK -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Aging
 
        AN ACT to amend the real property law, in relation  to  prohibiting  the
          termination  of tenancy in certain housing occupied by senior citizens
          and/or persons with disabilities
 
          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  228-a to read as follows:
     3    § 228-a. Tenancy in rental buildings; senior  citizens;  persons  with
     4  disabilities.   1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section two hundred
     5  twenty-eight of this article or any other provision to the contrary,  if
     6  substantially  all of the lessees or tenants occupying units in a rental
     7  building are over sixty-five years of age and/or are persons with  disa-
     8  bilities,  the  lessor  may  not  terminate or fail to renew a lease for
     9  premises in such building or terminate a tenancy at will or  at  suffer-
    10  ance,  except for cause involving actions of the tenant that violate the
    11  terms of the lease, such as the non-payment of rent, without  the  prior
    12  approval  of  a court of competent jurisdiction.  In determining whether
    13  to grant approval, the court shall consider factors including:   whether
    14  the  lessor  is  operating  the rental building at a profit or loss; the
    15  need for any major  capital  repairs  or  improvements  that  cannot  be
    16  performed  while  the  tenants  are  in  occupancy;  any written or oral
    17  representations made by the lessor to tenants about how long they  could
    18  remain  in  occupancy;  any  alternative  housing  being  offered by the
    19  lessor, the number of affected tenants;  and  the  length  of  time  the
    20  affected  tenants  have lived in their apartments. At the time of filing
    21  any action affecting more than one lease and seeking such prior approval
    22  from a court of competent jurisdiction, the lessor shall notify all  the
    23  lessees and tenants occupying units in the rental building that are over
    24  sixty-five  years  of  age  and/or  are persons with disabilities of the
    25  filing of such action.  The lessor shall also notify at  such  time  any
    26  village,  town,  city and county, except counties inside the city of New
    27  York, in which such rental building is located of  the  filing  of  such
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07376-01-1

        A. 5970                             2
 
     1  action.  While  such  action  is  pending,  the  lessor shall notify any
     2  prospective lessee or tenant prior to the signing of a lease  for  prem-
     3  ises in such rental building of the pendency of such action.
     4    2. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, a lessor of a rental
     5  building  where  substantially  all  of the lessees or tenants occupying
     6  units in the rental building are over sixty-five years of age and/or are
     7  persons with disabilities may not  increase  the  rent  in  such  rental
     8  building  by  more  than  one percent above the percentage change in the
     9  consumer price index since the start  of  the  tenancy  or  most  recent
    10  renewal,  whichever is more recent at the time of renewal of a lease and
    11  may not increase the rent more than one time annually.
    12    3. Every lessor of rental buildings where  substantially  all  of  the
    13  lessees  or  tenants  occupying  units  are over sixty-five years of age
    14  and/or are persons with disabilities, shall notify  prospective  tenants
    15  of  the provision of this section. Such notice shall be in writing, upon
    16  the rental application, and shall include, in plain and simple  English,
    17  in  conspicuous print of at least eighteen point type, an explanation of
    18  a tenant's rights under this section and all other  applicable  require-
    19  ments and duties relating thereto.
    20  Such notice shall read as follows:
    21          NOTICE TO SENIOR CITIZENS AND/OR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES:
    22                              BUILDING TENANCY
    23       SECTION 228-A OF THE REAL PROPERTY LAW OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
    24     PROHIBITS A LESSOR FROM TERMINATING OR FAILING TO RENEW A LEASE OR
    25     TENANCY FOR PREMISES IN CERTAIN HOUSING FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND/OR
    26                PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES, EXCEPT FOR CAUSE.
    27        (CONSULT SECTION 228-A OF THE REAL PROPERTY LAW FOR SPECIFIC
    28                         INFORMATION AND CRITERIA.)
    29    4.  Any  lessor  who  violates the provisions of this section shall be
    30  liable to the lessee or tenant affected thereby  for  reasonable  costs,
    31  including  reasonable  attorney's  fees,  which  fees shall be taxed and
    32  collected as a part of the costs in the action, and for  the  reasonable
    33  expenses  incurred  by  the affected lessee or tenant in relocating to a
    34  new residence. Additionally, lessors shall return  initiation  fees  and
    35  security  deposits  to lessees or tenants, where appropriate.  An action
    36  to recover for such loss, damage or injury may be brought in  any  court
    37  of competent jurisdiction by the affected tenant or lessee.
    38    5. As used in this section:
    39    (a)  "lessor" means the owner or landlord of a rental building, or his
    40  or her agent;
    41    (b) "person with a disability" means an individual  who  is  currently
    42  receiving  social  security  disability insurance (SSDI) or supplemental
    43  security income (SSI) benefits under the federal social security act  or
    44  disability  pension  or disability compensation benefits provided by the
    45  United States department of veterans affairs or those previously  eligi-
    46  ble  by  virtue  of receiving disability benefits under the supplemental
    47  security income program or the social security  disability  program  and
    48  currently  receiving  medical assistance benefits based on determination
    49  of disability as provided in section  three  hundred  sixty-six  of  the
    50  social services law;
    51    (c) "rental building" means twenty or more residential units; and
    52    (d)  "substantially all" means approximately eighty percent or more of
    53  the lessees or tenants occupying units in a  rental  building,  provided
    54  that  the court need not rely on a strict percentage when, in its deter-
    55  mination, the interests of justice warrant it.
    56    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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