The Real Deal New York

Bill would give rent-stabilized tenants access to amenities

Council member Mark Levine seeks to amend human rights code
April 07, 2014 10:00AM

City Council member Mark Levine of West Harlem is expected to soon present a new bill that would prevent landlords from discriminating against rent-stabilized tenants over access to high-end amenities in a building.

The bill, which is being drafted, seeks to ensure that rent-stabilized tenants have equal access to rooftop terraces, children’s playrooms, gyms and other special features in a building. If signed into law, the proposal would amend the human rights code, thus increasing anti-discrimination protections for those tenants.

“We looked at the human rights code and it appears this is not a protected class, currently,” Levine told the New York Daily News. “Obviously, race and gender and sexual orientation, religion are all protected classes, but renter status is not — and until we change that, we’re not going to have a legal recourse to combat this.”

New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal recently unveiled a similar bill, in which landlords who deny renters access to amenities would be fined as much as $25,000.

In February, Public Advocate Letitia James announced plans to file a complaint with the New York State Human Rights Divison against Stonehenge Village’s management company, which permits only its market-rate tenants to use the building’s gym, as previously reported. [NYDN]Mark Maurer