Bill Text: NY S00410 | 2017-2018 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Authorizes public welfare officials to withhold rent from a landlord when real estate taxes for the rental property are unpaid.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2018-01-03 - REFERRED TO SOCIAL SERVICES [S00410 Detail]

Download: New_York-2017-S00410-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                           410
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                       (Prefiled)
                                     January 4, 2017
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sen.  DeFRANCISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and
          when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services
        AN ACT to amend the social services  law,  in  relation  to  authorizing
          public  welfare  officials  to withhold rent from a landlord when real
          estate taxes for the rental property are unpaid
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 143-b of the social services law, as added by chap-
     2  ter  997 of the laws of 1962, subdivisions 5 and 6 as amended by chapter
     3  701 of the laws of 1965, is amended to read as follows:
     4    § 143-b. Avoidance of abuses in connection with rent checks.  1. When-
     5  ever a recipient of public assistance and care is eligible for or  enti-
     6  tled to receive aid or assistance in the form of a payment for or toward
     7  the  rental  of any housing accommodations occupied by such recipient or
     8  his or her family, such payment may  be  made  directly  by  the  public
     9  welfare department to the landlord.
    10    2.  Every public welfare official shall have power to and may withhold
    11  the payment of any such rent in any case where he or she  has  knowledge
    12  that  there  exists  or  there  is  outstanding  any violation of law in
    13  respect to the building containing the housing  accommodations  occupied
    14  by  the person entitled to such assistance which is dangerous, hazardous
    15  or detrimental to life or health. A report of each such violation  shall
    16  be  made to the appropriate public welfare department by the appropriate
    17  department or agency having jurisdiction over violations.
    18    2-a. Every public welfare official may withhold  the  payment  of  any
    19  such  rent  in  any case where he or she has knowledge that there exists
    20  any legally uncontested outstanding  real  property  taxes  levied  with
    21  respect to the real property containing the housing accommodations occu-
    22  pied  by the person entitled to such assistance. Information relating to
    23  any such properties' paid or unpaid real property taxes shall  be  made,
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00403-01-7

        S. 410                              2
     1  upon request, to the appropriate public welfare department by the appro-
     2  priate department or agency having jurisdiction over such payments.
     3    3.  Every  public welfare official shall have the power to initiate or
     4  to request the recipient to initiate before the appropriate housing rent
     5  commission any proper proceeding for  the  reduction  of  maximum  rents
     6  applicable to any housing accommodation occupied by a person entitled to
     7  assistance  in  the  form  of  a rent payment whenever such official has
     8  knowledge that essential services  which  such  person  is  entitled  to
     9  receive  are  not being maintained by the landlord or have been substan-
    10  tially reduced by the landlord.
    11    4. The public welfare  department  may  obtain  and  maintain  current
    12  records of violations in buildings where welfare recipients reside which
    13  relate  to  conditions  which are dangerous, hazardous or detrimental to
    14  life or health, and such information relating to the payment or non-pay-
    15  ment of real property taxes levied upon the owner of any  real  property
    16  containing  housing  accommodations  occupied  by  a  person entitled to
    17  assistance under this section.
    18    5. (a) It shall be a valid defense in any action or summary proceeding
    19  against a welfare recipient for non-payment of  rent  to  show  existing
    20  violations  in the building wherein such welfare recipient resides which
    21  relate to conditions which are dangerous, hazardous  or  detrimental  to
    22  life  or  health as the basis for non-payment.  It shall also be a valid
    23  defense in an action or summary proceeding against a  welfare  recipient
    24  for non-payment of rent under this section to show that the owner of the
    25  property  occupied by a person entitled to assistance has legally uncon-
    26  tested outstanding real property taxes connected to such property as the
    27  basis for non-payment.
    28    (b) In any such action or proceeding the plaintiff or  landlord  shall
    29  not  be  entitled to an order or judgment awarding him or her possession
    30  of the premises or providing for removal of the tenant, or  to  a  money
    31  judgment against the tenant, on the basis of non-payment of rent for any
    32  period  during which there was outstanding any violation of law relating
    33  to dangerous or hazardous conditions or conditions detrimental  to  life
    34  or health, or on the basis of non-payment of rent under this section for
    35  any  period during which there were legally uncontested outstanding real
    36  property taxes connected to the occupied property.  For the purposes  of
    37  this  paragraph  such  violation  of  law  shall  be deemed to have been
    38  removed and no longer outstanding  upon  the  date  when  the  condition
    39  constituting a violation was actually corrected, and such legally uncon-
    40  tested outstanding real property taxes shall be deemed paid upon receipt
    41  of payment, in whole or in part subject to an agreed to payment plan, by
    42  the  appropriate  department  or  agency  having  jurisdiction over such
    43  payments, such date to be determined  by  the  court  upon  satisfactory
    44  proof submitted by the plaintiff or landlord.
    45    (c)  The defenses provided herein in relation to an action or proceed-
    46  ing against a welfare recipient for non-payment of rent shall apply only
    47  with respect to violations,  or  legally  uncontested  outstanding  real
    48  property  taxes reported to the appropriate public welfare department by
    49  the  appropriate  department  or   agency   having   jurisdiction   over
    50  violations, or outstanding real property taxes.
    51    6. Nothing in this section shall prevent the public welfare department
    52  from  making provision for payment of the rent which was withheld pursu-
    53  ant to this section upon proof satisfactory to  it  that  the  condition
    54  constituting  a  violation  was  actually  corrected, or the outstanding
    55  taxes due have been paid, or are being paid  subject  to  an  agreed  to
    56  payment plan.  Where rents were reduced by order of the appropriate rent

        S. 410                              3
     1  commission, the public welfare department may make provision for payment
     2  of the reduced rent in conformity with such order.
     3    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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