Final Rules published and the countdown begins!

On Sept 11th 2013 the NYC Loft Board published the final rules governing buildings covered by the Loft Law. These rules affect tenants covered under the 2010 expansion and 2013 amendment, as well as those covered under the original law. (Changes are minimal for “old Loft Law” buildings, except for the reduction in the milestone increases.)

With the rules published, the six-month clock has started ticking for tenants and landlords to apply for Loft Law coverage. The final deadline is March 11, 2014! If a unit is not registered by that time it may not be eligible for coverage. However, since coverage goes with the unit, it will still be possible for landlords to amend their registrations to reflect new tenants, or for tenants to apply to become the protected occupants of covered units, after that date. Continue reading

Rule 2-08 Testimony: Incompatible Use

It’s no secret that the Incompatible Use provisions of the 2010 Loft Law, originally intended to protect manufacturing, are sometimes used by building owners who want to keep their buildings residential but don’t want to grant their tenants Loft Law protections. Just contesting an application on the basis of Incompatible Use puts up a huge roadblock, and sometimes drives tenants out even though there is no actual danger.

One unfair and strange consequence of the way the rule was implemented in 2011 is that the burden of proof is put on tenants to prove that there is not a dangerous condition. Aside from the difficulty of proving a negative, this also puts a tremendous expense on the tenant – often reaching into tens of thousands of dollars in legal and engineering costs – just to counter a problem the owner claims but hasn’t proved.  Continue reading