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Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

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

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Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:38 pm

Folks,

I need your help with our landlord refusing to install a buzzer or intercom to a building erected in late 1880s claiming it was never installed prior to her buying the building last year.

Judge has challenged HPD to investigate and found no evidence of prior system installed. He probably will take the stance to say since it was not landlord so not have to install one.

Really insane in 2019, almost, that intercom are not mainstream. But you have to go down and up 3 floors to open the door to your delivery, hoping it is still awaiting for you

Which law enforces either or ?

I will be in court tomorrow. Appreciate all help, if any precedent is even better !!

Thank you
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:03 pm

First, you posted the same question twice. Please don't do that.

The NYS Multiple Dwelling Law section 50 and 50-a, requires a buzzer/intercom and that it was not provided before is immaterial. Are you saying the judge - who would know this law very well - is ignoring the requirement? Did you get a violation placed by HPD?

See http://tenant.net/Other_Laws/MDL/mdl03.html

Sec. 50. Entrance halls.

Every entrance hall in every multiple dwelling erected after
April eighteenth, nineteen hundred twenty-nine, shall be at least
four feet in clear width from the entrance to the first stair,
and beyond that shall be at least three feet eight inches in
clear width. If such an entrance hall is the only entrance to
more than one flight of stairs, the required width of such hall
shall be increased in every part, for each such additional flight
of stairs, by one-half the width required for one flight of
stairs.


Sec. 50-a. Entrances: doors, locks and intercommunication
systems.

1. Every entrance from the street, passageway, court, yard,
cellar, or similar entrance to a class A multiple dwelling
erected or converted after January first, nineteen hundred
sixty-eight, except an entrance leading to the main entrance
hall or lobby which main entrance hall or lobby is equipped
with one or more automatic self-locking doors, shall be
equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking doors
and such doors shall be locked at all times except when an
attendant shall actually be on duty. Every entrance from the
roof to such a dwelling shall be equipped with a self-
closing door which shall not be self-locking and which shall
be fastened on the inside with movable bolts, hooks or a
lock which does not require a key to open from inside the
dwelling.

2. Every class A multiple dwelling erected or converted after
January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight containing eight
or more apartments shall also be equipped with an
intercommunication system. Such intercommunication system
shall be located at an automatic self-locking door giving
public access to the main entrance hall or lobby of said
multiple dwelling and shall consist of a device or devices
for voice communication between the occupant of each
apartment and a person outside said door to the main
entrance hall or lobby and to permit such apartment occupant
to release the locking mechanism of said door from the
apartment.

3. On or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-nine,
every class A multiple dwelling erected or converted prior
to January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, shall be
equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking doors,
which doors shall be kept locked except when an attendant
shall actually be on duty, and with the intercommunication
system described in paragraph two of this section, provided
that tenants occupying a majority of all the apartments
within the structure comprising the multiple dwelling
affected request or consent in writing to the installation
of such doors and intercommunication system on forms which
shall be prescribed by the department, except that in the
event a majority of tenants in occupancy request or consent
on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, to
the installation of such doors or intercommunication system
such installation shall be started within ninety days, but
need not be completed until six months after the owner's
receipt of requests or consents by a majority of the
tenants, except that in any such multiple dwelling owned or
operated by a municipal housing authority organized pursuant
to article thirteen of the public housing law, such
installation need not be completed until one year after the
owner's receipt of requests or consents by a majority of the
tenants. If the dwelling is subject to regulation and
control of its residential rents pursuant to the local
emergency housing rent control act, the local city housing
rent agency shall upon the filing of executed forms
containing the required requests or consents, prescribe the
terms under which the costs of providing such doors and
intercommunication systems may be recovered by the owner
from the tenants. In any multiple dwelling built pursuant to
the provisions of the redevelopment companies law in which
residential rents are limited by contract, the costs of
providing such doors and intercommunication systems may be
recovered by the owner from the tenants. The terms under
which such costs may be recovered shall be the same as those
prescribed by the local city housing rent agency in the city
in which the multiple dwelling is located for dwellings
subject to regulation and control of rent pursuant to the
local emergency housing rent control act. Such costs shall
not be deemed to be "rent" as that term is limited and
defined in the contract.

4. All such self-closing and self-locking doors, and
intercommunication systems shall be of a type approved by
the department and by such other department as may be
prescribed by law and shall be installed and maintained in a
manner prescribed by the department and by such other
department.

5. Every owner who shall fail to install and maintain the
equipment required by this section, in the manner prescribed
by the department, and by such other department as may be
prescribed by law, and any person who shall wilfully
destroy, damage, or jam or otherwise interfere with the
proper operation of, or remove, without justification, such
equipment or any part thereof shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor as provided in subdivision one of section three
hundred four of the multiple dwelling law and shall be
punishable as provided therein.
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:12 pm

He seemed to be ignoring the request and simply asked HPD to investigate whether there was a buzzer or intercom prior to date.
HPD never put a violation for buzzer or intercom.

Is that the sole require for a Bell and buzzer / intercom for all nyc building ?

Alain all the above seems to be pointed to building erected in 20th century.
Appreciate your kind help
Mrfochon
 
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:44 pm

Is this a non-payment, holdover or HP Action? Is this in Housing Court?
Is it just you in court, or are there other tenants as well? Do you have a lawyer?
Did you even call 311 and lodge a complaint?
What is the name of the judge?
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:48 pm

This is an OSC with judge Schneider. We are last tenant remaining in building and only one represented in this OSC. Lawyer believe we should drop this request. Did. Or call 322 to lodge a complaint but will do tonight.
Mrfochon
 
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:00 pm

It's 311, and you do it to get it on record.

There are times it might make sense to drop the case, settle the case, seek more time or drop a defense. You don't want a bad judge's decision to work against you. You could them come back later to a better judge when you have done your research. But if you have a bad decision, that would make it much more difficult.

An OSC? Is this a HP Action, or a non-pay or holdover? A lot depends on the nature of the litigation.

You have a lawyer? And this lawyer didn't tell you to call 311? Who is this attorney? (you can tell us via private mail if you don't want to say publicly). Is the lawyer a private attorney, or is he/she with a group like Legal Aid/Legal Services, or part of NYC Right to Counsel?

Make sure you have a printout from the Mult. Dwelling Law with you - just in case.

A lot also depend on what else is happening. You say you're the last tenants. So what else is happening? Is the LL trying to get you out? Are you RS? Have you filed for harassment with the city?
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:12 pm

Long story short, the new LL bought the place with the intention to evict us and stay here with her whole family and driends lol
They paid out the other family that lived here and occupied all the other floors and apartment. Then refuses to put head and got a harassement case again then.
Now we pushed an OSC - order to show cause, HP Action, to force hear to be installed. Along with the bell and buzzer and maintenance. Judge does not seem to want to decide thus he asked HPD to investigate whether there were a system in place before and might have been removed. Expecting the LL to tell judge she does not have to install since service was not in place.

Apartment has been registered very late in the game. Only this year or last with RS.
No prior tenant name has been provided, no rent justification ... a whole mess.

They put heat in the apartment though a water pipe heater heater along the floor and wall. (Kind of a rail heater since they removed the boiler when buying the place.)
Last edited by Mrfochon on Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:24 pm

OK, so we're fleshing things out. This is an owner-occupancy situation. I'm assuming you've done some basic research on this and know the rules of owner occupancy. If not, see some basics at http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac10.pdf

- Did the owner serve you a proper "Golub Notice" What is "proper" can get complicated. Cases are often kicked out if not done properly.

- Are you disabled, over 62 or lived in the building for 20+ years?

- Is the owner an individual, or part of a corporation, LLC or such?

"Then refuses to put head..." - what does this mean?

- No registration? I can't say for certain, but I would think that would impact the ability to serve a proper Golub.

You imply there's a separate harassment proceeding. Yes or No? How has that impacted things?

Based on what you've told me, especially with the harassment and lack of registration, a good tenant lawyer who knows this stuff can tear apart the LL's case. I hope you have a good lawyer and not some person who does tenant stuff part time.
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Tue Nov 27, 2018 9:45 pm

Non eviction notice. Not disabled or over 62. Multi family owned by a couple.
Head is heat (iPhone issues sorry).
They tried to renovate without permits and hit harassement case and CONH rejected for 3 years from May 2018.

Lawyer is great and got us passed first LT case with other judge.
Other detail we be had this same question to a judge in 2017 (memories...) with prior LL who left the place a mess before selling. We had no heat for years, paid for own heat basically.
Judge said “if you wand a buzzer you should have moved into a place that has one.”

That being said your point #3 seems to cover all building prior to 1900s.
Wondering if we should ask for more time tomorrow.
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:30 pm

What is "Non eviction notice?"
What is "hit harassement case?"
What part of Harlem requires a CONH?
And "rejected for 3 years..." that doesn't make any sense.
What do you mean "got us passed first LT case" (I get you meant "past" but even that doesn't make sense.

Please, I can't read your mind. Don't assume I know what you mean.

If the judge actually said that, I would report the judge the next time she's up for reappointment. Don't expect lawyers to report a judge - they won't do that.

Look, I really don't know enough about the case to suggest anything in particular (and your replies are making it even more confusing). Plus, you have a lawyer and seem to have confidence in the lawyer.
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:45 pm

Sorry for the confusion. Let me try one more time.
LL bought last year the building. They tried to evict using a Hp action. Case was dismissed. (So we won our case.)
In the meantime, HPD investigates harassement and buid a case against LL. Case was tried at HOD. Judge got enough evidence to deny LL their CONH. CONH is required when you want to convert building into single family.

When building was sold we got served but We did not get any eviction notice.
LL attorney was playing gamesmanship (and made me change Lawyer. First was was not specialized in housing cases(
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:59 pm

A LL cannot evict using a HP Action. That is for tenants who want to force LLs to make repairs.

A LL can evict using a Non-Pay or Holdover. (I think owner occupancy cases are special types of Holdovers, but I'm not an expert on that). The legal conundrum there is that holdovers are where LL's seek to terminate the lease based on a nuisance on breach of lease. With owner occupancy, as the owner decided to not renew the lease based on owner occupancy ground, technically there is no lease to terminate. So it wouldn't be a regular Holdover.

Now, you say HPD is investigating. Even if they have an harassment case, they would have to file it in court. (it also depends on the language of the law that requires a CONH -- they might be different depending on what area of town you are in.

Also understand that even if it has teeth, in most cases CONH are political tools to give tenants the impression - often false - that they are being protected. The harassment laws in NYC are a joke. Do not expect much satisfaction there. The only time they really work is when a politician wants to issue a press release.

What is "HOD?" I have no idea what that is.

On the owner use, first they serve you with a Golub Notice. As I said above, there are stringent requirements on how and when they serve you. Many cases are dismissed due to bad Golubs. That basically says they owner declines to offer you a renewal.

So when the current lease expires, it is at that point that the LL can file a court case. Not before. They would serve you with a Petition that commences the court proceeding.

An actual "eviction notice" would come after a trial and a judge's order.

As I said above, I can't really opine about the case that is currently being litigated. It depends on many things. However, whether or not you have a working buzzer should not have any impact on the owner-occupancy issue.
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:08 am

Hod is again a phone typo for HPD.
So on the buzzer / intercom, which is the argument tomorrow, seems the best is to bring up what you mentioned above section 50-3?
I am saying that because it seems to cover buildings build anytime whether or not a buzzer or intercom is or has been installed.

And I opened the 311 complaint as well.

3. On or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-nine,
every class A multiple dwelling erected or converted prior
to January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, shall be
equipped with automatic self-closing and self-locking doors,
which doors shall be kept locked except when an attendant
shall actually be on duty, and with the intercommunication
system described in paragraph two of this section, provided
that tenants occupying a majority of all the apartments
within the structure comprising the multiple dwelling
affected request or consent in writing to the installation
of such doors and intercommunication system on forms which
shall be prescribed by the department, except that in the
event a majority of tenants in occupancy request or consent
on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, to
the installation of such doors or intercommunication system
such installation shall be started within ninety days, but
need not be completed until six months after the owner's
receipt of requests or consents by a majority of the
tenants, except that in any such multiple dwelling owned or
operated by a municipal housing authority organized pursuant
to article thirteen of the public housing law, such
installation need not be completed until one year after the
owner's receipt of requests or consents by a majority of the
tenants. If the dwelling is subject to regulation and
control of its residential rents pursuant to the local
emergency housing rent control act, the local city housing
rent agency shall upon the filing of executed forms
containing the required requests or consents, prescribe the
terms under which the costs of providing such doors and
intercommunication systems may be recovered by the owner
from the tenants. In any multiple dwelling built pursuant to
the provisions of the redevelopment companies law in which
residential rents are limited by contract, the costs of
providing such doors and intercommunication systems may be
recovered by the owner from the tenants. The terms under
which such costs may be recovered shall be the same as those
prescribed by the local city housing rent agency in the city
in which the multiple dwelling is located for dwellings
subject to regulation and control of rent pursuant to the
local emergency housing rent control act. Such costs shall
not be deemed to be "rent" as that term is limited and
defined in the contract.
Mrfochon
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:44 pm

It seems a form is required to request the installation of an intercom.
anyone has an idea where to get the form from?

provided that tenants occupying a majority of all the apartments within the structure comprising the multiple dwelling affected request or consent in writing to the installation
of such doors and intercommunication system on forms which shall be prescribed by the department...
Mrfochon
 
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Re: Apartement in Multi dwelling townhouse Harlem

Postby Mrfochon » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:05 pm

Court is tomorrow not today. Mixed the dates.
Seems the building is grandfathered, build 1885 and never converted on time or legally, and falls in the grey area.
So annoying since this is absolutely not a luxury.
Mrfochon
 
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