Loft Board Nov 15th meeting notes

This was a short meeting – 45 minutes. Holiday languor seems to have set in.

They scheduled an extra Loft Board meeting for December 13th at 22 Reade Street.

Loft Board Application Universe
There are 215 applications in progress. Lanny observed that often an application will start with a lower number of units than the amount that is ultimately registered. She conjectured this is because residents may be reluctant or uninformed but when the landlords are pressed they will register all eligible. There are an average of 3 units registered for each unit applied.

The Loft Board is planning to upgrade its technologies, introducing e-filing and greater use of email. (E-ventually.)

Loft Law Rule 2-01 on Code Compliance Work will be available for public comment at the end of December or early January. This is the backbone of the Loft Law’s implementation, laying out the process of legalization, the Narrative Statement Process, deadlines, providing access… everything about how buildings get brought up to code. We’re particularly concerned about the new No Work provisions, which may allow landlords to skip a couple of milestones and take the increases anyway. Look out for a teach-in and chances to testify.

Loft Law Rule 2-11.1 Fines.
The staff cleaned up this rule, removing categories of fines (e.g. default or aggravated penalties) where they didn’t make sense. Because these were substantial changes, the rule will be going into a second public hearing.

Some highlights:

  • Compliance Deadline
    • failure to take reasonable and necessary measures to obtain a final Certificate of Occupancy: fine increased to up to $1k a day with no cap
  • Harassment
    • removed default fine. If a landlord doesn’t show up for a hearing there will be an investigation without representation and a penalty so there is no need for a default.
  • Catch-all Penalties
    • In response to loft tenants’ concerns the Loft Board increased all penalties. In particular, they were not able by law to nullify Sales of Rights that were filed late, so they increased the fine up to $4000.
      • failure to post IMD notice
      • failure to timely file sale of improvements
      • failure to timely file sale of rights
      • failure to provide access

Posting Notices
There was an interesting discussion about how the Loft Board is going to find out if landlords are not posting the IMD notice in their buildings – will there be inspectors or will loft tenants report? It’s important to have this notice posted so that loft tenants are aware of their rights.

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