New City Law Will Require Landlords to Provide Notice Before Beginning Disruptive Building Renovations

Rosie Mendez at a news conference last month to announce three lawsuits against property owner Samy Mahfar.

Rosie Mendez at a news conference last month to announce three lawsuits against property owner Samy Mahfar.

The City Council has approved legislation requiring property owners to provide tenants with advance notice of non-emergency repair work that will result in the disruption of building services. The bill was sponsored by City Council member Rosie Mendez and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Assuming the mayor signs the bill into law, landlords will have to provide 24 hours notice for most work. For projects impacting elevators, they will be required to provide 10 business days’ notice for “major alterations” and 24 hours notice for any other work in which elevator service is cut off for more than two hours.

“It’s… no secret that ‘no-notice’ quality-of-life disruptions labeled as ‘maintenance work’ are a frequent harassment tactic to push tenants out of rent-stabilized apartments,” said Brewer in a press release.  “Our notice requirement will be easy for honest, everyday landlords and building managers to respect, but it will take another harassment tool away from abusive landlords.”

Mendez added, “This legislation codifies common sense and common courtesy… No longer will tenants come home from a hard days work to find out that work in their building is interrupting some basic service and / or possibly obstructing access to their apartment.”

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development will be responsible for enforcement of the new law.