Tuesday, November 12, 2019

No Certificate of Occupancy? No Rent, No Eviction Proceeding

On November 6, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Assembly Bill 1646 into law. Assembly Bill 1646 amends the Multiple Residence Law and adds a new Section 302-a. The Multiple Residence Law applies to buildings with three or more units outside New York City.

Effective immediately, the new law prohibits the recovery of rent AND the commencement of an action for possession of a dwelling based on nonpayment of rent if the dwelling or structure occupied for human habitation does not have a certificate of occupancy or is not in compliance with the existing certificate of occupancy pursuant to Multiple Residence Law § 302.

The dwelling may be caused to be vacated for any nuisance or if it is occupied by more families or persons than permitted or is erected or occupied contrary to law. Such dwelling cannot be occupied until it or its occupancy has been made to conform to law.

Apart from a landlord being prohibited from recovering rent and possession of the premises through a nonpayment eviction proceeding, landlords should also be aware that violations may also be fined up to $500 or imprisonment up to a period of one year, or both.

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