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Do the TPA Application Fee limits apply to Condo Fees?

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Do the TPA Application Fee limits apply to Condo Fees?

Postby nyc-se » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:40 pm

Hi all! Would love your advice on whether a provision in the Tenant Protection Act applies to Condos. My S.O. and I are applying to rent an apartment. The unit is a condo and managed by a property management company. We have been approved by the owners (based on financial status etc) and are in the midst of reviewing and signing the lease. The next step is to submit our formal application to this property management company for Condo Board Approval.

The application outlines the following (exorbitant, IMO) fees:
Application Processing Fee: $700.00
Digital Document Retention Fee: $112.50
Move-In Fee: $600.00
Consumer Report Fee: $75.00


This seems to be in violation of the following part of the TPA section 238-a "Limitation on fees". Here it is in a pastebin https://pastebin.com/Q4GNDLB2 for convenience. and FWIW there's a solid summary here https://rebny.com/content/rebny/en/newsroom/in-the-news/2019/Housing_Stability_Tenant_Protection_Act_2019.html/ from the Real Estate Board of NY.

"Except in instances where statutes or regulations provide for a payment, fee or charge, no landlord, lessor, sub-lessor or grantor may demand any payment, fee, or charge for the processing, review or acceptance of an application, or demand any other payment, fee or charge before or at the beginning of the tenancy, except background checks and credit checks [which are capped at $20] ..."


My question: I've seen some folks online indicate that these laws may not apply to condos with management companies, since these companies are not technically covered by the "landlord, lessor, sub-lessor, or grantor" group specified in the text. Is this true? Are condos somehow exempt from these laws? Or could this be considered a de facto landlord-tenant relationship?
I get the sense that some of this may still need to be figured out based on real court precedents, but would really appreciate any initial appraisals of whether this is a) definitely not applicable to condos, b) definitely applicable, or c) a true gray area.

Thank you so much, we really appreciate your help.
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Re: Do the TPA Application Fee limits apply to Condo Fees?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:03 pm

Might you be referring to the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA)? No one calls it just the TPA. That seems like something from Iowa.

There is an ongoing dispute whether some fees charged by brokers are prohibited (as opposed to owners). That is unresolved, but will likely end up in court, and some politicians have said they will close that loophole (if it is a loophole).

We've not seen anything that might/might not apply to condos. But you're still a renter, right? So to the extend limitations apply to landlords, then it should apply to those renting coops/condos unless specifically excepted.

See these articles:
https://thecity.nyc/2019/08/real-estate ... e-cap.html

https://gothamist.com/2019/08/15/real_e ... w_rent.php

https://thecity.nyc/2019/08/pols-want-t ... -laws.html
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