New York City Council Header
File #: Int 1410-2019    Version: Name: Commercial tenant harassment.
Type: Introduction Status: Enacted
Committee: Committee on Small Business
On agenda: 2/13/2019
Enactment date: 10/26/2019 Law number: 2019/185
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to commercial tenant harassment
Sponsors: Vanessa L. Gibson, Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Andy L. King, Diana Ayala , Helen K. Rosenthal, Carlina Rivera , Ben Kallos, Stephen T. Levin, Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.
Council Member Sponsors: 9
Summary: This bill would redefine commercial tenant harassment as an act or omission by a landlord that would reasonably cause a commercial tenant to vacate, or surrender or waive their rights under a rental agreement. The bill would also broaden the acts and omissions that constitute commercial tenant harassment. The bill would raise civil penalties for landlords that commit commercial tenant harassment to $10,000-50,000 for each property in which the tenant was subject to harassment. Finally, when a landlord has been found to have engaged in commercial tenant harassment, the bill would clarify that courts can order the Department of Buildings not to approve, issue or renew documents for certain types of construction work the landlord wishes to perform at the property in which the tenant was subject to harassment.
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 1410-B, 2. Summary of Int. No. 1410-A, 3. Summary of Int. No. 1410, 4. Int. No. 1410, 5. February 13, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 6. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 2-13-19, 7. Proposed Int. No. 1410-A - 3/5/19, 8. Committee Report 3/18/19, 9. Hearing Testimony 3/18/19, 10. Hearing Transcript 3/18/19, 11. Committee Report 9/23/19, 12. Committee Report 9/25/19, 13. Hearing Transcript 9/23/19, 14. September 25, 2019 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 15. Proposed Int. No. 1410-B - 9/26/19, 16. Fiscal Impact Statement, 17. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 9-25-19
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
11/13/2019BVanessa L. Gibson City Council Returned Unsigned by Mayor  Action details Meeting details Not available
10/26/2019BVanessa L. Gibson Administration City Charter Rule Adopted  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/25/2019BVanessa L. Gibson City Council Sent to Mayor by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/25/2019BVanessa L. Gibson City Council Approved by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
9/23/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/23/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/23/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
9/23/2019BVanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
3/18/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/18/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/18/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson Committee on Small Business Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/22/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson City Council Re-referred to Committee by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/13/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
2/13/2019*Vanessa L. Gibson City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Int. No. 1410-B

 

By Council Members Gibson, Salamanca, King, Ayala, Rosenthal, Rivera, Kallos, Levin and Espinal

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to commercial tenant harassment

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Section 22-901 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 77 for the year 2016, is amended by adding a new definition of “covered categories of work” in alphabetical order to read as follows:

 

Covered categories of work. The term “covered categories of work” means the following categories of work at a covered property:

 

1. Demolition of all or part of such covered property;

 

2.                      Change of use or occupancy of all or part of such covered property; or

 

3. Any change to the layout, configuration, or location of any portion of such covered property.

 

Exceptions:

 

1.                     Work conducted in whole or in part for the purpose of making any portion of such covered property accessible to persons with disabilities.

2.                      Work conducted solely for the purpose of remediating hazardous or impending hazardous conditions, or protecting public health and safety.

3.                     Work performed pursuant to a lease or other agreement executed prior to the issuance of an order pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision a of section 22-903.

4.                      Work performed pursuant to an agreement entered into by a tenant of such covered property.

 

5. Other categories of work that are excluded from the definition of covered categories of work by rule of the department.

 

   

 

 

§ 2. Subdivision a of section 22-902 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 77 for the year 2016, is amended to read as follows:

a. A landlord shall not engage in commercial tenant harassment. Except as provided in subdivision b of this section, commercial tenant harassment is any act or omission by or on behalf of a landlord that (i) [is intended to] would reasonably cause a commercial tenant to vacate covered property, or to surrender or waive any rights under a lease or other rental agreement or under applicable law in relation to such covered property, and (ii) includes one or more of the following:

1. using force against or making express or implied threats that force will be used against a commercial tenant or such tenant’s invitee;

2. causing repeated interruptions or discontinuances of one or more essential services;

3. causing an interruption or discontinuance of an essential service for an extended period of time;

4. causing an interruption or discontinuance of an essential service where such interruption or discontinuance substantially interferes with a commercial tenant’s business;

5.  repeatedly commencing frivolous court proceedings against a commercial tenant;

6. removing from a covered property any personal property belonging to a commercial tenant or such tenant’s invitee;

7. removing the door at the entrance to a covered property occupied by a commercial tenant; removing, plugging or otherwise rendering the lock on such entrance door inoperable; or changing the lock on such entrance door without supplying a key to the new lock to the commercial tenant occupying the covered property;

8. preventing a commercial tenant or such tenant’s invitee from entering a covered property occupied by such tenant;

9. substantially interfering with a commercial tenant’s business by commencing unnecessary construction or repairs on or near covered property; [or]

10. engaging in any other repeated or enduring acts or omissions that substantially interfere with the operation of a commercial tenant’s business [.] ;

11. threatening a commercial tenant based on such person’s actual or perceived age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, partnership status, caregiver status, uniformed service, sexual orientation, alienage or citizenship status, status as a victim of domestic violence, status as a victim of sex offenses or stalking;

12. requesting identifying documentation that would disclose the citizenship status of a commercial tenant, an invitee of a commercial tenant or any person seeking entry to the covered property in order to patronize such commercial tenant; or

13. unreasonably refusing to cooperate with a tenant’s permitted repairs or construction activities.

§ 3. Subdivision a of section 22-903 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as added by local law number 77 for the year 2016, is amended to read as follows:

a. A commercial tenant may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for a claim of commercial tenant harassment. If a court of competent jurisdiction finds that a landlord has engaged in commercial tenant harassment in relation to such commercial tenant, the court shall impose a civil penalty in an amount not less than [one] ten thousand dollars and not more than [ten] fifty thousand dollars for each covered property in which such commercial tenant has been the subject of commercial tenant harassment and may further:

1. issue an order restraining the landlord from engaging in commercial tenant harassment and directing the landlord to ensure that no further violation occurs; [and]

2. issue an order to the department of buildings directing such department not to approve construction documents for, or not to issue or renew permits for, covered categories of work in the covered property in which such commercial tenant has been the subject of commercial tenant harassment, for a period of time deemed appropriate by the court; and

3. award such other relief as the court deems appropriate, including but not limited to injunctive relief, equitable relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages and reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs.

§ 4. This local law takes effect immediately.

 

 

 

 

NLB

LS 7582 7918

3/4/2019