November 6, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Prohibiting Landlords from Collecting Rent Without a Valid Certificate of Occupancy

TOP Governor Cuomo Signs Legislation Prohibiting...

Cuomo: "All New Yorkers deserve a safe decent and affordable place to call home. This new law helps ensure equal protections for New Yorkers in every corner of this great state and will hold accountable those who seek to profit off substandard housing once and for all."

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.2576/A.1646) prohibiting landlords from collecting rent or maintaining a nonpayment eviction proceeding during the period for which there is no valid certificate of occupancy. This law also prohibits tenants and owners from living in a residence that does not have a valid certificate of occupancy. The law would expand existing laws to cover cities with a population of less than 325,000 people. The law goes into effect immediately.

 

"All New Yorkers deserve a safe decent and affordable place to call home," Governor Cuomo said. "This new law helps ensure equal protections for New Yorkers in every corner of this great state and will hold accountable those who seek to profit off substandard housing once and for all." 

 

Senator Jamaal T. Bailey said, "Affordable housing continues to be a growing issue in our state. We consistently see landlords overcharging tenants who are living in deplorable and unsafe conditions, and in certain cases, illegal dwellings. My bill would prohibit landlords from collecting any rent without a certificate of occupancy. This will ensure that tenants are living in adequate and safe housing. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for ensuring that this bill was passed, and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter for her leadership in sponsoring this bill in the Assembly."

 

Assemblymember Pamela J. Hunter said, "Renters should never have to accept substandard and dangerous living conditions. By prohibiting the collection of rent when there is no certificate of occupancy, we are incentivizing building safety. With the addition of this provision to the Multiple Residence Law, this common sense approach will now apply to cities statewide."

 

This legislation builds on the sweeping tenant protections signed by Governor Cuomo on June 14, 2019. A key component of the Governor's Justice Agenda, this package of reforms known as the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, enacting the most aggressive tenant protections in state history, safeguarding affordable housing for millions of New Yorkers.

 

Certificates of occupancy are required before building owners allow tenants to take occupancy pursuant to both the Multiple Residence Law and the Multiple Dwelling Law. The Multiple Residence Law applies to cities having a population of 325,000 or less. In New York City, the Multiple Dwelling Law currently prohibits owners from collecting rent or maintaining nonpayment eviction proceedings during the period where a dwelling unit is occupied in violation of the certificate of occupancy requirements. This law would provide more consistency between the two laws in preventing violations of certificates of occupancy requirements and helping ensure that dwellings are suitable for habitability.

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