Pay Lawyers, Not Rent

Mayor de Blasio has scheduled a noon press conference to sign the tenant right to counsel bill into law.

As we blasted in our email alert yesterday, the New York City Council, passed almost 20 anti-owner bills Wednesday under the banner of tenant protection. Among the more egregious was a bill creating a rebuttable presumption that owners are guilty of harassing tenants if an essential service is “interrupted,” contacting the tenant at work without prior written approval or contacting them outside of 9-5 weekdays. Full details of all the  new legislation will be in the September New York Housing Journal.

In other action, the Council approved a major rezoning of midtown east to encourage new office construction, although the benefits may be long in coming.

Finally, in an action packed session, the Council extended the law barring smoking in common areas of multiple dwellings to smaller 3-10 unit buildings. Previously, only buildings over 10 units were covered. Further, every building will have to adopt a smoking policy and notify residents of the rules, if any, annually and with leases or purchase agreements, beginning one year after the Mayor signs the bill—which is expected shortly.

Meanwhile, Council members keep coming up with new ideas to increase operating costs. A bill is being introduced to require buildings with more than 100 units to have a translator on staff for any language spoken by more than 10 percent of the tenants.

If your mortgage is set to adjust to Libor in 2021 or later, you have a problem. Libor won’t be available. Check your mortgage documents and make sure new mortgages provide for a mutually agreed rate.

Amazon isn’t content to just deliver to your building anymore, they want to provide a package reception facility. They are offering storage boxes, but haven’t announced pricing yet.

Those foreign buyers you hear so much about? Canadians buying in Florida, according to a recent report. And New York isn’t even in the top five states for foreign buyers, 60 percent of whom become residents, not absentee owners.

New York City says it has stepped up recycling enforcement this month. Let us know if you are getting more recycling violations. Email

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