Many tenants in New York City are renting homes without meeting their
landlords, and worse, without knowing who owns the houses they have been
renting. Most tenants in the city just leave their checks for their monthly
rental payments in mailboxes.
But all these could change with the bill introduced by Manhattan
Councilmember Melissa Mark Viverito. Together with city housing lawyers and
members of the Make the Road New York, Viverito announced her Multiple Dwelling
Registration Bill which will give protection to tenants of New York foreclosure
The proposed bill requires landlords to register the principal owners of
rental properties with the city. Viverito pointed out that currently, the only
way of communication between landlords and tenants are mailboxes.
She said that registration of primary owners of rental properties would pave
the way to knowing who the primary owners are and hold them accountable. Under
the proposed bill, landlords will be required to form limited liability
corporations (LLC) and register all owners in multiple dwellings.
The registration requires the names and contact information of all owners,
not limited only to those who have 25 percent share which is the threshold
currently mandated by the city.
Also, the proposed bill wants multiple dwellings to be covered by the
administrative code of the city, expanding the current coverage from buildings
with single room occupancy.
According to industry experts, corporation officers and
managing agents of rental properties are difficult to reach. They pointed out
that ownerships of rental properties that are in foreclosures changed so fast
that tenants are left with names that often do not have the authority or right
to make decisions concerning the property.
Experts said that the confusion over property ownership makes it difficult
for housing advocates and tenants to resolve or settle problems out of
Additionally, experts said that numerous unknown ownerships for multiple
dwellings are really a problem for tenants because they do not know whom to
approach especially when there are problems with maintenance and repairs.
Make the Road New Yorks Executive Director Javier Valdes said that the bill
would help promote transparency and most importantly, protect low-income tenants
especially those renting in foreclosed properties.