October 22, 2021
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Housing Legislation Package

Governor Hochul Signs Housing Legislation Package

Legislation S.69/A.297 Makes Provisions Regarding Small Claims Jurisdiction Where Claimant is a Tenant or Lessee of Real Property Owned by Defendant that is Situated Within Certain Limits

Legislation S.290/A.113 Exempts a Debtor's Interest in His or Her Rent-Stabilized Lease from Bankruptcy Proceedings

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a package of legislation related to housing. Legislation (S.69/A.297) makes provisions regarding small claims jurisdiction where claimant is a tenant or lessee of real property owned by defendant that is situated within certain limits. Legislation (S.290/A.113) exempts a debtor's interest in his or her rent-stabilized lease from bankruptcy proceedings.

"We are taking steps toward ensuring that those who may find themselves in tough situations do not need to fear losing their homes," Governor Hochul said. "Expanding and solidifying tenant rights brings peace of mind to those who rent their homes. I am proud to sign these bills into law because every New Yorker deserves the dignity of a roof over their head."

Legislation S.69/A.297 permits residential tenants fair access to the small claims courts by letting them sue in the small claims court located in the area that the rental unit is located. Previously, the law placed an unfair burden on the tenant in terms of the return of their security deposit or other claims, which required that tenants file a claim in the jurisdiction where the landlord's business is located.

Senator Brad Hoylman said, "Bad landlords beware: New York has taken another step to protect tenants. With today's signing of (S.69/A.297), we've eliminated an unfair burden in the law that made it difficult for tenants to bring landlords to court if the landlord lived in a different county than the tenant or out-of-state. I applaud Governor Hochul, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Assembly Member Gottfried and my colleagues in both houses for their support of this legislation and respect for tenants' rights."

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried said, "Small Claims Court can be an important resource for tenants to seek redress in disputes with a landlord without the expense and difficulty of going through an extended higher court process. For example, a landlord that doesn't provide heat or repairs may be violating the lease and owe compensation. But if the landlord's office is in another county, the tenant hasn't been able to sue in Small Claims Court. This law will let tenants sue in the county or city where the property is. I thank Governor Hochul for understanding that landlords shouldn't be able to evade responsibility to their tenants simply by having their home or office further away."

Legislation S.290/A.113 protects debtors facing bankruptcy by granting them exemption to their interest in their rent-stabilized lease.

Senator Zellnor Myrie said, "New Yorkers facing bankruptcy are already in a difficult situation; threatening their lease in rent-stabilized housing simply adds insult to injury. By passing this law, New York is making a commitment to more stable communities as we emerge from the economic uncertainty of the past two years. I'm grateful to Governor Hochul and Assemblymember Perry for getting this important bill enacted."

Assemblymember Nick Perry said, "As our state rebuilds following this pandemic, we must protect vulnerable New Yorkers who have suffered the most. I applaud Governor Hochul for signing my bill, A.113 into law, which will protect, and provide some relief for these individuals and families who have fallen on hard times, and will keep them in their homes by exempting their interest in their rent stabilized apartment from bankruptcy proceedings. If New Yorkers run into hard financial times, they can be assured that they will not be left homeless if they seek a financial restart and use the bankruptcy process."

Contact the Governor’s Press Office

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