After a successful visit by the City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) at the October RSA membership meeting, we were proud to host, at the request of our members, representatives of the City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) at our last membership meeting of 2017.
Of the various topics discussed by HPD, the most important items on the agenda included updates on recently enacted legislation, as well as ways owners can certify and correct various violations. Three of the most important laws discussed included Local Law 86 of 2017, Local Law 153 of 2016 and Local Law 69 of 2017.
Local Law 86 of 2017, which we have reported on several times since the legislation was first introduced over two years ago, went into effect on October 1, 2017 at the commencement of heat season. As a reminder to RSA members, it is imperative that, through the conclusion of heat season on May 31, 2018, you must maintain a minimum indoor temperature of at least 68° between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. when the outside temperature falls below 55°. However, as a result of Local Law 86, owners are now required to maintain a minimum indoor temperature of 62° between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. with no outside temperature trigger.
HPD representatives emphasized that the vast majority of violations issued to owners throughout the winter months are related to heat and hot water and encouraged owners to familiarize themselves the new heating requirements. For additional information on heat season and the new requirements, please visit HPD’s website at http://on.nyc.gov/1LyHvJX.
Local Law 153 of 2016, which went into effect in September, requires property owners to provide all tenants with a notice regarding procedures that must be followed when a gas leak is suspected in the building, as well as post the notice in a building’s common area. RSA played a major role to ensure that owners only needed to provide this notice to tenants and prospective tenants one-time and not on every lease renewal.
The HPD regulation states that owners must “deliver or cause to be delivered to each tenant and prospective tenant of such dwelling one time, along with the first lease or first lease renewal for such tenant or prospective tenant, a notice in a form approved by HPD describing the procedures to be followed when a gas leak is suspected.” HPD is enforcing the law and is issuing violations for compliance failure. Details of the information that must be provided on this particular notice can be found on page 11 of the October 2017 edition of the RSA Reporter (all past editions can be found on RSA’s website).
Local Law 69 of 2017 requires property owners to file bedbug infestation histories with HPD and either post histories in their buildings or distribute them to tenants upon signing a new lease or lease renewal.
Property owners are now required to prepare or obtain any bedbug infestation history for each unit, as well as whether extermination measures were employed for each bedbug infestation, between November 6, 2017 and November 2018. Between December 2018 and January 1, 2019, owners will then be required to report this information for each apartment for this period through HPD. Owners will then be required to maintain this information every year after.
Please be advised that HPD has not yet promulgated the reporting application but will release it before December 2018. In addition, pursuant to the law, HPD will also make the submitted information publicly available on its website. We last reported on this law in the September 2017 RSA Reporter. Please see page 3 of that edition for more information.
In addition to new legislation, HPD also discussed the importance of eCertification, as well as their Violations Reissuance Program. Throughout the year, RSA reminds members of the importance of timely correcting and certifying their HPD violations. Although most owners timely correct and certify their violations, some will correct the conditions that warranted a violation but, for whatever reason, fail to submit the certification of correction to HPD or fail to submit certification in a timely matter.
eCertification is an online application which allows property owners and managing agents to easily certify HPD violations online. This online system, which is incredibly helpful to rental property owners, was developed by HPD as a result of RSA’s advocacy efforts at the City Council. In order to take advantage of eCertification, owners must create an online account through HPD and must properly register their buildings on an annual basis. For more information on eCertification, or to enroll, visit http://bit.ly/2C6S4oY.
The Violations Reissuance Program is also very helpful to property owners who have failed to certify their violations in a timely manner. If you have ended up in the situation where violations are no longer eligible for certification, you may seek a Violation Reissuance.
In order to qualify, your building must: have no open violations issued in the 12 months prior to your request, no falsely certified violations in the past 12 months prior to your request, valid property registration, no unpaid emergency repair program charges and no pending litigation with HPD. Also, it is important to know that HPD will not reissue lead paint violations. To download the Violation Reissuance form, visit http://on.nyc.gov/1H7fHsC.