Governor Hochul Signs into Law Legislation Easing Restrictions on Condominium Conversions for Smaller Buildings, Sponsored by Senator Gounardes and Assemblyman Eichenstein

NYS Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation this weekend sponsored by Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein which will make it easier for tenants and apartment dwellers to purchase their homes. The new legislation will also allow small buildings to convert to cooperative or condominium ownership with fewer restrictions.

Under the previous law, it was difficult and unrealistic for a small building to convert to condo or cooperative ownership, because a full 51% of the building’s units had to be sold to effectively convert. The new bill (#8564/A8809B) will permit buildings containing five or fewer units to convert into co-ops or condos when just fifteen percent of the owners or tenants give written permission to do so. This will have a positive effect on the real estate market for both small landlords and tenants.

Tenants occupying units in a three-to-five family home will now have the option of negotiating the purchase of their own apartments while smaller homeowners will more easily be able to sell single units to buyers. Furthermore, this new legislation will incentivize small landlords to maintain and improve their apartments in the event that the tenants will eventually decide to purchase them.

"For millions of New Yorkers, home ownership can often feel like an impossible dream," said Senator Andrew Gounardes. "My bill, S8564, would take a step towards moving that dream of home-ownership within reach for many, by making it easier for renters to purchase their current homes. The complexity of our city's affordable housing crisis will require thoughtful, multi-pronged solutions; legislation like this bill that makes homeownership more accessible must be a crucial part of that conversation.

“The current law posed too many restrictions on apartment dwellers and owners of three-to-five family buildings,” said Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein. “As a result, it became extremely difficult for any such building to convert to a condominium and for individual apartments to be bought or sold.”

This new legislation, Assemblyman Eichenstein pointed out, will encourage home ownership for tenants who could not otherwise afford to purchase an apartment and will allow them to remain in their homes for the long term.

“In my district and elsewhere, this new legislation will create new opportunities for hard-working New Yorkers to buy or sell their homes more easily,” said Assemblyman Eichenstein. “It’s a win-win for everyone involved and I thank Governor Hochul for signing this legislation into law.”