Bill would give rent-stabilized tenants access to amenities

Council member Mark Levine seeks to amend human rights code

Mark Levine and 160 West 97th Street
Mark Levine and 160 West 97th Street

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.

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“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