2019 New York Laws
ETP - Emergency Tenant Protection Act 576/74

§ 4. The emergency tenant protection act of nineteen hundred seventy-four is hereby enacted to read as follows:

EMERGENCY TENANT PROTECTION ACT

OF NINETEEN SEVENTY-FOUR Section 1. Short title.

2. Legislative finding.

3. Local determination of emergency; end of emergency.

4. Establishment of rent guidelines boards; duties.

5. Housing accommodations subject to regulation.

6. Regulation of rents.

7. Maintenance of services.

8. Administration.

9. Application for adjustment of initial legal regulated

rent.

10. Regulations.

10-a. Right to sublease.

10-b. Major capital improvements and individual apartment

improvements in rent regulated units.

11. Non-waiver of rights.

12. Enforcement and procedures.

12-a. Rent registration.

13. Cooperation with other governmental agencies.

14. Application of act.

Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be

cited as the "emergency tenant protection act of nineteen

seventy-four".

§ 2. Legislative finding. The legislature hereby finds and

declares that a serious public emergency continues to exist in

the housing of a considerable number of persons in the state of

New York, that such emergency necessitates the intervention of

federal, state and local government in order to prevent

speculative, unwarranted and abnormal increases in rents; that

there continues to exist in many areas of the state an acute

shortage of housing accommodations caused by continued high

demand, attributable in part to new household formations and

decreased supply, in large measure attributable to reduced

availability of federal subsidies, and increased costs of

construction and other inflationary factors; that a substantial

number of persons residing in housing not presently subject to

the provisions of this act or the emergency housing rent control

law or the local emergency housing rent control act are being

charged excessive and unwarranted rents and rent increases; that

preventive action by the legislature continues to be imperative

in order to prevent exaction of unjust, unreasonable and

oppressive rents and rental agreements and to forestall

profiteering, speculation and other disruptive practices tending

to produce threats to the public health, safety and general

welfare; that in order to prevent uncertainty, hardship and

dislocation, the provisions of this act are necessary and

designed to protect the public health, safety and general

welfare; that the transition from regulation to a normal market

of free bargaining between landlord and tenant, while the

ultimate objective of state policy, must take place with due

regard for such emergency; and that the policy herein expressed

shall be subject to determination of the existence of a public

emergency requiring the regulation of residential rents within

any city, town or village by the local legislative body of such

city, town or village.

§ 3. Local determination of emergency; end of emergency. a.

The existence of public emergency requiring the regulation of

residential rents for all or any class or classes of housing

accommodations, including any plot or parcel of land which had

been rented prior to May first, nineteen hundred fifty, for the

purpose of permitting the tenant thereof to construct or place

his own dwelling thereon and on which plot or parcel of land

there exists a dwelling owned and occupied by a tenant of such

plot or parcel, heretofore destabilized; heretofore or hereafter

decontrolled, exempt, not subject to control, or exempted from

regulation and control under the provisions of the emergency

housing rent control law, the local emergency housing rent

control act or the New York city rent stabilization law of

nineteen hundred sixty-nine; or subject to stabilization or

control under such rent stabilization law, shall be a matter for

local determination within each city, town or village. Any such

determination shall be made by the local legislative body of

such city, town or village on the basis of the supply of housing

accommodations within such city, town or village, the condition

of such accommodations and the need for regulating and

controlling residential rents within such city, town or village.

A declaration of emergency may be made as to any class of

housing accommodations if the vacancy rate for the housing

accommodations in such class within such municipality is not in

excess of five percent and a declaration of emergency may be

made as to all housing accommodations if the vacancy rate for

the housing accommodations within such municipality is not in

excess of five percent.

b. The local governing body of a city, town or village having

declared an emergency pursuant to subdivision a of this section

may at any time, on the basis of the supply of housing

accommodations within such city, town or village, the condition

of such accommodations and the need for continued regulation and

control of residential rents within such municipality, declare

that the emergency is either wholly or partially abated or that

the regulation of rents pursuant to this act does not serve to

abate such emergency and thereby remove one or more classes of

accommodations from regulation under this act. The emergency

must be declared at an end once the vacancy rate described in

subdivision a of this section exceeds five percent.

c. No resolution declaring the existence or end of an

emergency, as authorized by subdivisions a and b of this

section, may be adopted except after public hearing held on not

less than ten days public notice, as the local legislative body

may reasonably provide.

§ 4. Establishment of rent guidelines boards; duties. a. In

each county wherein any city having a population of less than

one million or any town or village has determined the existence

of an emergency pursuant to section three of this act, there

shall be created a rent guidelines board to consist of nine

members appointed by the commissioner of housing and community

renewal upon recommendation of the county legislature, except

that a rent guidelines board created subsequent to the effective

date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand nineteen that

amended this section shall consist of nine members appointed by

the commissioner of housing and community renewal upon

recommendations of the local legislative body of each city

having a population of less than one million or town or village

which has determined the existence of an emergency pursuant to

section three of this act. Such recommendation shall be made

within thirty days after the first local declaration of an

emergency in such county; two such members shall be

representative of tenants, two shall be representative of owners

of property, and five shall be public members each of whom shall

have had at least five years experience in either finance,

economics or housing. One public member shall be designated by

the commissioner to serve as chairman and shall hold no other

public office. No member, officer or employee of any municipal

rent regulation agency or the state division of housing and

community renewal and no person who owns or manages real estate

covered by this law or who is an officer of any owner or tenant

organization shall serve on a rent guidelines board. One public

member, one member representative of tenants and one member

representative of owners shall serve for a term ending two years

from January first next succeeding the date of their

appointment; one public member, one member representative of

tenants and one member representative of owners shall serve for

terms ending three years from the January first next succeeding

the date of their appointment and three public members shall

serve for terms ending four years from January first next

succeeding the dates of their appointment. Thereafter, all

members shall serve for terms of four years each. Members shall

continue in office until their successors have been appointed

and qualified. The commissioner shall fill any vacancy which may

occur by reason of death, resignation or otherwise in a manner

consistent with the original appointment. A member may be

removed by the commissioner for cause, but not without an

opportunity to be heard in person or by counsel, in his defense,

upon not less than ten days notice. Compensation for the members

of the board shall be at the rate of one hundred dollars per

day, for no more than twenty days a year, except that the

chairman shall be compensated at the rate of one hundred

twenty-five dollars a day for no more than thirty days a year.

The board shall be provided staff assistance by the division of

housing and community renewal. The compensation of such members

and the costs of staff assistance shall be paid by the division

of housing and community renewal which shall be reimbursed in

the manner prescribed in section four of this act. The local

legislative body of each city having a population of less than

one million and each town and village in which an emergency has

been determined to exist as herein provided shall be authorized

to designate one person who shall be representative of tenants

and one person who shall be representative of owners of property

to serve at its pleasure and without compensation to advise and

assist the county rent guidelines board in matters affecting the

adjustment of rents for housing accommodations in such city,

town or village as the case may be.

a-1. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision a of this

section to the contrary, in each county that became subject to

this act pursuant to the chapter of the laws of two thousand

nineteen that amended this section, the commissioner shall

reconstitute the existing rent guidelines board subsequent to

any initial local declaration of emergency within such county

for the purpose of ensuring representation of all cities having

a population of less than one million and all towns and villages

within such county having determined the existence of an

emergency in accordance with this act are represented, pursuant

to rules and regulations promulgated by the division of housing

and community renewal.

b. A county rent guidelines board shall establish annual

guidelines for rent adjustments which, at its sole discretion

may be varied and different for and within the several zones and

jurisdictions of the board, and in determining whether rents for

housing accommodations as to which an emergency has been

declared pursuant to this act shall be adjusted, shall consider

among other things (1) the economic condition of the residential

real estate industry in the affected area including such factors

as the prevailing and projected (i) real estate taxes and sewer

and water rates, (ii) gross operating maintenance costs

(including insurance rates, governmental fees, cost of fuel and

labor costs), (iii) costs and availability of financing

(including effective rates of interest), (iv) over-all supply of

housing accommodations and over-all vacancy rates, (2) relevant

data from the current and projected cost of living indices for

the affected area, (3) such other data as may be made available

to it. As soon as practicable after its creation and thereafter

not later than July first of each year, a rent guidelines board

shall file with the state division of housing and community

renewal its findings for the preceding calendar year, and shall

accompany such findings with a statement of the maximum rate or

rates of rent adjustment, if any, for one or more classes of

accommodation subject to this act, authorized for leases or

other rental agreements commencing during the next succeeding

twelve months. The standards for rent adjustments may be

applicable for the entire county or may be varied according to

such zones or jurisdictions within such county as the board

finds necessary to achieve the purposes of this subdivision. A

rent guidelines board shall not establish annual guidelines for

rent adjustments based on the current rental cost of a unit or

on the amount of time that has elapsed since another rent

increase was authorized pursuant to this chapter.

The standards for rent adjustments established annually shall

be effective for leases commencing on October first of each year

and during the next succeeding twelve months whether or not the

board has filed its findings and statement of the maximum rate

or rates of rent adjustment by July first of each year. If such

lease is entered into before such filing by the board, it may

provide for the rent to be adjusted by the rates then in effect,

subject to change by the applicable rates of rent adjustment

when filed, such change to be effective as of the date of the

commencement of the lease. Said lease must provide that, if the

new rates of rent adjustment differ for leases of different

terms, the tenant has the option of changing the original lease

term to any other term for which a rate of rent adjustment is

set by the board, with the rental to be adjusted accordingly.

Where a city, town or village shall act to determine the

existence of public emergency pursuant to section three of this

act subsequent to the establishment of annual guidelines for

rent adjustments of the accommodations subject to this act, the

rent guidelines board as soon as practicable thereafter shall

file its findings and rates of rent adjustment for leases or

other rental agreements for the housing accommodations in such a

city, town or village, which rates shall be effective for leases

or other rental agreements commencing on or after the effective

date of the determination.

c. In a city having a population of one million or more, the

rent guidelines board shall be the rent guidelines board

established pursuant to the New York city rent stabilization law

of nineteen hundred sixty-nine as amemded, and such board shall

have the powers granted pursuant to the New York city rent

stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine as amended.

d. Maximum rates of rent adjustment shall not be established

more than once annually for any housing accommodation within a

board's jurisdiction. Once established, no such rate shall,

within the one-year period, be adjusted by any surcharge,

supplementary adjustment or other modification.

e. Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, the

adjustment for vacancy leases covered by the provisions of this

act shall be determined exclusively pursuant to section ten of

this act. Rent guidelines boards shall no longer promulgate

adjustments for vacancy leases.

§ 5. Housing accommodations subject to regulation. a. A

declaration of emergency may be made pursuant to section three

as to all or any class or classes of housing accommodations in a

municipality, except:

(1) housing accommodations subject to the emergency housing

rent control law, or the local emergency housing rent control

act, other than housing accommodations subject to the New York

city rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine;

(2) housing accommodations owned or operated by the United

States, the state of New York, any political subdivision, agency

or instrumentality thereof, any municipality or any public

housing authority;

(3) housing accommodations in buildings in which rentals are

fixed by or subject to the supervision of the state division of

housing and community renewal under other provisions of law or

the New York city department of housing preservation and

development or the New York state urban development corporation,

or, to the extent that regulation under this act is inconsistent

therewith aided by government insurance under any provision of

the National Housing Act;

(4) (a) housing accommodations in a building containing fewer

than six dwelling units, other than any plot or parcel of land

in cities having a population of one million or more which had

been rented prior to May first, nineteen hundred fifty, for the

purpose of permitting the tenant thereof to construct or place

his own dwelling thereon and heretofore or hereafter

decontrolled, exempt, not subject to control or exempted from

regulation and control under the provisions of the emergency

housing rent control law or the local emergency housing rent

control act and on which plot or parcel of land there exists a

dwelling owned and occupied by a tenant of such plot or parcel;

(b) for purposes of this paragraph four, a building shall be

deemed to contain six or more dwelling units if it is part of a

multiple family garden-type maisonette dwelling complex

containing six or more dwelling units having common facilities

such as a sewer line, water main or heating plant and operated

as a unit under common ownership, notwithstanding that

certificates of occupancy were issued for portions thereof as

one- or two-family dwellings.

(5) housing accommodations in buildings completed or buildings

substantially rehabilitated as family units on or after January

first, nineteen hundred seventy-four;

(5-a) housing accommodations located outside of a city with a

population of one million or more in any such buildings that

were vacant and unoccupied on June first, two thousand nineteen

and had been vacant and unoccupied for at least the one-year

period immediately preceding such date;

(6) housing accommodations owned or operated by a hospital,

convent, monastery, asylum, public institution, or college or

school dormitory or any institution operated exclusively for

charitable or educational purposes on a non-profit basis other

than (i) those accommodations occupied by a tenant on the date

such housing accommodation is acquired by any such institution,

or which are occupied subsequently by a tenant who is not

affiliated with such institution at the time of his initial

occupancy or (ii) permanent housing accommodations with

government contracted services, as of and after June fourteenth,

two thousand nineteen, to vulnerable individuals or individuals

with disabilities who are or were homeless or at risk of

homelessness; provided, however, that the terms of leases in

existence as of June fourteenth, two thousand nineteen, shall

only be affected upon lease renewal, and further provided that

upon the vacancy of such housing accommodations, the legal

regulated rent for such housing accommodations shall be the

legal regulated rent paid for such housing accommodations by the

prior tenant, subject only to any adjustment adopted by the

applicable rent guidelines board;

(7) rooms or other housing accommodations in hotels, other

than hotel accommodations in cities having a population of one

million or more not occupied on a transient basis and heretofore

subject to the emergency housing rent control law, the local

emergency housing rent control act or to the New York city rent

stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine;

(8) any motor court, or any part thereof, any trailer, or

trailer space used exclusively for transient occupancy or any

part thereof; or any tourist home serving transient guests

exclusively, or any part thereof;

The term "motor court" shall mean an establishment renting

rooms, cottages or cabins, supplying parking or storage

facilities for motor vehicles in connection with such renting

and other services and facilities customarily supplied by such

establishments, and commonly known as motor, auto or tourist

court in the community.

The term "tourist home" shall mean a rooming house which

caters primarily to transient guests and is known as a tourist

home in the community.

(9) non-housekeeping, furnished housing accommodations,

located within a single dwelling unit not used as a rooming or

boarding house, but only if:

(a) no more than two tenants for whom rent is paid (husband

and wife being considered one tenant for this purpose), not

members of the landlord's immediate family, live in such

dwelling unit, and

(b) the remaining portion of such dwelling unit is occupied by

the landlord or his immediate family.

(10) housing accommodations in buildings operated exclusively

for charitable purposes on a non-profit basis except for

permanent housing accommodations with government contracted

services, as of and after the effective date of the chapter of

the laws of two thousand nineteen that amended this paragraph,

to vulnerable individuals or individuals with disabilities who

are or were homeless or at risk of homelessness; provided,

however, that the terms of leases in existence as of the

effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand

nineteen that amended this paragraph, shall only be affected

upon lease renewal, and further provided that upon the vacancy

of such housing accommodations, the legal regulated rent for

such housing accommodations shall be the legal regulated rent

paid for such housing accommodations by the prior tenant,

subject only to any adjustment adopted by the applicable rent

guidelines board;

(11) housing accommodations which are not occupied by the

tenant, not including subtenants or occupants, as his or her

primary residence, as determined by a court of competent

jurisdiction. For the purposes of determining primary residency,

a tenant who is a victim of domestic violence, as defined in

section four hundred fifty-nine-a of the social services law,

who has left the unit because of such violence, and who asserts

an intent to return to the housing accommodation shall be deemed

to be occupying the unit as his or her primary residence. For

the purposes of this paragraph, where a housing accommodation is

rented to a not-for-profit hospital for residential use,

affiliated subtenants authorized to use such accommodations by

such hospital shall be deemed to be tenants. For the purposes of

this paragraph, where a housing accommodation is rented to a

not-for-profit for providing, as of and after the effective date

of the chapter of the laws of two thousand nineteen that amended

this paragraph, permanent housing to individuals who are or were

homeless or at risk of homelessness, affiliated subtenants

authorized to use such accommodations by such not-for-profit

shall be deemed to be tenants. No action or proceeding shall be

commenced seeking to recover possession on the ground that a

housing accommodation is not occupied by the tenant as his or

her primary residence unless the owner or lessor shall have

given thirty days notice to the tenant of his or her intention

to commence such action or proceeding on such grounds.

(14) (i) housing accommodations owned as a cooperative or

condominium unit which are or become vacant on or after the

effective date of this paragraph, except that this subparagraph

shall not apply to units occupied by non-purchasing tenants

under section three hundred fifty-two-eee of the general

business law until the occurrence of a vacancy. (ii) This

paragraph shall not apply, however, to or become effective with

respect to housing accommodations which the commissioner

determines or finds the landlord or any person acting on his or

her behalf, with intent to cause the tenant to vacate, engaged

in any course of conduct (including, but not limited to,

interruption or discontinuance of required services) which

interfered with or disturbed or was intended to interfere with

or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of the tenant in

his or her use or occupancy of the housing accommodations. In

connection with such course of conduct any other general

enforcement provision of this act shall also apply;

b. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section,

nothing shall prevent the declaration of an emergency pursuant

to section three of this act for rental housing accommodations

located in buildings or structures which are subject to the

provisions of article eighteen of the private housing finance

law.

§ 6. Regulation of rents. a. Notwithstanding the provisions of

any lease or other rental agreement, no owner shall, on or after

the first day of the first month or other rental period

following a declaration of emergency pursuant to section three,

which date shall be referred to in this act as the local

effective date, charge or collect any rent in excess of the

initial legal regulated rent or adjusted initial legal regulated

rent until such time as a different legal regulated rent shall

be authorized pursuant to guidelines adopted by a rent

guidelines board pursuant to section four.

b. The initial legal regulated rents for housing

accommodations in a city having a population of less than one

million or a town or village as to which a declaration of

emergency has been made pursuant to this act shall be:

(1) For housing accommodations subject to the emergency

housing rent control law which become vacant on or after the

local effective date of this act, the rent agreed to by the

landlord and the tenant and reserved in a lease or provided for

in a rental agreement; provided that such initial legal

regulated rent may be adjusted on application of the owner or

tenant pursuant to subdivision a of section nine of this act;

and provided further that no increase of such initial regulated

rent pursuant to annual guidelines adopted by the rent

guidelines board shall become effective until the expiration of

the first lease or rental agreement taking effect after the

local effective date, but in no event before one year from the

commencement of such rental agreement.

(2) For all other housing accommodations, the rent reserved in

the last effective lease or other rental agreement; provided

that an initial rent based upon the rent reserved in a lease or

other rental agreement which became effective on or after

January first, nineteen hundred seventy-four may be adjusted on

application of the tenant pursuant to subdivision b of section

nine of this act or on application of either the owner or tenant

pursuant to subdivision a of such section; and further provided

that if a lease is entered into for such housing accommodations

after the local effective date, but before the effective date of

the first guidelines applicable to such accommodations, the

lease may provide for an adjustment of rent pursuant to such

guidelines, to be effective on the first day of the month next

succeeding the effective date of such guidelines.

c. The initial legal regulated rents for housing

accommodations in a city having a population of one million or

more shall be the initial rent established pursuant to the New

York city rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine

as amended.

d. Provision shall be made pursuant to regulations under this

act for individual adjustment of rents where:

(1) there has been a substantial modification or increase of

dwelling space, or installation of new equipment or improvements

or new furniture or furnishings, provided in or to a tenant's

housing accommodation, on written informed tenant consent to the

rent increase. In the case of a vacant housing accommodation,

tenant consent shall not be required. The temporary increase in

the legal regulated rent for the affected housing accommodation

shall be one-one hundred sixty-eighth, in the case of a building

with thirty-five or fewer housing accommodations or one-one

hundred eightieth in the case of a building with more than

thirty-five housing accommodations where such increase takes

effect on or after the effective date of the chapter of the laws

of two thousand nineteen that amended this paragraph, of the

total actual cost incurred by the landlord up to fifteen

thousand dollars in providing such reasonable and verifiable

modification or increase in dwelling space, furniture,

furnishings, or equipment, including the cost of installation

but excluding finance charges and any costs that exceed

reasonable costs established by rules and regulations

promulgated by the division of housing and community renewal.

Such rules and regulations shall include: (i) requirements for

work to be done by licensed contractors and a prohibition on

common ownership between the landlord and the contractor or

vendor; and (ii) a requirement that the owner resolve within the

dwelling space all outstanding hazardous or immediately

hazardous violations of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building

Code (Uniform Code), New York City Fire Code, or New York City

Building and Housing Maintenance Codes, if applicable. Provided

further that an owner who is entitled to a rent increase

pursuant to this paragraph shall not be entitled to a further

rent increase based upon the installation of similar equipment,

or new furniture or furnishings within the useful life of such

new equipment, or new furniture or furnishings. Provided further

that the recoverable costs incurred by the landlord, pursuant to

this paragraph, shall be limited to an aggregate cost of fifteen

thousand dollars that may be expended on no more than three

separate individual apartment improvements in a fifteen year

period beginning with the first individual apartment improvement

on or after June fourteenth, two thousand nineteen. Provided

further that increases to the legal regulated rent pursuant to

this paragraph shall be removed from the legal regulated rent

thirty years from the date the increase became effective

inclusive of any increases granted by the applicable rent

guidelines board.

(2) there has been since January first, nineteen hundred

seventy-four an increase in the rental value of the housing

accommodations as a result of a substantial rehabilitation of

the building or the housing accommodation therein which

materially adds to the value of the property or appreciably

prolongs its life, excluding ordinary repairs, maintenance, and

replacements, or

(3) there has been since January first, nineteen hundred

seventy-four a major capital improvement essential for the

preservation, energy efficiency, functionality, or

infrastructure of the entire building, improvement of the

structure including heating, windows, plumbing and roofing, but

shall not be for operation costs or unnecessary cosmetic

improvements. An adjustment under this paragraph shall be in an

amount sufficient to amortize the cost of the improvements

pursuant to this paragraph over a twelve-year period for a

building with thirty-five or fewer housing accommodations, or a

twelve and one-half period for a building with more than

thirty-five housing accommodations and shall be removed from the

legal regulated rent thirty years from the date the increase

became effective inclusive of any increases granted by the

applicable rent guidelines board, for any determination issued

by the division of housing and community renewal after the

effective date of the chapter of the laws of two thousand

nineteen that amended this paragraph. Temporary major capital

improvement increases shall be collectable prospectively on the

first day of the first month beginning sixty days from the date

of mailing notice of approval to the tenant. Such notice shall

disclose the total monthly increase in rent and the first month

in which the tenant would be required to pay the temporary

increase. An approval for a temporary major capital improvement

increase shall not include retroactive payments. The collection

of any increase shall not exceed two percent in any year from

the effective date of the order granting the increase over the

rent set forth in the schedule of gross rents, with

collectability of any dollar excess above said sum to be spread

forward in similar increments and added to the rent as

established or set in future years. Upon vacancy, the landlord

may add any remaining balance of the temporary major capital

improvement increase to the legal regulated rent.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the collection

of any rent increases for any renewal lease commencing on or

after June 14, 2019, due to any major capital improvements

approved on or after June 16, 2012 and before June 16, 2019

shall not exceed two percent in any year for any tenant in

occupancy on the date the major capital improvement was

approved, or

(3-a) an application for a temporary major capital improvement

increase has been filed, a tenant shall have sixty days from the

date of mailing of a notice of a proceeding in which to answer

or reply. The state division of housing and community renewal

shall provide any responding tenant with the reasons for the

division's approval or denial of such application; or

(4) an owner by application to the state division of housing

and community renewal for increases in the rents in excess of

the rent adjustment authorized by the rent guidelines board

under this act establishes a hardship, and the state division

finds that the rate of rent adjustment is not sufficient to

enable the owner to maintain approximately the same ratio

between operating expenses, including taxes and labor costs but

excluding debt service, financing costs, and management fees,

and gross rents which prevailed on the average over the

immediate preceding five year period, or for the entire life of

the building if less than five years, or

(5) as an alternative to the hardship application provided

under paragraph four of this subdivision, owners of buildings

acquired by the same owner or a related entity owned by the same

principals three years prior to the date of application may

apply to the division for increases in excess of the level of

applicable guideline increases established under this law based

on a finding by the commissioner that such guideline increases

are not sufficient to enable the owner to maintain an annual

gross rent income for such building which exceeds the annual

operating expenses of such building by a sum equal to at least

five percent of such gross rent. For the purposes of this

paragraph, operating expenses shall consist of the actual,

reasonable, costs of fuel, labor, utilities, taxes, other than

income or corporate franchise taxes, fees, permits, necessary

contracted services and non-capital repairs, insurance, parts

and supplies, management fees and other administrative costs and

mortgage interest. For the purposes of this paragraph, mortgage

interest shall be deemed to mean interest on a bona fide

mortgage including an allocable portion of charges related

thereto. Criteria to be considered in determining a bona fide

mortgage other than an institutional mortgage shall include;

condition of the property, location of the property, the

existing mortgage market at the time the mortgage is placed, the

term of the mortgage, the amortization rate, the principal

amount of the mortgage, security and other terms and conditions

of the mortgage. The commissioner shall set a rental value for

any unit occupied by the owner or a person related to the owner

or unoccupied at the owner's choice for more than one month at

the last regulated rent plus the minimum number of guidelines

increases or, if no such regulated rent existed or is known, the

commissioner shall impute a rent consistent with other rents in

the building. The amount of hardship increase shall be such as

may be required to maintain the annual gross rent income as

provided by this paragraph. The division shall not grant a

hardship application under this paragraph or paragraph four of

this subdivision for a period of three years subsequent to

granting a hardship application under the provisions of this

paragraph. The collection of any increase in the rent for any

housing accommodation pursuant to this paragraph shall not

exceed six percent in any year from the effective date of the

order granting the increase over the rent set forth in the

schedule of gross rents, with collectability of any dollar

excess above said sum to be spread forward in similar increments

and added to the rent as established or set in future years. No

application shall be approved unless the owner's equity in such

building exceeds five percent of: (i) the arms length purchase

price of the property; (ii) the cost of any capital improvements

for which the owner has not collected a surcharge; (iii) any

repayment of principal of any mortgage or loan used to finance

the purchase of the property or any capital improvements for

which the owner has not collected a surcharge; and (iv) any

increase in the equalized assessed value of the property which

occurred subsequent to the first valuation of the property after

purchase by the owner. For the purposes of this paragraph,

owner's equity shall mean the sum of (i) the purchase price of

the property less the principal of any mortgage or loan used to

finance the purchase of the property, (ii) the cost of any

capital improvement for which the owner has not collected a

surcharge less the principal of any mortgage or loan used to

finance said improvement, (iii) any repayment of the principal

of any mortgage or loan used to finance the purchase of the

property or any capital improvement for which the owner has not

collected a surcharge, and (iv) any increase in the equalized

assessed value of the property which occurred subsequent to the

first valuation of the property after purchase by the owner.

This subdivision shall apply to accommodations outside a city

of one million or more.

e. Notwithstanding any contrary provisions of this act, on and

after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-four the legal

regulated rent shall be the rent registered pursuant to section

twelve-a of this act subject to any modification imposed

pursuant to this act.

f. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, rule,

regulation, contract, agreement, lease or other obligation, no

owner, in addition to the authorized collection of rent, shall

demand, receive or retain a security deposit or advance payment

which exceeds the rent of one month for or in connection with

the use or occupancy of a housing accommodation by (i) any

tenant who is sixty-five years of age or older for any lease or

lease renewal entered into after July 1, 1996 or (ii) any tenant

who is receiving disability retirement benefits or supplemental

security income pursuant to the federal social security act for

any lease or lease renewal entered into after July 1, 2002.

§ 7. Maintenance of services. a. In order to collect a rent

adjustment authorized pursuant to the provisions of subdivision

b of section four, the owner of housing accommodations subject

to this act located in a city having a population of less than

one million or a town or village must file with the state

division of housing and community renewal on a form which it

shall prescribe, a written certification that he is maintaining

and will continue to maintain all services furnished on the date

upon which this act becomes a law or required to be furnished by

any law, ordinance or regulation applicable to the premises. In

addition to any other remedy afforded by law, any tenant may

apply to the state division of housing and community renewal for

a reduction in the rent to the level in effect prior to its most

recent adjustment, and the state division of housing and

community renewal may so reduce the rent if it finds that the

owner has failed to maintain such services. The owner shall be

supplied with a copy of the application and shall be permitted

to file an answer thereto. A hearing may be held upon the

request of either party, or the state division of housing and

community renewal may hold a hearing upon its own motion. The

state division of housing and community renewal may consolidate

the proceedings for two or more petitions applicable to the same

building. If the state division of housing and community renewal

finds that the owner has knowingly filed a false certification,

it shall, in addition to abating the rent, assess the owner with

the reasonable costs of the proceeding, including reasonable

attorneys' fees, and impose a penalty not in excess of two

hundred fifty dollars for each false certification. The amount

of the reduction in rent ordered by the state division of

housing and community renewal under this subdivision shall be

reduced by any credit, abatement or offset in rent which the

tenant has received pursuant to section two hundred

thirty-five-b of the real property law, that relates to one or

more conditions covered by such order.

b. In order to collect a rent adjustment authorized pursuant

to the provisions of subdivision c of section four, the owner of

housing accommodations located in a city having a population of

more than one million shall comply with the requirements with

respect to the maintenance of services of the New York city rent

stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine.

§ 8. Administration. a. Whenever a city having a population of

less than one million, or a town or village has determined the

existence of an emergency pursuant to section three of this act,

the state division of housing and community renewal shall be

designated as the sole administrative agency to administer the

regulation of residential rents as provided in this act. The

costs incurred by the state division of housing and community

renewal in administering such regulation shall be paid by such

city, town or village. Such local resolution shall forthwith be

transmitted to the state division of housing and community

renewal and shall be accompanied by an initial payment in an

amount previously determined by the commissioner of housing and

community renewal as necessary to defray the division's

anticipated first year cost. Thereafter, annually, after the

close of the fiscal year of the state, the commissioner of

housing and community renewal shall determine the amount of all

costs incurred and shall certify to each such city, town or

village its proportionate share of such costs, after first

deducting therefrom the amount of such initial payment. The

amount so certified shall be paid to the commissioner by such

city, town or village within ninety days after the receipt of

such certification. In the event that the amount thereof is not

paid to the commissioner as herein prescribed, the commissioner

shall certify the unpaid amount to the comptroller, and the

comptroller shall withhold such amount from the next succeeding

payment of per capita assistance to be apportioned to such city,

town or village.

b. The legislative body of any city, town or village acting to

impose regulation of residential rents pursuant to the

provisions of this act may impose on the owner of every building

containing housing accommodations subject to such regulation an

annual charge for each such accommodation in such amount as it

determines to be necessary for the expenses to be incurred in

the administration of such regulation.

c. Whenever a city having a population of one million or more

has determined the existence of an emergency pursuant to section

three of this act, the provisions of this act and the New York

city rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine shall

be administered by the state division of housing and community

renewal as provided in the New York city rent stabilization law

of nineteen hundred sixty-nine, as amended, or as otherwise

provided by law. The costs incurred by the state division of

housing and community renewal in administering such regulation

shall be paid by such city. All payments for such administration

shall be transmitted to the state division of housing and

community renewal as follows: on or after April first of each

year commencing with April, nineteen hundred eighty-four, the

commissioner of housing and community renewal shall determine an

amount necessary to defray the division's anticipated annual

cost, and one-quarter of such amount shall be paid by such city

on or before July first of such year, one-quarter of such amount

on or before October first of such year, one-quarter of such

amount on or before January first of the following year and

one-quarter of such amount on or before March thirty-first of

the following year. After the close of the fiscal year of the

state, the commissioner shall determine the amount of all actual

costs incurred in such fiscal year and shall certify such amount

to such city. If such certified amount shall differ from the

amount paid by the city for such fiscal year, appropriate

adjustments shall be made in the next quarterly payment to be

made by such city. In the event that the amount thereof is not

paid to the commissioner as herein prescribed, the commissioner

shall certify the unpaid amount to the comptroller, and the

comptroller shall, to the extent not otherwise prohibited by

law, withhold such amount from any state aid payable to such

city. In no event shall the amount imposed on the owners exceed

twenty dollars per unit per year.

d. The failure to pay the prescribed assessment not to exceed

twenty dollars per unit for any housing accommodation subject to

this act or the New York city rent stabilization law of nineteen

hundred sixty-nine shall constitute a charge due and owing such

city, town or village which has imposed an annual charge for

each such housing accommodation pursuant to subdivision b of

this section. Any such city, town or village shall be authorized

to provide for the enforcement of the collection of such charges

by commencing an action or proceeding for the recovery of such

fees or by the filing of a lien upon the building and lot. Such

methods for the enforcement of the collection of such charges

shall be the sole remedy for the enforcement of this section.

e. The division shall maintain at least one office in each

county which is governed by the rent stabilization law of

nineteen hundred sixty-nine or this act; provided, however, that

the division shall not be required to maintain an office in the

counties of Nassau, Rockland, or Richmond.

§ 9. Application for adjustment of initial legal regulated

rent. a. The owner or tenant of a housing accommodation

described in paragraph one or two of subdivision b of section

six may, within sixty days of the local effective date of this

act or the commencement of the first tenancy thereafter,

whichever is later, file with the state division of housing and

community renewal an application for adjustment of the initial

legal regulated rent for such housing accommodation. The state

division of housing and community renewal may adjust such

initial legal regulated rent upon a finding that the presence of

unique or peculiar circumstances materially affecting the

initial legal regulated rent has resulted in a rent which is

substantially different from the rents generally prevailing in

the same area for substantially similar housing accommodations.

b. The tenant of a housing accommodation described in

paragraph two, subdivision b, of section six may file with the

state division of housing and community renewal, within ninety

days after notice has been received pursuant to subdivision c of

this section, an application for adjustment of the initial legal

regulated rent for such housing accommodation. Such tenant need

only allege that such rent is in excess of the fair market rent

and shall present such facts which, to the best of his

information and belief, support such allegation. The rent

guidelines board shall promulgate as soon as practicable after

its creation guidelines for the determination of fair market

rents for housing accommodations as to which an application may

be made pursuant to this subdivision. In rendering a

determination on an application filed pursuant to this

subdivision b, the state division of housing and community

renewal shall be guided by such guidelines. Where the state

division of housing and community renewal has determined that

the rent charged is in excess of the fair market rent it shall

order a refund, of any excess paid since January first, nineteen

hundred seventy-four or the date of the commencement of the

tenancy, whichever is later. Such refund shall be made by the

landlord in cash or as a credit against future rents over a

period not in excess of six months.

c. Upon receipt of any application filed pursuant to this

section nine, the state division of housing and community

renewal shall notify the owner or tenant, as the case may be,

and provide a copy to him of such application. Such owner or

tenant shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to respond to

the application. A hearing may be held upon the request of

either party, or the division may hold a hearing on its own

motion. The division shall issue a written opinion to both the

tenant and the owner upon rendering its determination.

d. Within thirty days after the local effective date of this

act the owner of housing accommodations described in paragraph

two of subdivision b of section six, as to which an emergency

has been declared pursuant to this act, shall give notice in

writing by certified mail to the tenant of each such housing

accommodation on a form prescribed by the state division of

housing and community renewal of the initial legal regulated

rent for such housing accommodation and of such tenant's right

to file an application for adjustment of the initial legal

regulated rent of such housing accommodation.

e. The initial legal regulated rents for housing

accommodations in a city having a population of one million or

more shall be subject to adjustment in accordance with the

provisions of the New York city rent stabilization law as

amended.

§ 10. Regulations. a. For cities having a population of less

than one million and towns and villages, the state division of

housing and community renewal shall be empowered to implement

this act by appropriate regulations. Such regulations may

encompass such speculative or manipulative practices or renting

or leasing practices as the state division of housing and

community renewal determines constitute or are likely to cause

circumvention of this act. Such regulations shall prohibit

practices which are likely to prevent any person from asserting

any right or remedy granted by this act, including but not

limited to retaliatory termination of periodic tenancies and

shall require owners to grant a new one or two year vacancy or

renewal lease at the option of the tenant, except where a

mortgage or mortgage commitment existing as of the local

effective date of this act provides that the owner shall not

grant a one-year lease; and shall prescribe standards with

respect to the terms and conditions of new and renewal leases,

additional rent and such related matters as security deposits,

advance rental payments, the use of escalator clauses in leases

and provision for increase in rentals for garages and other

ancillary facilities, so as to ensure that the level of rent

adjustments authorized under this law will not be subverted and

made ineffective. Any provision of the regulations permitting an

owner to refuse to renew a lease on grounds that the owner seeks

to recover possession of a housing accommodation for his or her

own use and occupancy or for the use and occupancy of his or her

immediate family shall permit recovery of only one housing

accommodation, shall require that an owner demonstrate immediate

and compelling need and that the housing accommodation will be

the proposed occupants' primary residence and shall not apply

where a member of the housing accommodation is sixty-two years

of age or older, has been a tenant in a housing accommodation in

that building for fifteen years or more, or has an impairment

which results from anatomical, physiological or psychological

conditions, other than addiction to alcohol, gambling, or any

controlled substance, which are demonstrable by medically

acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques, and

which are expected to be permanent and which prevent the tenant

from engaging in any substantial gainful employment; provided,

however, that a tenant required to surrender a housing

accommodation under this subdivision shall have a cause of

action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages,

declaratory, and injunctive relief against a landlord or

purchaser of the premises who makes a fraudulent statement

regarding a proposed use of the housing accommodation. In any

action or proceeding brought pursuant to this subdivision a

prevailing tenant shall be entitled to recovery of actual

damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees.

(a-2) Where the amount of rent charged to and paid by the

tenant is less than the legal regulated rent for the housing

accommodation, the amount of rent for such housing accommodation

which may be charged upon vacancy thereof, may, at the option of

the owner, be based upon such previously established legal

regulated rent, as adjusted by the most recent applicable

guidelines increases and other increases authorized by law. For

any tenant who is subject to a lease on or after the effective

date of a chapter of the laws of two thousand nineteen which

amended this subdivision, or is or was entitled to receive a

renewal or vacancy lease on or after such date, upon renewal of

such lease, the amount of rent for such housing accommodation

that may be charged and paid shall be no more than the rent

charged to and paid by the tenant prior to that renewal, as

adjusted by the most recent applicable guidelines increases and

any other increases authorized by law. Provided, however, that

for buildings that are subject to this statute by virtue of a

regulatory agreement with a local government agency and which

buildings receive federal project based rental assistance

administered by the United States department of housing and

urban development or a state or local section eight

administering agency, where the rent set by the federal, state

or local governmental agency is less than the legal regulated

rent for the housing accommodation, the amount of rent for such

housing accommodation which may be charged with the approval of

such federal, state or local governmental agency upon renewal or

upon vacancy thereof, may be based upon such previously

established legal regulated rent, as adjusted by the most recent

applicable guidelines increases or other increases authorized by

law; and further provided that such vacancy shall not be caused

by the failure of the owner or an agent of the owner, to

maintain the housing accommodation in compliance with the

warranty of habitability set forth in subdivision one of section

two hundred thirty-five-b of the real property law.

b. For cities having a population of one million or more, this

act may be implemented by regulations adopted pursuant to the

New York city rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred

sixty-nine, as amended, or as otherwise provided by law.

c. Each owner of premises subject to this act shall furnish to

each tenant signing a new or renewal lease, a copy of the fully

executed new or renewal lease bearing the signatures of owner

and tenant and the beginning and ending dates of the lease term,

within thirty days from the owner's receipt of the new or

renewal lease signed by the tenant.

§ 10-a. Right to sublease. Units subject to this law may be

sublet pursuant to section two hundred twenty-six-b of the real

property law provided that (a) the rental charged to the

subtenant does not exceed the legal regulated rent plus a ten

percent surcharge payable to the tenant if the unit sublet was

furnished with the tenant's furniture; (b) the tenant can

establish that at all times he has maintained the unit as his

primary residence and intends to occupy it as such at the

expiration of the sublease; (c) an owner may terminate the

tenancy of a tenant who sublets or assigns contrary to the terms

of this section but no action or proceeding based on the

non-primary residence of a tenant may be commenced prior to the

expiration date of his lease; (d) where an apartment is sublet

the prime tenant shall retain the right to a renewal lease and

the rights and status of a tenant in occupancy as they relate to

conversion to condominium or cooperative ownership; (e) where a

tenant violates the provisions of subdivision (a) of this

section the subtenant shall be entitled to damages of three

times the overcharge and may also be awarded attorneys fees and

interest from the date of the overcharge at the rate of interest

payable on a judgment pursuant to section five thousand four of

the civil practice law and rules; (f) the tenant may not sublet

the unit for more than a total of two years, including the term

of the proposed sublease, out of the four-year period preceding

the termination date of the proposed sublease. The provisions of

this subdivision (f) shall only apply to subleases commencing on

and after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-three; (g) for the

purposes of this section only, the term of the proposed sublease

may extend beyond the term of the tenant's lease. In such event,

such sublease shall be subject to the tenant's right to a

renewal lease. The subtenant shall have no right to a renewal

lease. It shall be unreasonable for an owner to refuse to

consent to a sublease solely because such sublease extends

beyond the tenant's lease; and (h) notwithstanding the

provisions of section two hundred twenty-six-b of the real

property law, a not-for-profit hospital shall have the right to

sublet any housing accommodation leased by it to its affiliated

personnel without requiring the landlord's consent to any such

sublease and without being bound by the provisions of

subdivisions (b), (c) and (f) of this section. Commencing with

the effective date of this subdivision, whenever a

not-for-profit hospital executes a renewal lease for a housing

accommodation, the legal regulated rent shall be increased by a

sum equal to fifteen percent of the previous lease rental for

such housing accommodation, hereinafter referred to as a vacancy

surcharge, unless the landlord shall have received within the

seven year period prior to the commencement date of such renewal

lease any vacancy increases or vacancy surcharges allocable to

the said housing accommodation. In the event the landlord shall

have received any such vacancy increases or vacancy surcharges

during such seven year period, the vacancy surcharge shall be

reduced by the amount received by any such vacancy increase or

vacancy surcharges.

§ 10-b. Major capital improvements and individual apartment

improvements in rent regulated units. (a) Notwithstanding any

other provision of law to the contrary, the division of housing

and community renewal, the "division", shall promulgate rules

and regulations applicable to all rent regulated units that

shall:

1. establish a schedule of reasonable costs for major capital

improvements, which shall set a ceiling for what can be

recovered through a temporary major capital improvement

increase, based on the type of improvement and its rate of

depreciation;

2. establish the criteria for eligibility of a temporary major

capital improvement increase including the type of improvement,

which shall be essential for the preservation, energy

efficiency, functionality or infrastructure of the entire

building, including heating, windows, plumbing and roofing, but

shall not be for operational costs or unnecessary cosmetic

improvements. Allowable improvements must additionally be

depreciable pursuant to the Internal Revenue Service, other than

for ordinary repairs, that directly or indirectly benefit all

tenants; and no increase shall be approved for group work done

in individual apartments that is otherwise not an improvement to

an entire building. Only such costs that are actual, reasonable,

and verifiable may be approved as a temporary major capital

improvement increase;

3. require that any temporary major capital improvement

increase granted pursuant to these provisions be reduced by an

amount equal to (i) any governmental grant received by the

landlord, where such grant compensates the landlord for any

improvements required by a city, state or federal government, an

agency or any granting governmental entity to be expended for

improvements and (ii) any insurance payment received by the

landlord where such insurance payment compensates the landlord

for any part of the costs of the improvements;

4. prohibit temporary major capital improvement increases for

buildings with outstanding hazardous or immediately hazardous

violations of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code

(Uniform Code), New York City Fire Code, or New York City

Building and Housing Maintenance Codes, if applicable;

5. prohibit individual apartment improvement increases for

housing accommodations with outstanding hazardous or immediately

hazardous violations of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building

Code (Uniform Code), New York City Fire Code, or New York City

Building and Housing Maintenance Codes, if applicable;

6. prohibit temporary major capital improvement increases for

buildings with thirty-five per centum or fewer rent-regulated

units;

7. establish that temporary major capital improvement

increases shall be fixed to the unit and shall cease thirty

years from the date the increase became effective. Temporary

major capital improvement increases shall be added to the legal

regulated rent as a temporary increase and shall be removed from

the legal regulated rent thirty years from the date the increase

became effective inclusive of any increases granted by the local

rent guidelines board;

8. establish that temporary major capital improvement

increases shall be collectible prospectively on the first day of

the first month beginning sixty days from the date of mailing

notice of approval to the tenant. Such notice shall disclose

the total monthly increase in rent and the first month in which

the tenant would be required to pay the temporary increase. An

approval for a temporary major capital improvement increase

shall not include retroactive payments. The collection of any

increase shall not exceed two percent in any year from the

effective date of the order granting the increase over the rent

set forth in the schedule of gross rents, with collectability of

any dollar excess above said sum to be spread forward in similar

increments and added to the rent as established or set in future

years. Upon vacancy, the landlord may add any remaining balance

of the temporary major capital improvement increase to the legal

regulated rent. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law,

for any renewal lease commencing on or after June 14, 2019, the

collection of any rent increases due to any major capital

improvements approved on or after June 16, 2012 and before June

16, 2019 shall not exceed two percent in any year for any tenant

in occupancy on the date the major capital improvement was

approved;

9. ensure that the application procedure for temporary major

capital improvement increases shall include an itemized list of

work performed and a description or explanation of the reason or

purpose of such work;

10. provide, that where an application for a major capital

improvement rent increase has been filed, a tenant shall have

sixty days from the date of mailing of a notice of a proceeding

in which to answer or reply;

11. establish a notification and documentation procedure for

individual apartment improvements that requires an itemized list

of work performed and a description or explanation of the reason

or purpose of such work, inclusive of photographic evidence

documenting the condition prior to and after the completion of

the performed work. Provide for the centralized electronic

retention of such documentation and any other supporting

documentation to be made available in cases pertaining to the

adjustment of legal regulated rents; and

12. establish a form in the top six languages other than

English spoken in the state according to the latest available

data from the U.S. Bureau of Census for a temporary individual

apartment improvement rent increase for a tenant in occupancy

which shall be used by landlords to obtain written informed

consent that shall include the estimated total cost of the

improvement and the estimated monthly rent increase. Such form

shall be completed and preserved in the centralized electronic

retention system to be operational by June 14, 2020. Nothing

herein shall relieve a landlord, lessor, or agent thereof of his

or her duty to retain proper documentation of all improvements

performed or any rent increases resulting from said

improvements.

(b) The division shall establish an annual inspection and

audit process which shall review twenty-five percent of

applications for a temporary major capital improvement increase

that have been submitted and approved. Such process shall

include individual inspections and document review to ensure

that owners complied with all obligations and responsibilities

under the law for temporary major capital improvement increases.

Inspections shall include in-person confirmation that such

improvements have been completed in such way as described in the

application.

(c) The division shall issue a notice to the landlord and all

the tenants sixty days prior to the end of the temporary major

capital improvement increase and shall include the initial

approved increase and the total amount to be removed from the

legal regulated rent inclusive of any increases granted by the

applicable rent guidelines board.

§ 11. Non-waiver of rights. Any provision of a lease or other

rental agreement which purports to waive a tenant's rights under

this act or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto shall be

void as contrary to public policy.

§ 12. Enforcement and procedures. a. (1) Subject to the

conditions and limitations of this paragraph, any owner of

housing accommodations in a city having a population of less

than one million or a town or village as to which an emergency

has been declared pursuant to section three, who, upon complaint

of a tenant or of the state division of housing and community

renewal, is found by the state division of housing and community

renewal, after a reasonable opportunity to be heard, to have

collected an overcharge above the rent authorized for a housing

accommodation subject to this act shall be liable to the tenant

for a penalty equal to three times the amount of such

overcharge. If the owner establishes by a preponderance of the

evidence that the overcharge was neither willful nor

attributable to his negligence, the state division of housing

and community renewal shall establish the penalty as the amount

of the overcharge plus interest at the rate of interest payable

on a judgment pursuant to section five thousand four of the

civil practice law and rules. After a complaint of rent

overcharge has been filed and served on an owner, the voluntary

adjustment of the rent and/or the voluntary tender of a refund

of rent overcharges shall not be considered by the division of

housing and community renewal or a court of competent

jurisdiction as evidence that the overcharge was not willful.

(i) Except as to complaints filed pursuant to clause (ii) of

this paragraph, the legal regulated rent for purposes of

determining an overcharge, shall be deemed to be the rent

indicated in the most recent reliable annual registration

statement for a rent stabilized tenant filed and served upon the

tenant six or more years prior to the most recent registration

statement, (or, if more recently filed, the initial registration

statement) plus in each case any subsequent lawful increases and

adjustments. The division of housing and community renewal or a

court of competent jurisdiction, in investigating complaints of

overcharge and in determining legal regulated rent, shall

consider all available rent history which is reasonably

necessary to make such determinations. (ii) As to complaints

filed within ninety days of the initial registration of a

housing accommodation, the legal regulated rent for purposes of

determining an overcharge shall be deemed to be the rent charged

on the date six years prior to the date of the initial

registration of the housing accommodation (or, if the housing

accommodation was subject to this act for less than six years,

the initial legal regulated rent) plus in each case, any lawful

increases and adjustments. Where the rent charged on the date

six years prior to the date of the initial registration of the

accommodation cannot be established, such rent shall be

established by the division.

(a) The order of the state division of housing and community

renewal shall apportion the owner's liability between or among

two or more tenants found to have been overcharged by such owner

during their particular tenancy of a unit.

(b) (i) Except as provided under clauses (ii) and (iii) of

this subparagraph, a complaint under this subdivision may be

filed with the state division of housing and community renewal

or in a court of competent jurisdiction at any time, however any

recovery of overcharge penalties shall be limited to the six

years preceding the complaint.

(ii) A penalty of three times the overcharge shall be assessed

upon all overcharges willfully collected by the owner starting

six years before the complaint is filed.

(iii) Any complaint based upon overcharges occurring prior to

the date of filing of the initial rent registration as provided

in subdivision b of section twelve-a of this act shall be filed

within ninety days of the mailing of notice to the tenant of

such registration.

(c) Any affected tenant shall be notified of and given an

opportunity to join in any complaint filed by an officer or

employee of the state division of housing and community renewal.

(d) An owner found to have overcharged shall, in all cases, be

assessed the reasonable costs and attorney's fees of the

proceeding, and interest from the date of the overcharge at the

rate of interest payable on a judgment pursuant to section five

thousand four of the civil practice law and rules.

(e) The order of the state division of housing and community

renewal awarding penalties may, upon the expiration of the

period in which the owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to

article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, be

filed and enforced by a tenant in the same manner as a judgment

or, in the alternative, not in excess of twenty percent thereof

per month may be offset against any rent thereafter due the

owner.

(f) Unless a tenant shall have filed a complaint of overcharge

with the division which complaint has not been withdrawn,

nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent a

tenant or tenants, claiming to have been overcharged, from

commencing an action or interposing a counterclaim in a court of

competent jurisdiction for damages equal to the overcharge and

the penalty provided for in this section, including interest

from the date of the overcharge at the rate of interest payable

on a judgment pursuant to section five thousand four of the

civil practice law and rules, plus the statutory costs and

allowable disbursements in connection with the proceeding. The

courts and the division shall have concurrent jurisdiction,

subject to the tenant's choice of forum.

(2) In addition to issuing the specific orders provided for by

other provisions of this act, the state division of housing and

community renewal shall be empowered to enforce this act and its

regulations by issuing, upon notice and a reasonable opportunity

for the affected party to be heard, such other orders as it may

deem appropriate.

(3) If the owner is found by the commissioner:

(i) to have violated an order of the division the commissioner

may impose by administrative order after hearing, a civil

penalty at minimum in the amount of one thousand but not to

exceed two thousand dollars for the first such offense, and at

minimum in the amount of two thousand but not to exceed three

thousand dollars for each subsequent offense; or

(ii) to have harassed a tenant to obtain vacancy of his

housing accommodation, the commissioner may impose by

administrative order after hearing, a civil penalty for any such

violation. Such penalty shall be at minimum in the amount of two

thousand but not to exceed three thousand dollars for the first

such offense, and at minimum in the amount of ten thousand but

not to exceed eleven thousand dollars for each subsequent

offense or for a violation consisting of conduct directed at the

tenants of more than one housing accommodation.

Such order shall be deemed a final determination for the

purposes of judicial review. Such penalty may, upon the

expiration of the period for seeking review pursuant to article

seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, be docketed

and enforced in the manner of a judgment of the supreme court.

(4) Any proceeding pursuant to article seventy-eight of the

civil practice law and rules seeking review of any action

pursuant to this act shall be brought within sixty days of the

expiration of the ninety day period and any extension thereof

provided in subdivision c of this section or the rendering of a

determination, whichever is later. Any action or proceeding

brought by or against the commissioner under this act shall be

brought in the county in which the housing accommodation is

located.

(5) Violations of this act or of the regulations and orders

issued pursuant thereto may be enjoined by the supreme court

upon proceedings commenced by the state division of housing and

community renewal or the tenant or tenants who allege they have

been overcharged. The division shall not be required to post

bond.

(6) In furtherance of its responsibility to enforce this act,

the state division of housing and community renewal shall be

empowered to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, conduct

investigations, make inspections and designate officers to hear

and report. The division shall safeguard the confidentiality of

information furnished to it at the request of the person

furnishing same, unless such information must be made public in

the interest of establishing a record for the future guidance of

persons subject to this act.

(7) In any action or proceeding before a court wherein a party

relies for a ground of relief or defense or raises issue or

brings into question the construction or validity of this act or

any regulation, order or requirement hereunder, the court having

jurisdiction of such action or proceeding may at any stage

certify such fact to the state division of housing and community

renewal. The state division of housing and community renewal may

intervene in any such action or proceeding.

(8) Except where a specific provision of this law requires the

maintenance of rent records for a longer period, including

records of the useful life of improvements made to any housing

accommodation or any building, any owner who has duly registered

a housing accommodation pursuant to section twelve-a of this act

shall not be required to maintain or produce any records

relating to rentals of such accommodation more than six years

prior to the most recent registration or annual statement for

such accommodation. However, an owner's election not to maintain

records shall not limit the authority of the division of housing

and community renewal and the courts to examine the rental

history and determine legal regulated rents pursuant to this

subdivision.

(9) The division of housing and community renewal and the

courts, in investigating complaints of overcharge and in

determining legal regulated rents, shall consider all available

rent history which is reasonably necessary to make such

determinations, including but not limited to (a) any rent

registration or other records filed with the state division of

housing and community renewal, or any other state, municipal or

federal agency, regardless of the date to which the information

on such registration refers; (b) any order issued by any state,

municipal or federal agency; (c) any records maintained by the

owner or tenants; and (d) any public record kept in the regular

course of business by any state, municipal or federal agency.

Nothing contained in this paragraph shall limit the examination

of rent history relevant to a determination as to:

(i) whether the legality of a rental amount charged or

registered is reliable in light of all available evidence

including, but not limited to, whether an unexplained increase

in the registered or lease rents, or a fraudulent scheme to

destabilize the housing accommodation, rendered such rent or

registration unreliable;

(ii) whether an accommodation is subject to the emergency

tenant protection act;

(iii) whether an order issued by the division of housing and

community renewal or a court of competent jurisdiction,

including, but not limited to an order issued pursuant to

section seven of this act, or any regulatory agreement or other

contract with any governmental agency, and remaining in effect

within six years of the filing of a complaint pursuant to this

section, affects or limits the amount of rent that may be

charged or collected;

(iv) whether an overcharge was or was not willful;

(v) whether a rent adjustment that requires information

regarding the length of occupancy by a present or prior tenant

was lawful;

(vi) the existence or terms and conditions of a preferential

rent, or the propriety of a legal registered rent during a

period when the tenants were charged a preferential rent;

(vii) the legality of a rent charged or registered immediately

prior to the registration of a preferential rent; or

(viii) the amount of the legal regulated rent where the

apartment was vacant or temporarily exempt on the date six years

prior to a tenant's complaint.

b. Within a city having a population of one million or more,

the state division of housing and community renewal shall have

such powers to enforce this act as shall be provided in the New

York city rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine,

as amended, or as shall otherwise be provided by law. Unless a

tenant shall have filed a complaint of overcharge with the

division which complaint has not been withdrawn, nothing

contained in this section shall be deemed to prevent a tenant or

tenants, claiming to have been overcharged, from commencing an

action or interposing a counterclaim in a court of competent

jurisdiction for damages equal to the overcharge and the penalty

provided for in this section, including interest from the date

of the overcharge at the rate of interest payable on a judgment

pursuant to section five thousand four of the civil practice law

and rules, plus the statutory costs and allowable disbursements

in connection with the proceeding. The courts and the division

shall have concurrent jurisdiction, subject to the tenant's

choice of forum.

c. The state division of housing and community renewal may, by

regulation, provide for administrative review of all orders and

determinations issued by it pursuant to this act. Any such

regulation shall provide that if a petition for such review is

not determined within ninety days after it is filed, it shall be

deemed to be denied. However, the division may grant one

extension not to exceed thirty days with the consent of the

party filing such petition; any further extension may only be

granted with the consent of all parties to the petition. No

proceeding may be brought pursuant to article seventy-eight of

the civil practice law and rules to challange any order or

determination which is subject to such administrative review

unless such review has been sought and either (1) a

determination thereon has been made or (2) the ninety-day period

provided for determination of the petition for review (or any

extension thereof) has expired.

§ 12-a. Rent registration. a. Each housing accommodation in a

city having a population of less than one million or a town or

village as to which an emergency has been declared pursuant to

section three of this act which is subject to this act shall be

registered by the owner thereof with the state division of

housing and community renewal prior to July first, nineteen

hundred eighty-four upon forms prescribed by the commissioner of

such division. The data to be provided on such forms shall

include the following: (1) the name and address of the building

or group of buildings or development in which such housing

accommodation is located and the owner and the tenant thereof;

(2) the number of housing accommodations in the building or

group of buildings or development in which such housing

accommodation is located; (3) the number of housing

accommodations in such building or group of buildings or

development subject to this act and the number of such housing

accommodations subject to the emergency housing rent control

law; (4) the rent charged on the registration date; (5) the

number of rooms in such housing accommodation; and (6) all

services provided in the last lease or rental agreement

commencing at least six months prior to the local effective date

of this act.

b. Registration pursuant to this section shall not be subject

to the freedom of information law, provided that registration

information relative to a tenant, owner, lessor or subtenant

shall be made available to such party or his authorized

representative.

c. Housing accommodations which become subject to this act

after the initial registration period must be registered within

ninety days thereafter. Registration of housing accommodations

subject to the emergency housing rent control law immediately

prior to the date of filing the initial registration statement

as provided in this section shall include, in addition to the

items listed above, where existing, the maximum rent immediately

prior to the date that such housing accommodations became

subject to this act.

d. Copies of the registration shall be filed with the state

division of housing and community renewal in such place or

places as it may require. In addition, one copy of that portion

of the registration statement which pertains to the tenant's

unit must be mailed by the owner to the tenant in possession at

the time of initial registration or to the first tenant in

occupancy if the apartment is vacant at the time of initial

registration.

e. The failure to file a proper and timely initial or annual

rent registration statement shall, until such time as such

registration is filed, bar an owner from applying for or

collecting any rent in excess of the legal regulated rent in

effect on the date of the last preceding registration statement

or if no such statements have been filed, the legal regulated

rent in effect on the date that the housing accommodation became

subject to the registration requirements of this section. The

filing of a late registration shall result in the prospective

elimination of such sanctions and provided that increases in the

legal regulated rent were lawful except for the failure to file

a timely registration, the owner, upon the service and filing of

a late registration, shall not be found to have collected an

overcharge at any time prior to the filing of the late

registration. If such late registration is filed subsequent to

the filing of an overcharge complaint, the owner shall be

assessed a late filing surcharge for each late registration in

an amount equal to fifty percent of the timely rent registration

fee.

f. An annual statement shall be filed containing the current

rent for each unit and such other information contained in

subdivision a of this section as shall be required by the

division. The owner shall provide each tenant then in occupancy

with a copy of that portion of such annual statement as pertains

to the tenant's unit.

g. Within a city having a population of one million or more,

each housing accommodation subject to this act shall be

registered with the state division of housing and community

renewal as shall be provided in the New York city rent

stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine.

h. Each housing accommodation for which a timely registration

statement was filed between April first, nineteen hundred

eighty-four and June thirtieth, nineteen hundred eighty-four,

pursuant to subdivision a of this section shall designate the

rent charged on April first, nineteen hundred eighty-four, as

the rent charged on the registration date.

§ 13. Cooperation with other governmental agencies. The state

division of housing and community renewal and any rent

guidelines board may request and shall receive cooperation and

assistance in effectuating the purposes of this act from all

departments, divisions, boards, bureaus, commissions or agencies

of the state and political subdivisions thereof.

§ 14. Application of act. The provisions of this act shall be

applicable:

a. in the city of New York; and

b. in all counties within the state of New York outside the

city of New York and shall become and remain effective only in a

city, town or village located therein as provided in section

three of this act.


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