Landlord repair bill expected to clear City Council

Speaker Christine Quinn
Speaker Christine Quinn

A bill that takes aim at city landlords who make surface cosmetic repairs to their properties but do not address underlying structural issues is expected to get approval from the City Council today, the Wall Street Journal reported. This bill, according to experts and city elected officials, addresses an increasing problem of investors who acquire older properties to flip them for profit without making needed repairs, such as finding the source of a leak rather than just plastering over a water-logged wall.

If approved today, the measure will give the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development authority to order landlords to repair issues that cause problems in multiple apartments within a single building. The goal would be to issue orders for 50 buildings annually.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“We’re seeing real-estate speculators … buying buildings, with no sense that they’re going to make repairs, but they’re going to wait for the market to come back so they can flip them,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told the Journal.

Frank Ricci, the director of government affairs for the Rent Stabilization Association, which primarily represents landlords of rent-stabilized properties, told the Journal that the organization supports the bill, but worries about its practice. “We have a wait-and-see attitude,” he told the Journal. “We want to see how it’s implemented.” [WSJ]Zachary Kussin