Commercial Harassment Even More Illegal

The City Council, Tuesday, voted to create a new¬† private right of action against property owners for harassment of commercial tenants, citing lockouts, threats of force, and failure to provide “essential services” — defined as any services required to be provided by lease terms or law–as examples. Upon a finding of harassment, a court can levy a civil penalty of $1,000 to $10,000 as well as provide compensatory and punitive damages to the tenant.

Also, Tuesday, the Council  voted to require that all single-occupant bathrooms in public accommodations, with limited exceptions, be gender neutral by January 1, 2017. The law will basically affect signage in existing buildings, and will not require any new facilities.

A State Supreme Court Judge this week threw out the Mayor’s proposed single family home water bill credit, agreeing with Prometheus Realty and the Rent Stabilization Association that the Water Board had been arbitrary and capricious by raising rates overall and then planning to give credits to just one kind of property owner. The Court ordered the credit and rate hike annulled, but the City has filed notice of appeal.

The industry didn’t do so well in another case. A Supreme Court judge threw out REBNY’s challenge to the two year moratorium on converting hotels to apartments, apparently deciding that REBNY did not have standing to sue.

Want to fly? The FAA has issued long awaited rules for the use of commercial drones, but don’t launch any from New York City yet. Commercial drone flights are banned within five miles of an airport, over people, or over 400 feet.

DHCR has announced that it will publish new rules and procedures for filing Freedom of Information Law requests this Monday, June 27th, effective the same day.

The Rent Guidelines Board will vote on 2016-17 stabilized guidelines at a public meeting this Monday, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street.

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