Bay Ridge

Bay Ridge Lawyers examine the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act

March 6, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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As part of its consistent effort to educate lawyers on the latest developments in the law, the Bay Ridge Lawyers Association asked Adam Kalish to give a continuing legal education lecture on the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 during its monthly meeting at Mama Rao’s on Wednesday, Feb. 26.

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in June 2019, and it was said at the time to be one of the strongest laws protecting tenants in the state’s history.

Some of the rights the law created for tenants include the removal of tenant blacklists. In addition, the law says that starting in October, landlords must give 30, 60 and 90 days’ notice of lease termination or an increase of rent of five percent or more. The law also requires that security deposits be returned within 14 days and that a non-payment notice be provided by landlords after five days. The law also stipulates that late fees cannot be charged until rents are five days late, and are capped at $50 or five percent of the monthly rent, whichever is less.

Kalish explained that the new 30-60-90-day rule for holdovers is one that any attorney practicing in real estate, even if he or she doesn’t handle many landlord and tenant cases, needs to know.

“That is going to affect a lot of practitioners who aren’t used to handling landlord and tenant cases, because when you are representing sellers at property sales, nine times out of 10, you need to get any existing tenants out in order to be able to sell the building,” Kalish said. “It’s important for all attorneys to realize the new time requirements.”

Those rule changes are only some of the biggest; because the law is so complex, Kalish wanted to focus on some of the things that attorneys must know in order to help their clients, both landlords and tenants.

“The bill that was enacted in June obviously created a lot more protections for the tenants,” Kalish said. “But I think it can help both landlords and tenants. The important thing is that attorneys need to understand that their landlord clients follow the rules by sending out five-day late notices prior to sending out 14-day rent demands. All of the rules seem onerous, but nobody wants to see people thrown out of their homes.

“This gives tenants more time to figure out their next move, and as a result it could make things much easier to settle for landlords if the tenant already has that head start,” Kalish concluded.

The Bay Ridge Lawyers’ next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 25 at Mama Rao’s Restaurant in Dyker Heights at 6 p.m. The speaker will be Hon. Jeffrey Sunshine, the statewide coordinating judge on all matrimonial cases and supervising judge for matrimonial matters in the Kings County Supreme Court.

On Wednesday, April 29, the group will meet again at the usual time and location where Justice Matthew D’Emic, administrative judge of the Kings County, Criminal Term, will give a CLE lecture.

On Wednesday, May 27, Hon. Joy Campanelli, a former Brooklyn judge and clerk and the current supervising judge of the Staten Island Civil Court, will give a CLE lecture.

The Bay Ridge Lawyers will wrap up the season with its annual dinner dance, which will honor outgoing President Mary Ann Stathopoulos, on Friday, June 19. The location has not been announced yet.

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