Memo on Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019

As many of you have no doubt read, new laws were enacted on June 14, 2019 that will have a major impact on landlord and tenant law, housing court, cooperative and condominium conversions.

Below is my synthesis of the 145 page bill that passed.  If you want to discuss this with me, you can email, call or write me.

Written rent demands which were statutorily a 3 day notice are now a 14 day notice.  Oral demands are no longer acceptable.

In a pending nonpayment proceeding, if the tenant pays the rent at any time prior to a hearing on the petition, the landlord must accept the rent and the case is over.

Notices of nonpayment petitions which were statutorily returnable in 5 days are now returnable in 10 days.  Tenant has 10 days to answer the petition.

Notices of holdover petitions shall be served between 10 and 17 days before the return date.

Adjournments not less than 14 days.

RPAPL § 745 requirement that tenant pay use & occupancy or post the rent when asking for more than one adjournment exceeding 30 days is severely curtailed.  Requires landlord to make a motion. Two adjournments do not include the first one to seek counsel.

RPAPL § 753 court now has the discretion to give tenants and occupants up to one year to remain in possession of a residential unit if they pay on going use & occupancy.  Also there is a 30 day stay to cure a default after trial instead of 10 days.

RPAPL § 749 warrant now requires 14 days’ notice.  The Court now has the power to vacate a warrant issued for nonpayment of rent at any time prior to execution or to restore a tenant to possession if tenant can tender full payment of rent.

Thirty day stay following a judgment in favor of landlord in holdover for tenant to cure default.

RPAPL § 768 Class A misdemeanor plus civil penalties to person who intentionally fails to restore a person to possession who vacates because of course of conduct, threat, interferences with safety, peace, quiet, engaging in conduct to induce tenant to vacate.

RPL § 223-b defines retaliation by landlord as for instance when a tenant complains about conditions and landlord commences an eviction proceeding

RPL § 226-c requires landlord of residential property to give 30, 60 or 90 days’ notice of intention to terminate a month-to-month tenancy to be served by a process server.  Amount of notice depends upon longevity of 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.

RPL § 232-e landlord of residential property has a duty to mitigate damages by seeking in good faith to re-rent the apartment. Burden of proof is on party claiming damages, ie. Landlord.   Lease provision contrary to this is void.

RPL § 234 right to attorneys’ fees.  Landlord of residential property may not now recover attorneys’ fees upon a default judgment.

RPL § 235-e Landlord of residential property must give tenant a written receipt if rent is paid in cash.

And under subdivision (d) if landlord of residential property does not receive rent from tenant within 5 days of the date set forth in the lease, then landlord must first send a written notice to the tenant by certified mail stating the failure to pay rent and if landlord fails to do this then in an eviction proceeding, the failure to do so can be used as an affirmative defense by the tenant.  This means that the landlord first has to send a five day notice by certified mail and then a 14 day demand notice using a process server.

RPL § 238-a(2)  prohibits a landlord of residential property from demanding late charges from tenant unless payment has not been made within 5 days of the date when it was due and such late charge shall not exceed $50 of 5 percent of the monthly rent, whichever is less.  Lease provision contrary to this is void.

RPAPL § 702 now defines rent as the monthly or weekly amount charged for use & occupancy of the dwelling unit and shall not include late charges, interest or other fees.

General Business Law § 352-eee has been revised to require 51% purchase agreements (subscriptions) from bona fide tenants under a non-eviction plan, rather than the former 15%, for a cooperative or condominium plan to be declared effective.  Tenants have exclusive right to purchase for 90 days with an additional six months under certain circumstances.

Eviction plans are prohibited.

Residential security deposits cannot exceed one month’s rent.  After lease signing but before tenant takes occupancy, landlord shall offer tenant the opportunity to inspect to determine the condition of the dwelling unit and if tenant requests the inspection the parties will enter into an agreement attesting to the condition and noting defects and damages.

Within a reasonable amount of time following either party notifying of intention to terminate the tenancy, unless the tenant terminates with less than 2 weeks’ notice, landlord shall give tenant the opportunity to be present at an inspection on at least 48 hours’ notice and then at the inspection landlord shall provide tenant with an itemization of the basis for landlord’s deductions from the security deposit.  Tenant shall have the opportunity to cure before the end of the tenancy.  Return of remaining deposit along with itemized statement to tenant within 14 days.  Willful violation subjects landlord to up to twice the amount of the deposit.


For Rent Regulated Residential Premises:


High rent vacancy eliminated.

High income rent luxury decontrol eliminated.

Owner’s own use limited to a single unit for “immediate and compelling necessity”.

Overcharge now has a look back of 6 years rather than 4 and the elimination of a safe harbor to avoid treble damages for providing tenant with a refund.

Vacancy allowance on new tenant’s rent is eliminated.

Fuel cost pass-alongs to rent controlled tenant are eliminated.

Individual apartment improvements limited to a total of $15,000 per unit over the course of 15 years and only collectible for 30 years.  1/30th and 1/40th have been changed to 1/168th and 1/180th

Major capital improvements capped at 2% for 30 years amortized at 12 years for buildings with 35 units or less or 12.5 years for buildings with more than 35 units.

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