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Housing Maintenance Code

CHAPTER 2
HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE

[table of contents]

SUBCHAPTER 2
MAINTENANCE, SERVICES, AND UTILITIES

ARTICLE 1
Obligations of Owner and Tenant: Duty to Repair

Section

27-2005 Duties of Owner
27-2006 Duties of Tenant
27-2007 Certain Specific Duties of Tenants and Others
27-2008 Owner's Right of Access
27-2009 Tenant Violations as Grounds for Eviction
27-2009.1 Rights and Responsibilities of Owners and Tenants in Relation to Pets


Sec. 27-2005 Duties of owner
  1. The owner of a multiple dwelling shall keep the premises in good repair.

  2. The owner of a multiple dwelling, in addition to the duty imposed upon such owner by subdivision a of this section, shall be responsible for compliance with the requirements of this code, except insofar as responsibility for compliance is imposed upon the tenant alone.

  3. The owner of a one- or two-family dwelling shall keep the premises in good repair, and shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this code, except to the extent otherwise agreed between such owner and any tenant of such dwelling by lease or other contract in writing, or except insofar as responsibility for compliance with this code is imposed upon the tenant alone.

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Sec. 27-2006 Duties of tenant
  1. A tenant shall, in addition to complying with all provisions of this code and the multiple dwelling law applicable to him or her, be responsible for violations of this code to the extent that he or she has the power to prevent the occurrence of a violation. A tenant has the power to prevent the occurrence of a violation if:

    1. It is caused by his or her own wilful act or that of a member of his or her family or household, or a guest; or

    2. It is the result of such tenant's gross negligence, neglect or abuse, or the gross negligence, neglect or abuse of a member of his or her family, or household or a guest.

  2. The tenant, any member of his or her family or household, or his or her guest shall, with respect to the public parts of the premises, be liable if a violation is caused by such tenant's own wilful act, gross negligence, neglect or abuse.

  3. The fact that a tenant is or may be liable for a violation of this code or any other law or is found liable for civil or criminal penalties does not relieve the owner of his or her obligation to keep the premises, and every part thereof, in good repair.

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Sec. 27-2007 Certain specific duties of tenants and others
  1. In addition to other duties imposed upon him or her by this code, no tenant, or any other person, shall:
    a. Remove or render inoperative any self-closing device on any door which is required by any provision of law to be self-closing, or cause or permit such door to be held open by any device;

    b. Use, or cause or permit to be installed, a lowered door or screen door in addition to or in place of any required self-closing door to a public hall;

    c. Place any encumbrance before or upon, or cause access to be obstructed to, any fire escape, or obstruct by a baby carriage or any encumbrance, the public halls or any required means of egress;

    d. Take down, alter, destroy, or in any way deface any sign required by this code to be displayed.

    e. Remove or render inoperative any shower head installed by the owner which meets the standards of subdivision P. 104.2 of section P. 104.0 of reference standard RS-16 of the appendix to chapter one of this title.
 

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Sec. 27-2008 Owner's right of access

No tenant shall refuse to permit the owner, or his or her agent or employee, to enter such tenant's dwelling unit or other space under his or her control to make repairs or improvements required by this code or other law or to inspect such apartment or other space to determine compliance with this code or any other provision of law, if the right of entry is exercised at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner. The department may by regulation restrict the time and manner of such inspections.

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Sec. 27-2009 Tenant violations as grounds for eviction

Any conviction of a tenant for violation of this code which:

  1. Results from wilful or grossly negligent conduct and causes substantial damage to the dwelling units; or

  2. Results from repeated or continued conduct which causes damage to the dwelling unit or substantially interferes with the comfort or safety of another person; or

  3. Consists of an unreasonable refusal to afford access to the dwelling unit to the owner or his or her agent or employee for the purpose of making repairs or improvements required by this code, shall constitute grounds for summary proceedings by the owner to recover possession of such dwelling unit from the tenant.

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Sec. 27-2009.1 Rights and Responsibilities of Owners and Tenants in Relation to Pets
  1. Legislative declaration. The council hereby finds that the enforcement of covenants contained in multiple dwelling leases which prohibit the harboring of household pets has led to widespread abuses by building owners or their agents, who knowing that a tenant has a pet for an extended period of time, seek to evict the tenant and/or his or her pet often for reasons unrelated to the creation of a nuisance. Because household pets are kept for reasons of safety and companionship and under the existence of a continuing housing emergency it is necessary to protect pet owners from retaliatory eviction and to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of tenants who harbor pets under the circumstances provided herein, it is hereby found that the enactment of the provisions of this section is necessary to prevent potential hardship and dislocation of tenants within this city.

  2. Where a tenant in a multiple dwelling openly and notoriously for a period of three months or more following taking possession of a unit, harbors or has harbored a household pet or pets, the harboring of which is not prohibited by the multiple dwelling law, the housing maintenance or the health codes of the city of New York or any other applicable law, and the owner or his or her agent has knowledge of this fact, and such owner fails within this three month period to commence a summary proceeding or action to enforce a lease provision prohibiting the keeping of such household pets, such lease provision shall be deemed waived.

  3. It shall be unlawful for an owner or his or her agent, by express terms or otherwise, to restrict a tenant's rights as provided in this section. Any such restriction shall be unenforceable and deemed void as against public policy.

  4. The waiver provision of this section shall not apply where the harboring of a household pet causes damage to the subject premise, creates a nuisance or interferes substantially with the health, safety or welfare of other tenants or occupants of the same or adjacent building or structure.

  5. The New York city housing authority shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

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