FAQs - Part 3
A. Prior to 2019 HSTPA upon issuance of a final judgment of possession, courts would issue a warrant of eviction, but courts did not specify timing of execution. Marshals had to give at least 72 hours’ notice before the eviction. Issuance of the arrant canceled the lease and annulled the landlord-tenant relationship, depriving courts of the power to vacate the warrant for good cause.
Post 2019 HSTPA a warrant of eviction must state the earliest date the eviction can occur. The city marshal must give at least fourteen (14) days’ notice prior to eviction; warrants may be executed only on a business day from Monday through Friday. Issuance of warrants no longer cancels the landlord-tenant relationship. If a tenant tenders or deposits all the rent due at any time before the warrant of eviction is expected, the warrant in a nonpayment case is vacated unless landlord can establish that tenant withheld the rent in bad faith. Court may, for good cause, stay or vacate a warrant, stay re-letting or renovation of premises for a reasonable period of time, and restore tenant to possession; nothing may deprive court from the power to stay, vacate, or restore a tenant o possession off the premises after execution of the a warrant. Warrant may remove only “persons named in the proceeding.” Applies to commercial and residential proceedings. Effective June 14, 2019.
Q. How Has New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Post-Trial Stay (RPAPL Sections 753(1) and 753(3)?
A. Prior to 2019 HSTPA in the NYC holdover summary proceedings courts could sty issuance and execution of warrants for up to six (6) months, except if landlord intended to demolish the building. In holdover proceedings based on a lease violation, tenants were given automatic 10-day stays to cure.
Post 2019 HSTPA in both nonpayment and holdover proceedings, courts statewide have discretion to grant an occupant a stay of up to one (1) year; the demolition exception is abolished; there is an exception to court’s discretion if the proceeding is based on objectionable conduct or if landlord can establish occupant is objectionable.
Factors courts may consider when granting a stay, or deciding the length of the a stay, to determine whether an eviction would cause extreme hardship f a stay was not granted: (a) serious ill health; (b) significant exacerbation of ongoing condition; (c) child’s enrollment in local school; and (d) any other extenuating life circumstances affecting ability of applicant or family to relocate and maintain quality of life.
Courts shall consider any substantial hardship on landlord in determining whether to grant the stay and in setting the stay’s length and other terms.
Automatic cure period under RPAPL Section 753(4) for breach-of-lease provision extended form ten (10) to thirty (30) days.
If lessee (tenant) is not removed from the leased premises after a foreclosure or tax foreclosure, proceeding must be sealed, and all records of the proceedings must be kept confidential pursuant to RPAPL Section 757.
To effect these changes in the law, RPAL Section 751(4), which limited stays outside of NYC, is repealed.
Effective June 14, 2019.
Q. How Has New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law That Pertain to Unlawful Eviction (RPAPL Section 768)?
A. Prior to 2019 HSTPA unlawful eviction were illegal and only legal by court proceedings, to evict residential occupants who had occupied the premises for at least thirty (30) days or entered into a lease.
Post 2019 HSTPA unlawful evictions are punishable as a Class A misdemeanor carrying civil penalties from $1,000.00 - $10,000.00 per violation.
Definition of conduct constituting unlawful eviction is expanded to (a) using or threatening force; (b) interfering or intended to interfere with the ability to use dwelling; (c) engaging or threatening to engage in any conduct that prevents or is intended to prevent occupant from lawful occupancy or to induce lawful occupant’s vacatur.
Owner required to restore person unlawfully removed.
Effective June 14, 2019.
Q. How Has New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Obligations Law That Pertain to Limits on Security Deposits and Pre-Paid Rent (GOL Section 7-108(1-a)?
A. Prior to 2019 HSTPA rent stabilized tenants were not required to deposit or advance more than one(1) month’s rent as security; no limits on security deposits or prepaid rent for market tenants.
Post 2019 HSTPA tenants in rent-stabilized and unregulated units may not be required to deposit more than one(1) month’s rent as security deposit. Abolishes pre-paid rent advances. No more first and last month’s rent accepted or required at beginning of tenancy.
Q. How Has New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Obligations Law That Pertain to Inspection of Premises, Return of Security Deposit (GOL Section 7-108(1-a)(c)-(e)?
A. Prior to 2019 HSTPA a security deposit had to be returned within a “reasonable time.”
Post 2019 HSTPA after a lease is signed but before occupancy begins, landlords must offer tenants an opportunity to inspect apartments (with landlord present). After inspection, the parties must enter into a written agreement attesting to the condition of the apartment and noting any defect of damage. The agreement is admissible as evidence of the condition of the premises at the beginning of the occupancy only in actions related to returning the security deposit and not for warranty of habitability.
Upon a tenant’s notice of intent to vacate, landlord must conduct exit walk thru no more than two (2) weeks and no less than one (1) week before the surrender. Landlord must give 48 hours’ notice of inspection. Tenant may be present. After inspection, landlord must give itemized statement specifying repairs and cleaning that shall be the basis of any security-deposit deduction. Tenant may cure any condition before tenancy ends.
Landlord has fourteen (14) days from tenant’s vacatur to return security and an itemized statement if any portion of the deposit is retained for nonpayment of rent, nonpayment of utility charges, damaged caused by tenant beyond normal wear and tear and moving, or storage of tenant’s belongings.
If landlord fails to provide itemization of deposit within fourteen (14) days, landlord forfeits right to retain any portion of security deposit.
The security deposit cannot be withheld based on a claim of wear and tear, attorneys’ fees, late fees, additional rent, or other miscellaneous charges.
The itemized statement must specify any repairs or cleaning that shall be the basis of any deduction from the security deposit. Tenant may cure any condition before tenancy ends.
In an action disputing the mount of any security deposit retained, landlord has the burden to justify retaining any portion of any security deposit.
Willful violation subject to punitive damages up to twice the amount of the deposit.
Effective June 14, 2019.
Q. How Has New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Business Law That Pertain to Conversion to Cooperative and Condominium Ownership (GBL Section 352-e)?
A. Prior to 2019 HSTPA conversions were permitted based on an eviction plan. In a non-eviction plan, at lest 15% of tenants in residence must have agreed to buy before the conversion was effective.
Post 2019 HSTPA the eviction option is eliminated. For a non-eviction conversion to be effective, at least 51% of tenants in residence must agree to purchase. Tenants in occupancy have ninety (90) day exclusive right to purchase and six (6) months right of first refusal. Holders of unsold shares and unsold units may lose ability to seek MCIs for capital improvements. To qualify for an MCI, building must be 35% rent regulated. Eligible senior citizens or disabled persons who do not purchase may not be subject to unreasonable rent increases or evicted during their occupancy except for nonpayment of rent, illegal use of occupancy of the premises, failure to provide access, or a similar tenant breach of obligations to dwelling-unit owner. Eligible senior citizen/disable persons who reside in units subject to government regulation remain subject thereto. Rights granted to eligible senior citizen/disable persons under the plan may not be abrogated or reduced. Coop plan offeror has thirty (30) days from receipt of the form from occupant claiming to be a senior citizen or disable person to challenge the claim. Dispute brought before the Attorney General, who has thirty (30) days to make a determination. The determination is subject to CPLR Art. 78 absent fraud, this is the sole method. NYC only. Effective June 14, 2019.
Q. How Has New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) Changed General Obligations Law That Pertain to Manufactured Homes?
A. Effective July 14, 2019, HSTPA regulates rent-to-own contracts, including changes in use to the underlying land, and provides for tenant protections, including a bill of right. Caps rent increases at 3% unless landlord can show hardship, then cap is 6%. Applies to one housing community in NYC, on Staten Island.