JAM News
Thursday, October 15, 2020

NYC Public Advocate calling for stricter building inspection regs with new bills

THE DAILY NEWS - By Michael Gartland

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams introduced two new bills that would increase fines against landlords who don’t remedy building code violations and would force them to address outstanding violations within 24 hours.
Williams, who as public advocate releases the city’s Worst Landlord WatchList each year, intends to put sharper teeth behind the list with the bills, which he expects to introduce Thursday afternoon in the City Council.

“In putting together the Worst Landlord Watchlist, we found far too many instances of landlords failing to live up to their most basic responsibilities,” Williams said.

“In case after case, violation after unchecked violation, bad actors demonstrated an inability or an unwillingness to live up to their end of the bargain," he continued. "It’s past time to put in place meaningful reforms to not just call out these actions, but to put a stop to them. This legislation is about preventing landlords from evading accountability and protecting their tenants from conditions that are physically unsafe.”
One of Williams' bills would require the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to maintain a “certification of correction” watch list and to forbid landlords from certifying violations are corrected without an inspection.
That bill would carry with it fines of up to $1,100 per day for hazardous violations and $2,500 for falsely reporting a violation has been corrected.
The second bill would require HPD to respond to complaints about hazardous conditions almost immediately.
Under that bill, the agency would have to contact the tenant within 12 hours, and if an inspection is warranted, conduct one within 24 hours of receiving the complaint.

Michael Gartland
New York Daily News
Michael Gartland covers the New York City Housing Authority, housing and homelessness. During his 20-year career, he’s covered politics, crime and religion for The Record in NJ, The Post and Courier in SC and Newsday, among others. His work has earned local and national journalism awards. He lives in Upper Manhattan with his wife and two children.

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