How 18 New Tenant-Based Regulations Will Impact Your Buildings

Last week, the City Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings approved a package of new regulations, many of which are designed to decrease tenant harassment. A number of the new laws outline construction notice requirements and safeguards for residential properties, with increased penalties for failure to abide by city regulations.

We’ve categorized related pieces of legislation to make them easier to understand and implement. While there are 18 new laws in total (click here to see all of them), we’re going to go into detail on some of the most critical regulations that will impact your properties.

Click on a particular piece of legislation to learn more about that specific rule, including effective dates and a link to the exact copy of the law.

Required Postings and Notifications


INT 0936-2015: Tenant Protection Plans

  • Tenant Protection Plans are required for alterations of buildings that will be occupied during construction
  • Must detail specific occupied units, means, and methods to protect health and safety during construction (including details of specific methods, where applicable), not limited to: fire safety, egress, dust and debris control, essential services, noise, structural safety, and more
  • When the associated work permit is approved, the DOB will make the accompanying Tenant Protection Plan publicly available on their website. Owners must also provide a paper copy to occupants upon request
  • Notice of the Plan must be distributed to all occupied dwelling units once a work permit is issued OR the notice must be posted in the lobby, as well as near the elevator on each floor (or main stairwell if no elevator). This Notice will be created and approved by the DOB
  • The owner shall notify the DOB in writing at least 72 hours prior to the commencement of any work requiring a Tenant Protection Plan – the DOB will inspect 5% of these sites within 1 week of commencement, and afterwards will inspect upon receipt of a complaint.

Read the Final Rule Here to see all Tenant Protection Plan Requirements
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing


INT 0960-2015: Safe Construction Bill of Rights Posting

  • At the same time as a work permit application for anything other than minor alterations or ordinary repairs, or at the same time when an emergency work permit is sought, or in the case of a new building when a temporary Certificate of Occupancy is filed, the owner must distribute a notice called “Safe Construction Bill of Rights,” to each occupied unit OR post said notice in the building lobby, on every floor near the elevator bank/main stairwell
  • Must be adjacent to the Housing Information Guide lobby posting
  • This is separate and in addition to the Tenant Protection Plan
  • The Bill must remain throughout construction, and must contain specifics about the project (time, estimated completion, description of work, contact details, and more)
  • Failure to post this will result in an immediately hazardous violation including any associated financial penalties

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on the Safe Construction Bill of Rights
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing, except that the DOB commissioner may take measures necessary for implementation, including promulgating rules, prior to the effective date


Penalty Increases


INT 0939-2015: Work Without a Permit (WWP) Penalty Increase

  • Civil penalties for WWPs issued to 1-2 family homes increases to 6 times the amount of the permit fee: between $600 and $10,000
  • Civil penalties for WWPs issued to all other buildings increases to 21 times the amount of the permit fee: between $6,000 and $15,000
  • As a reminder, these are separate from and in addition to any ECB-related penalties that may be assessed at a hearing

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on the Work Without a Permit increase
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing, except that the DOB commissioner may take measures necessary for implementation, including promulgating rules, prior to the effective date


INT 0940-2015: Stop Work Order Penalty Increase

  • Failure to comply with a Stop Work Order will result in penalties of $6,000 for the first offense and $12,000 for every subsequent offense (increases of $1,000 and $2,000, respectively)
  • These fines are civil penalties and do not include any penalties assessed at an ECB hearing/associated with a concurring violation

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on the Stop Work Order increase
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing, except that the DOB commissioner may take measures necessary for implementation, including promulgating rules, prior to the effective date


ECB-Related Regulations


INT 0930-2015: Distressed Building Expansion for ECB Debt

  • This regulation amends the definition of distressed properties from having 15% of equal or greater lien ratio value for DOB-ECB related penalties to having 25%.
  • The DOF will submit a report to the mayor and council on tax lien activities for ECB-related judgment debt. This will include buildings with over $30,000 in ECB-related debt and buildings with over $60,000 in ECB-related debt, among other qualifiers

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on how ECB debt impacts a Distressed label
Goes into Effect: May 1, 2019, except DOB, HPD, and DOF commissioners may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation. The report (which goes into effect immediately) will be first submitted to the council on December 31, 2018.


INT 0931-2015: ECB-Related Judgments and Liens

  • DOB-ECB judgments shall constitute tax liens in specific cases (including the new distressed thresholds laid out above for certain sizes of residential multifamily buildings)
  • There are some exceptions to the above, outlined in the full text of the law (linked below)

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on new tax liens for ECB judgment thresholds
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing, except DOB and DOF commissioners may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation.


Construction-Related Regulations


INT 0918-2015: Professionally Certified Application Audits and Prohibitions

  • Each month, the DOB must audit no less than 25% of jobs (applications) that were professionally certified and fall into specific multifamily building categories
  • This includes rent-regulated buildings, buildings in HPD programs, buildings subject to regulatory preservation agreements, buildings with affordable units created via a city program, and more

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on DOB Audits and properties unable to self-certify
Goes into Effect:120 days after signing, except DOB commissioner may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation.


INT 0924-2015: Vacate Order Certification Date

  • In addition to information on building conditions, Vacate Orders will now include dates by which the owner must certify correction on all related violations

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on Vacate Order certifications
Goes into Effect:120 days after signing, except DOB commissioner may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation.


INT 0924-2015: DOB Contractor Watchlist

  • The DOB will create and maintain a “watchlist” of all contractors who have performed work without a permit (received WWP violations) within the past 2 years
  • The DOB shall perform one or more inspections on sites where watchlist contractors perform work in order to ensure compliance. The DOB may create additional rules here for more oversight in the interest of public safety
  • Contractors will be removed from the watchlist if they do not receive WWP violations within two years of their placement date on the watchlist or within two years of their most recent WWP violation, whichever is later

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on DOB Watchlist
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing, except DOB commissioner may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation.


NT 0944-2015: Work Permit Adjustments

  • Professionally certified applications will not be accepted at a building where a WWP violation was issued for one year after the issuance
  • This applies to the sub-parts of partially owned properties, depending on the WWP issuance (full building or partial building)
  • Notices of approval for new buildings and ALT-1 jobs (and any buildings that fall under the above restrictions) will be mailed to the council and community boards, and posted on the DOB page weekly
  • Posted work permits shall now identify whether any dwelling unit will be occupied during the work, and the total number occupied if applicable
  • WWP civil penalties issued within one year of of a previous WWP violation will be two times the amount that would otherwise be imposed
  • The DOB may impose complaint-based inspection fees for buildings with WWP violations (similar to HPD’s three strikes rule)

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on work permits
Goes into Effect: One year days after signing, except DOB commissioner may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation.


INT 1133-2016: DOB Withhold Permits for Unpaid Charges

  • The DOB will not issue permits for new buildings, demolitions, place of assembly permits, or ALT-1 applications if $25,000 or more in covered arrears (ECB judgments or other charges) is owed to the city
  • The DOB may issue a permit if it receives a certification from the Department of Finance outlining a binding settlement agreement for all covered arrears, and if the building owners are in compliance with said agreement (among some other exceptions)
  • All permit applications must include a certification by the owner of the property stating whether or not over $25,000 in covered arrears is owed, if over $25,000 is owed in aggregate (portfolio-wide), a list of buildings where covered arrears are owed and the amount for each property, and all owned buildings in NYC
  • The DOB commissioner will audit 25% of these certification statements alongside the DOF

Read the Final Rule Here to see details on when building permits would be withheld
Goes into Effect: 120 days after signing, except DOB commissioner may promulgate rules or take other actions for implementation.


Deep dive into these new regulations
Review these critical new laws and ask questions at SiteCompli’s upcoming compliance event, RealFocus – Register today.

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About the Author

Kristen Hariton

Kristen Hariton is the Product Marketing Strategist at SiteCompli. A member of the SiteCompli team since March 2013, Kristen has learned more about compliance and property operations than she ever thought possible. When she's not sharing the latest industry trends, changes, and updates, she's planning her next adventure to Walt Disney World.