Rules Relating to Recurring Complaint-Based Inspections
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments
Local Law 65 of 2014 (LL 65) authorizes the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to impose a fee to conduct a third complaint-based inspection for a dwelling unit that HPD has inspected twice in the same twelve-month period. For this fee to apply, HPD must have issued a hazardous (class B) or immediately hazardous (class C) violation in the dwelling unit as a result of each such inspection in that period, and the owner must have failed to certify that all of those violations have been corrected. Under the law, if the fee has not been paid, it becomes a tax lien against the property.
The new law provides HPD with authority to, by rule:
Increase the fee for such inspections when they are performed during “heat season” (the period of October 1st through May 31st),
Exclude certain hazardous or immediately hazardous violations from the inspection fee, and
(3) Determine what documents HPD would require for an owner to object to the inspection fee. An owner must prove that he/she attempted to access the dwelling unit to make repairs but was unable to do so. The owner’s objection would be made under the process provided by Administrative Code §27-2129 and related statutes, and HPD’s rules in 28 RCNY Chapter 17.
The proposed rules provide for a new Chapter 47 to specify which hazardous and immediately hazardous violations would not generate the complaint-based inspection fee. They also amend 28 RCNY Chapter 17 to describe the documents required for an owner to protest the inspection fee on the basis of lack of access to a dwelling unit to make repairs.
Housing Maintenance Code §27-2008 establishes an owner’s right of access to a tenant’s dwelling unit. The law authorizes HPD to make rules regarding an owner’s entry to a dwelling unit at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. Under LL 65, an owner would be able to protest a recurring violation inspection fee on the basis of lack of access to a dwelling unit to make repairs. The proposed rule amends Chapter 25, Subchapter H, §25-01 to clarify and update requirements regarding notification to tenants and the right of access to a dwelling unit at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner to repair violations and conduct inspections for making improvements and other repairs.
The proposed rule also makes a clarification to Chapter 17 of Title 28 of the RCNY to specify that the rules pertaining to objections to charges enforced as tax liens apply to charges incurred under § 27-2091.