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Not allowing HPD inspector in.

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Not allowing HPD inspector in.

Postby lawful tenant » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:47 pm

Posting for a friend who doesn't have a computer.

She received a notice from NYC HPD Division of Code Enforcement stating they came to re-inspect her apartment for outstanding violations.

The notice goes on to state: "...If on our return we are unable to gain access to your apartment , your landlord may exercise a procedure that may result in violations in your apartment being removed from our records. ..."

Upon speaking to her she was previously notified by the landlord that an inspection will take place on January 25, 2018. This notice also contained the two violations that were found in her apartment back in 2008 and 2009, both for peeling paint.

Today she received another notice from LL, that HPD will return on Monday, February 12, 2018.

On her return home from work, she was greeted by the superintendent who told her that if HPD wouldn't be able to inspect the apartment again when they come on February 12, they told him that they (HPD) will fine her anywhere between $500-$2000.

Is this true?

Neither the notice from HPD, nor the two notices she received from LL say anything about a fine.

As far as I understand, after reading the HPD notice, all that could happen if she doesn't let them in is that the violations will be removed.

Thanks
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Re: Not allowing HPD inspector in.

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:12 pm

I'm not aware of any provision where HPD can fine the tenant. OTOH, I think they can fine the landlord, and the landlord might try to pass that fine along to the tenant. To be honest, I don't think that's legal ... it might depend if she is RS or not, and what the fine print of the original lease might say. When LLs take tenants to Housing Court they can seek back rent, but such fines are not considered to be "rent." Even in situation where a LL might claim that some fees are deemed as "additional rent," I don't think that will fly in Housing Court.

One time, about 10 years ago, when in Housing Court for something else, my LL tried to add on an additional fee for something (I forget what it was). In speaking to the court attorney, he said that's not collectible in housing court, so it was dropped from the total claim.

Of course the LL might go to Civil court or Supreme court, where they can seek things that are not rent. But it's unlikely a LL would go to the additional expense (much more expensive) of commencing a case in Civil or Supreme unless there were additional factors at play.

As to access, read the threads on access in the reference section of the forum. Tenants are required to give access to the LL to make repairs. Failure to give access (assuming the LL has given the proper notices) can give the LL cause to bring a Holdover proceeding against the tenant.

Here's one page to read: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/owners/com ... tions.page

Usually on no access HPD will simply dismiss the complaint ... especially for something as minor as peeling paint.

Why won't the tenant give access? If there's something in the unit she doesn't want the LL or HPD to see, then just hide it.

Read the heat/hot water thread in the reference section. We discuss how HPD inspectors will look for problems with egress when they make inspections for anything. But they are not on a witch hunt. Some lazy inspectors will refuse to write up an obvious bad condition even when it's staring at them in the face, if it wasn't in the original complaint. BTW, if there are issues with egress, that can be dangerous and the tenant should fix any obstruction.

Keep in mind if the tenant refuses to give access to a legitimate inspector with identification, then there might be consequences. If the violations exist, and the LL is trying to remove them, the tenant might face a court proceeding.

Beyond that I would have to see the actual notice(s) from the LL and HPD to opine any further.
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