These past two weeks have seen the culmination of more than a year’s hard work by volunteers of NYCLT.
Loft Tenants have been working with local politicians, making trips to Albany, writing letters and making phone calls to improve the 2010 Loft Law.
The Loft Law Clean-up Bill (A3354/S2320) passed the New York State Senate and Assembly, and Governor Cuomo signed it into law on Thursday, January 31st 2013.
NYCLT and the Loft Tenant community thank Assemblyman Vito Lopez for drafting the original bill, Senator Marty Golden for sponsoring it in the Senate, Assemblyman Keith Wright for sponsoring it in the Assembly, and all the representatives in the Senate and Assembly for voting it through!
The “Clean Up the Loft Law” changes in A3354/S2320 are:
- the milestone increases are reduced to 3%-3%-4% (from 6%-8%-6%)
- the minimum size for an eligible loft is reduced to 400 sq feet (from 550);
- any claim that a building presents an Incompatible Use issue must maintain it continued through the date of application
Although we still have to see how this will be implemented in Loft Board rules and interpreted by lawyers, our understanding is that the 3%-3%-4% milestone increases apply retroactively to June 1, 2012, meaning that if you have taken any increases since then, they should be lowered.
Other features of the amended law:
- The Loft Board is given the authority to exempt categories of units and buildings from Incompatible Use determinations, retroactively to June 21, 2010.
- Units which become eligible solely by the new changes have extended deadlines for compliance and for landlord hardship claims.
- Buildings that are Interim Multiple Dwellings under the old Loft Law (§281.1-4) are exempt from Incompatible Use claims.
- The minimum size and Incompatible Use changes are applied retroactively to June 1, 2012.
There is one catch: these changes do have a sunset attached to them, meaning that we need to stay involved in order to make sure the changes get extended when the state legislature revisits the law in 2015. So you need to register to vote (in almost all NYC districts, this means registering Democrat or your vote doesn’t matter) and make sure that your local representatives are Loft Law friendly!