City Council takes another whack at tenant relocation fees

February 06, 2014 02:35PM

City Council member Margaret Chin has re-introduced a bill Tuesday that would force landlords to pay a tenant’s relocation costs if a building has been shuttered for safety violations.

If tenants are unable to return to their building due to a fire or other illegal conditions, property owners would have to deposit 10 percent of building rent over the last five years into an escrow account.

The City Council tabled the initial version of the bill over the course of three years, then killed it just before the end of Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, accordion to Crain’s. At the time, Melissa Mark-Viverito and Jumaane Williams were co-sponsors of the bill. Now that both hold prominent Council positions, the bill has been revived and revised.

“There are a lot of illegal conversions going on, because of lack of affordable housing, and we need to create a system where, if people are displaced, they are taken care of,” Chin told Crain’s.

Chin also backed Soho’s struggle to receive a Business Improvement District, which was finally approved in October. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer