Helping Tenants Navigate New York’s Loft Law
At the New York City law firm of Ween & Kozek, LLC, we have the resource of more than 30 years of real estate law experience to draw on in representing our clients. One area in which we have expertise is the Loft Law, as our attorneys have represented many clients in asserting their rights to safe, legal, rent stabilized residential tenancies. Our attorneys work closely with tenants to invoke and protect their rights under the Loft Law, and to ensure that they are not taken advantage of by their landlords.
New York City’s Loft Law
Pursuant to the New York City Loft Law, which is administered by the New York City Loft Board, if a building meets the following criteria it will be covered by the Loft Law:
- The building possesses no residential certificate of occupancy pursuant to § 301 of the Multiple Dwelling Law
- The building was used in the past for manufacturing, commercial or warehousing purposes
- There were three or more residential tenants living in separate apartments in the building during the original window period of April 1, 1980 to December 1, 1981.
According to the board, there were 306 such buildings under the jurisdiction of the Loft Board as of February, 2010. As a result of recent amendments to the NYC Loft Law, there are a greater many more buildings in NYC that are subject to the Loft Law.
In June of 2010, the New York State Legislature enacted significant amendments to the Loft Law that expanded the scope of buildings that are covered. Pursuant to the 2010 Loft Law Amendment, buildings in NYC that contained three or more families separately occupying nonresidential units that were formerly used for commercial or manufacturing purposes for at least 12 consecutive months during the new window period of January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009, are subject to the Loft Law and must be legalized for residential use by the building’s owner.
Legalizing A Building Under the Loft Law
If a building is subject to the NYC Loft Law, a building owner must submit the building to the jurisdiction of the NYC Loft Board, which thereafter oversees the process of legalizing the building for residential use. The owner is required to submit plans for legalizing the building to the NYC Department of Buildings, and the tenants are given the opportunity to review, comment on, and modify the building owner’s legalization plans. Once the owner and tenants have agreed on a plan for legalization, the work can commence. Upon the completion of legalization, a residential certificate of occupancy will be issued for the building, a final rent order setting the rent for the individual units will be issued by the Loft Board, and the units will thereafter be subject to rent stabilization