12 Bills to comprehensively reform the DOB and put an end to Construction-as-Harassment (A Legislative Platform to Reform DOB)

12 Bills to comprehensively reform the DOB and put an end to Construction-as-Harassment (A Legislative Platform to Reform DOB)

Local Law 149: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to professionally certified applications for construction document approval and final inspections of permitted work

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: This law requires the Department of Buildings to audit 25% of professionally certified applications for rent-regulated buildings, affordable housing projects or multiple dwellings which are the subject of a rent overcharge application and which are at least 25% occupied, on a monthly basis. This law also prohibits professional certified applications where buildings are listed on the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s website as having been subject to a finding of harassment.

 

Local Law 150: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to vacate orders

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: This law requires that on issuance of a vacate order Department of Buildings must include the date by which an owner must certify the correction of any and all violations giving rise to such order.

 

Local Law 151: In relation to creating a task force on construction work in occupied multiple dwellings

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: This law creates a task force consisting of members appointed by the New York City Department of Buildings, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Department of Environmental Protection, the City Council, and the Mayor.

The task force will evaluate current practices of agencies represented in the task force regarding construction and renovation by landlords in occupied residential buildings, publish a report of its findings, and provide recommendations to improve inter-agency coordination and sharing of information.

 

Local Law 152: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to distressed buildings subject to foreclosure by action in rem

Effective Date: Section One Takes Effect On May 1, 2019. Section Two Takes Effect Immediately.

Summary: Section 1 of this law expands the definition of “distressed buildings” eligible for a City initiated foreclosure proceeding to include buildings which are subject to Environmental Control Board (ECB) judgments as a result of building code violations in the amount of a lien to value ratio equal to or greater than 25%.

Section 2 of this law requires the Department of Finance to report on tax lien activities as a result of ECB debt, including the number of buildings subject to tax liens for ECB judgment debts, the location of the buildings, the number of dwelling units in each building, and recommendations for whether a 25 percent lien to value ratio is an appropriate threshold for property to be considered distressed.

 

Local Law 153: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to building violations adjudicated before the office of administrative trials and hearings

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: This law expands the City’s ability to impose tax liens on buildings to include properties that contain 20 or more dwelling units where the total value of all such judgments against the building is $60,000 or more, or a building which contains between 6 and 19 dwelling units, where the value of the judgments is $30,000 or more. The law contains exceptions for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s preservation projects.

 

Local Law 154: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York and the New York city building code, in relation to tenant protection plans, and to repeal section 1704.20.10 of the building code of the city of New York, in relation to special requirements for work in occupied multiple dwellings

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: This law amends the information that must be included in tenant protection plans (TPP) and prescribes measures that the Department of Buildings (DOB) and owners must take in order to ensure compliance with the tenant protection plan. It requires the landlord state what essential services will be interrupted, how interruptions will be minimized, what replacements will be offered. The TPP must be posted at the building, available on request, and published on the DOB website. DOB will inspect for compliance with the plan. DOB will perform randomized inspections of 5% of all sites requiring a plan.

 

Local Law 155 : To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring increased oversight of construction contractors who have engaged in work without a required permit

Summary: The Department of Buildings (DOB) will compile and maintain a watch list of contractors who have been found to have performed work without a required permit in the preceding two years. DOB will engage in increased oversight of any worksite where a contractor included on the watch list performs work. Listed contractors may be removed 2 years after they were placed on the list, or 2 years after the last time the performed work without a permit, whichever is more recent.

 

Local Law 156: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to increasing the penalties for work without a permit

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: The current cost for filing a work permit with Department of Buildings is as follows:

  • Alt 1: Minimum Filing Fee = $280
  • Alt 2: Minimum Filing Fee = $225
  • Alt 3: Minimum Filing Fee = $195
  • Limited Alteration Application = $195
  • Minimum filing fee is applied for work costing up to $3,000; $20 for each additional thousand dollars up to $4,000; plus $10.30 for each thousand in excess of $5,000.

The law increases fines for work without a permit for filings using the above method of calculation and multiplying it by 6x the fee for one and two family dwellings, and 21x for all other buildings.

 

Local Law 157: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to increasing the penalties for a violation of a stop work order

Effective Date: February 30, 2018

Summary: Any person who fails to comply with a stop work order shall be liable for a civil penalty in the amount of $6,000 for the initial violation and $12,000 for every subsequent violation.

 

Local Law 158: To amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to construction work permits

Effective Date: August 30, 2018

Summary: Department of Buildings (DOB) website will state whether the premises subject to the construction work permit are occupied. Where unpermitted work has been performed within the last year, DOB will conduct full examinations of construction and related documents (DOB’s website will list of these buildings). DOB permits will identify any, and the number, of occupied units, subject to work. This bill includes enhanced civil penalties for work without a permit. DOB may impose inspection fees on buildings that have unpermitted work violations.

 

Local Law 159: To amend the New York city administrative code, in relation to creating a safe construction bill of rights

Effective Date: December 30, 2017

Summary: Modifies the Housing Maintenance Code to require landlords post a “Safe Construction Bill of Rights” in the lobby and hallways of each floor of a building undergoing construction (not constituting minor alterations or ordinary repairs) for which a permit is needed. Each posting must be encased in plastic to protect from exposure. The Bill of Rights must describe in English, Spanish, and any other language the agency specifies:

  • Type of work and where work will take place
  • Hours of construction
  • Projected timeline of completion of work
  • Services to be interrupted during work and how owner will minimize interruption
  • Contact information for agent of owner who can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and state agencies where complaints may be submitted
  • Tenant Protection Plan

Failure to comply with the requirements of this bill constitutes a Class C immediately hazardous violation of the Housing Maintenance Code. Either Department of Buildings or Housing Preservation and Development may enforce this provision.



 

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  • commented 2017-07-30 18:54:36 -0400
    I see that some stiff penalties & maximum punitive actions that would include hefty monetary penalties & jail time for landlords & developers have been left out of this very much improved roster of laws in favor of tenants. First of all landlords that don’t respect getting permits & are doing illegal construction work & who harass tenants & rent regulated tenants for shot gun forced BUY OUTS need to be horribly fined & horribly jailed doing hard time in jail! Despite the fact that some laws in favor of harassed tenants regarding BUY OUTS from landlords that just want to evict rent regulated tenants & other tenants are FUTILE because they are not worth the paper they’re written on! These laws are NOT actualized & treacherous devious landlords who defile the laws are still getting away with impunity. This has got to stop! No free passes for these lawless thug landlords please & this is what’s happening! In addition I would also like to comment on the fact that I see that developers are not listed here & their lawless machinations in harassing tenants about BUYOUTS & lying like demented demons are not mentioned & dealt with legally. Yes developers like landlords LIE so iniquitously & consistently that they want tenants OUT so they can profit & many times break laws & get free passes to do so! Where are the non existent laws that they must follow?! This was omitted here! The developers viciously lie about permits they don’t have & think that they can insult the intelligence of many tenants! They talk about condos that they will never have permits to build & they talk about demolition that isn’t going to take place & so on at tenant’s expense & the tenants must do their homework & check every word they said because the laws don’t protect tenants regarding developer conspiracies to get rid of them! Tenants must become detectives in their struggle for truth & lawful fairness. We need someone out there some brilliant mind in the city council to go after the scheming no good developers who want to devour tenants & plot against them! Yes do your homework tenants & fight against the predatory developers the same way we all fight against the predatory landlords! Victory must be the result for NYC tenants!