The New York State Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which went into effect on June 14, 2019, will be a nightmare for landlords. It will result in evictions being much more time-consuming and complicated. A brief summary of most of the changes are as follows:
- For nonpayment evictions, a notice sent by certified mail (after residential rent is past due 5 days) and a 14-day notice (instead of three-day notice) are required.
- Service of the notice of petition and petition must be served 10-17 days (instead of 5 to 12 days) before the court date;
- Either party can request an adjournment of at least 14 days plus the court can grant additional adjournments in its sole discretion.
- Attorney’s fees cannot be awarded if the tenant defaults.
- Warrants give the tenant 14 days (instead of 72 hours) notice to vacate. The tenant can terminate the proceedings by paying all rent due before the warrant is executed.
- The warrant can be stayed up to one year in hardship cases.
- The requirement for the tenant to serve an answer 3 days prior to the court date has been eliminated.
- If the eviction is for breach of the lease (other than nonpayment), the tenant is granted 30 days to correct the breach.
- Late fees are limited to the lesser of $50 or 5% of the monthly rent beginning the sixth day after rent is due.
- Application fees cannot be charged and credit report charges cannot exceed $20.
- Landlords have a duty to take reasonable and customary actions to mitigate their damages by attempting to rent the premises at fair-market value or the rent paid during the prior tenancy, whichever is lower.
- The definition of retaliation by landlord has been expanded to include when a tenant complains about conditions and the landlord commences an eviction proceeding.
- Residential landlords must give the following notices of intention to terminate a month-to-month tenancy served by a process server depending upon longevity of the tenancy: less than one year then 30 days’ notice; more than one year but less than 2 years then 60 days’ notice and more than 2 years then 90 days’ notice.(Effective 10/12/19)
- Rent for purposes of an eviction is defined as the monthly or weekly amount charged for use and occupancy of the dwelling unit and does not include late charges, interest or other fees.
- Unlawful eviction includes: (1) the threat or use of force; (2) interfering with the use and occupancy of the property to induce the tenant to vacate, including cutting essential services (i.e. turning off utilities); or (3) engaging in or threatening other conduct to prevent lawful occupancy (removing possessions, changing locks, removing doors, etc.). Intentionally violating this provision or assisting someone in doing so is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by fines of between $1,000 and $10,000, plus a daily fine a $100 for each day the tenant is not restored to possession.
Other changes which will be going into effect will be explained in future blogs