On December 2, 2020, Chapter 311 of the Laws of 2020 was signed into law. The new law requires housing providers who are covered under Human Rights Law Section 296.2-b and Section 296.18-a, to provide a notice to current tenants and incoming tenants.
The new notice requires housing providers to disclose to all tenants and prospective tenants their right to request a reasonable modification and accommodation if they have a disability. Reasonable accommodation by housing providers was always necessary before the new law, however, now, housing providers are required to provide notice to the tenants of this obligation. On March 2, 2021, the New York State Division of Human Rights released a sample notice to be provided to the tenant, which can be found here: 9 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) §466
As stated above, the notice is required to be delivered to all tenants within 30 days of the commencement of a new tenancy or within 30 days of the effective date of the Act, which is March 2, 2021, or, in other words, on or before April 1, 2021. Housing providers should not wait to provide the notice until they offer a renewal lease but should do it on or before April 1, 2021, for tenancies that currently exist.
Specifically, the notice says to the tenants that if they have any physical, mental, or medical impairment, they can request:
- Permission to change the interior of the housing unit to make it accessible.
- Changes to their housing provider’s rules, policy, practices, or services.
- Changes to common areas in the building, so that they have an equal opportunity to use the building.
It should be noted that both the City of New York and the State of New York have different rules concerning the cost of the interior change of a housing unit when requested. Housing providers should be guided accordingly.
The Law Offices of Jordi Fernandez
420 Lexington Avenue, Suite 455
New York, NY 10170