New York City Council Header
File #: Int 1932-2020    Version: Name: COVID-19 Relief Package - Personal liability provisions of leases for commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19.
Type: Introduction Status: Enacted
Committee: Committee on Small Business
On agenda: 4/22/2020
Enactment date: 5/26/2020 Law number: 2020/055
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to personal liability provisions of leases for commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19
Sponsors: Carlina Rivera , Corey D. Johnson, Ben Kallos, James G. Van Bramer, Helen K. Rosenthal, Margaret S. Chin, Diana Ayala , Stephen T. Levin, Brad S. Lander, Karen Koslowitz, Farah N. Louis, Paul A. Vallone, Rory I. Lancman, Costa G. Constantinides, Carlos Menchaca
Council Member Sponsors: 15
Summary: This bill would temporarily prohibit the enforcement of personal liability provisions in commercial leases or rental agreements involving a COVID-19 impacted tenant. This would apply to businesses that were impacted by mandated closures and service limitations in the Governor's Executive Orders. Specifically, it covers (1) businesses that were required to stop serving food or beverages on-premises (restaurants and bars); (2) businesses that were required to cease operations altogether (gyms, fitness centers, movie theaters); (3) retail businesses that were required to close and/or subject to in-person restrictions; and (4) businesses that were required to close to the public (barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing parlors and related personal care services). Threatening to or attempting to enforce such a provision would also be considered a form of harassment.
Attachments: 1. Summary of Int. No. 1932-A, 2. Summary of Int. No. 1932, 3. Int. No. 1932, 4. April 22, 2020 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 5. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 4-22-20, 6. Committee Report 4/29/20, 7. Hearing Testimony 4/29/20, 8. Hearing Testimony 4/29/20 (Con't), 9. Proposed Int. No. 1932-A - 5/12/20, 10. Committee Report 5/13/20, 11. Hearing Transcript 5/13/20, 12. Committee Report - Stated Meeting, 13. May 13, 2020 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files, 14. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 5-13-20, 15. Fiscal Impact Statement
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
5/26/2020ACarlina Rivera City Council Recved from Mayor by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/26/2020ACarlina Rivera Mayor Signed Into Law by Mayor  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/26/2020ACarlina Rivera Mayor Hearing Held by Mayor  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/13/2020ACarlina Rivera City Council Sent to Mayor by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/13/2020ACarlina Rivera City Council Approved by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
5/13/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Small Business Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/13/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Small Business Amendment Proposed by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/13/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Small Business Amended by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
5/13/2020ACarlina Rivera Committee on Small Business Approved by CommitteePass Action details Meeting details Not available
4/29/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/29/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/29/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Small Business Laid Over by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/29/2020*Carlina Rivera Committee on Small Business Hearing Held by Committee  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/22/2020*Carlina Rivera City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
4/22/2020*Carlina Rivera City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Int. No. 1932-A

 

By Council Member Rivera, the Speaker (Council Member Johnson), Kallos, Van Bramer, Rosenthal, Chin, Ayala, Levin, Lander, Koslowitz, Louis, Vallone, Lancman, Constantinides and Menchaca

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to personal liability provisions of leases for commercial tenants impacted by COVID-19

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

 

Section 1. Chapter 10 of title 22 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 22-1005 to read as follows:

§ 22-1005. Personal liability provisions in commercial leases. A provision in a commercial lease or other rental agreement involving real property located within the city that provides for one or more natural persons who are not the tenant under such agreement to become, upon the occurrence of a default or other event, wholly or partially personally liable for payment of rent, utility expenses or taxes owed by the tenant under such agreement, or fees and charges relating to routine building maintenance owed by the tenant under such agreement, shall not be enforceable against such natural persons if the conditions of paragraph 1 and 2 are satisfied:

1. The tenant satisfies the conditions of subparagraph (a), (b) or (c):

(a) The tenant was required to cease serving patrons food or beverage for on-premises consumption or to cease operation under executive order number 202.3 issued by the governor on March 16, 2020;

(b) The tenant was a non-essential retail establishment subject to in-person limitations under guidance issued by the New York state department of economic development pursuant to executive order number 202.6 issued by the governor on March 18, 2020; or

(c) The tenant was required to close to members of the public under executive order number 202.7 issued by the governor on March 19, 2020.

2. The default or other event causing such natural persons to become wholly or partially personally liable for such obligation occurred between March 7, 2020 and September 30, 2020, inclusive.

§ 2. Subdivision a of section 22-902 of the administrative code of the city of New York, as amended by local law number 185 for the year 2019, 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) 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[.]; or

14. attempting to enforce a personal liability provision that the landlord knows or reasonably should know is not enforceable pursuant to section 22-1005 of the code.

§ 3. This local law takes effect immediately.

 

 

 

 

LS # 14817

5/5/20 7:33PM