In mid-June, the New York State Senate passed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 which included the strongest affordable housing and tenant protection legislation in the history of New York State.Most of the regulations are effective immediately, while some go into effect mid-July and October 2019.
Under the new law, existing regulations were updated and new sections were added on the subjects of:
When and how to provide tenants with written notice of renewal/rent increases
How prospective residents are screened during the application process
New information needed to provide proper documentation of receipt of rent payment
Specific dates as to when and how to contact the resident in the event of a late payment
Limitations on costs of late payments, application fees, and background checks
So what can you do to protect yourself as a landlord/owner of a multifamily property?
Know the law – most of these regulations are in effect already and your property needs to start abiding by the new laws right away. Senate Bill S6458
Protect yourself – make sure your staff is documenting everything from rent communications to maintenance requests. The more information you have, the better your argument will be should you find yourself in court.
Get professional help – attorneys specializing in multifamily law are already working on ways that owners can be compliant and offer best practices. If you already have an attorney make sure they are aware of these regulations and are working to protect you.
Join your Trade Association – Trade associations are a great resource because they are created specifically to inform members of changes in industry trends and regulations. When necessary, organizations form coalitions and PACs to raise money to fight against proposed bills that inhibit how you do business. Visit the New York Capital Region Apartment Association.
Work with a Property Management Company – If you already use a Property Management company make sure they are aware of these new laws. If not, hiring one may be something to consider. Property Management companies use channels and resources that keep them 'in-the-know' about trends, operations, and new regulations affecting their clients' businesses. As an apartment owner you can utilize their software, communications, and staff trainings to assist you with making necessary changes at your apartment community.
Since these are brand new laws, precedence has yet to be set and is creating a “wait and see” environment for apartment owners. True best practices will depend on how the courts will interpret these laws and make their judgements. For now continue to keep yourself informed of any new changes as this is sure to not be the last we are hearing about them.
Contact us to learn more about how Property Management services can help your community.
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