First Steps…Do I Qualify?

To determine if your unit qualifies for coverage under the 2010 Loft Law, go through this checklist. You must be able to answer “yes” to each question:

  1. Do you live outside an excluded IBZ (Industrial Business Zone)? Check BIS or look at our map to see. Excluded IBZs are indicated in red, included IBZs (North Brooklyn/Greenpoint/parts of LIC) in yellow. If you are in one of the red zones, you cannot apply. If you are very close to a border, take a look at the NYCEDC maps or contact us—our map is not perfect.
  2. Do you live in a building without a residential certificate of occupancy that was formerly used for manufacturing or commercial purposes?
  3. Does your building have at least three units that were occupied residentially for 12 consecutive months during the window period of 2008 and 2009?
  4. Is your unit eligible?
    • Can you can enter your unit without going through someone else’s space?
    • Is your unit at least 400 square feet?
    • Is it not in a basement or cellar?
    • Does it have at least one window onto a street, court, or yard?
  5. If you have an at-home business in your space, there are some more questions:
    • is your unit primarily residential?
    • is the commercial purpose clearly incidental to the residential use?
    • does the business take up no more than 49% of the space?
    • does it have 3 or fewer employees?
    • does it have to be carried on by a residential occupant of the unit?

If you said “yes” to each of those, your unit should qualify (except see note below). Then you just need to prove you are the protected occupant. If you lived in your unit on June 21, 2010, then it’s “easy”. Otherwise you may need to prove the landlord’s consent to your tenancy (lease, rent checks, assignment by previous tenant).

The last (and most convoluted) question concerns commercial uses “incompatible with residential use” in your building. If you are sure there are no commercial activities in your building (other than what the tenants applying for Loft Law coverage are doing in their own units), then this rule will not affect you.

For the rest of us, this topic needs its own page: Incompatible Uses.