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Housing Maintenance Code

CHAPTER 2
HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE

[table of contents]

SUBCHAPTER 5
LEGAL REMEDIES AND ENFORCEMENT

ARTICLE 1
Enforcement Actions and Proceedings in General

Section
27-2110 Style of Legal Actions by Department; Disposition of Moneys Collected
27-2111 Moneys Collected by Department Payable to Special Repair Fund
27-2112 Liability of the Department for Costs
27-2113 Notice of Pendency of Action
27-2114 Responsibility of Stockholders of Corporations Owning Multiple Dwellings Declared Nuisances


Sec. 27-2110 Style of legal actions by department; disposition of moneys collected
  1. All actions or proceedings instituted to recover penalties imposed by this code, or to recover any costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by the department for the repair or rehabilitation of a dwelling that are reimbursable under the provisions of this code, shall be brought in the name of the department by the corporation counsel.

  2. All moneys recovered under this section shall be paid to the city officer who brings such actions and proceedings. Such officer shall pay the moneys to the commissioner of finance each month. The officer, on the first of each month, shall report to the commissioner of the department on the amount collected under this section, if any, and the necessary disbursements incurred in the prosecution of such actions and proceedings, if any.

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Sec. 27-2111 Moneys collected by department payable to special repair fund

All penalties and all other moneys recovered for costs, expenses and disbursements that are reimbursable under this code for the repair or rehabilitation of a dwelling shall be paid into a separate fund in the treasury of the city. Such fund shall be available to the department for the purpose of meeting the costs, expenses and disbursements for the repair or rehabilitation of dwellings pursuant to the provisions of this code.

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Sec. 27-2112 Liability of the department for costs

Neither the city nor the department nor any officer or employee thereof shall be liable for costs in any action or proceeding brought under this code.

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Sec. 27-2113 Notice of pendency of action
  1. In any action or proceeding brought by the department, it may file a notice of pendency in the county clerk's office in the county where the premises affected by the action or proceeding are located. The department may file such notice at any time after it serves the notice of violation or order to repair, or at the time it commences the action or proceeding, or any time thereafter, before final judgment or order.

  2. The corporation counsel shall designate in writing on such notice of pendency the name of each person against whom the notice is filed and the number of each block on the land map of the county which is affected by the notice. The county clerk in whose office a notice of pendency is filed shall record and index such notice against the names and blocks designated.

  3. A notice of pendency may be vacated by order of a judge of the court where such action or proceeding was brought or is pending, or by the written consent of the corporation counsel. The clerk of the county where such notice is filed shall cancel the notice upon receipt of such written consent or a certified copy of such order.

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Sec. 27-2114 Responsibility of stockholders of corporations owning multiple dwellings declared nuisances
  1. The term "nuisance" shall be held to embrace public nuisance as known at common law or in equity jurisprudence. Whatever is dangerous to human life or detrimental to health, and whatever dwelling is overcrowded with occupants or is not provided with adequate ingress or egress or is not sufficiently supported, ventilated, sewered, drained, cleaned or lighted in reference to its intended or actual use, and whatever renders the air or human food or drink unwholesome, are also severally, in contemplation of this section, nuisances. All such nuisances are unlawful.

  2. Whenever the department shall certify that any multiple dwelling, or any part of its premises, or the plumbing, sewerage, drainage, lighting or ventilation thereof, is in a condition or in effect dangerous to life or detrimental to health, the department may, after giving notice to the owner and an opportunity to be heard at a hearing held for such purpose, declare the same, to the extent it may specify, a public nuisance. Such declaration shall be filed in the central violation bureau as provided by section three hundred twenty-eight of the multiple dwelling law, if applicable, or as a public record in the department. The officers of a corporation upon which notice of such hearing has been served, other than a banking organization as defined in section two of the banking law, a national banking association, a federal savings and loan association, the mortgage facilities corporation, savings banks life insurance fund, the savings banks retirement system, an authorized insurer as defined in section one hundred seven of the insurance law, or a trust company or other corporation organized under the laws of this state all the capital stock of which is owned by at least twenty savings banks or by at least twenty savings and loan associations or a subsidiary corporation all of the capital stock of which is owned by such trust company or other corporation, shall serve similar notice on all stockholders of record of the corporation and other persons known to be stockholders or beneficial owners of the stock of the corporation. A stockholder upon whom such notice has been served shall serve similar notice upon any persons holding a beneficial interest in such stockholder's stock.

  3. The department may order such nuisance to be removed in accordance with the provisions of article five of this subchapter, and if any order of the department is not complied with, then, as an alternative to proceeding under the provisions of article five of this subchapter, if the multiple dwelling involved shall have been declared to be a public nuisance pursuant to subdivision b of this section, and such declaration shall have been filed as therein provided, the department or a receiver appointed pursuant to article six of this subchapter or section three hundred nine of the multiple dwelling law or any tenant of such multiple dwelling may institute and maintain an action in the supreme court or in the housing part of the New York city civil court in the county where the multiple dwelling is located against any owner or owners to whom the order was issued pursuant to section 27-2125 of article five of this subchapter for an order compelling such owner or owners to comply with the department's order and, if such action be brought by such receiver or tenant, for payment of the costs and disbursements of the action including legal fees. Except as owners may have otherwise agreed, any owner who removes or remedies the nuisance in compliance with an order of the department or court shall be entitled to recover a proportionate share of the total expense of such compliance from all other owners to whom the department's order was issued or to whom such owner sent a copy of the department's order within thirty days of receipt of same by registered mail.

  4. Whenever a multiple dwelling shall have been declared a public nuisance to any extent pursuant to subdivision b of this section and such declaration shall have been filed as therein provided, the term "owner" shall be deemed to include, in addition to persons mentioned in the definition of the term in section four of the multiple dwelling law, all the officers, directors and persons having an interest in more than ten percent of the issued and outstanding stock of the owner as herein defined, as holder or beneficial owner thereof, if such owner be a corporation other than a banking organization as defined in section two of the banking law, a national banking association, a federal savings and loan association, the mortgage facilities corporation, savings banks life insurance fund, the savings banks retirement system, an authorized insurer as defined in section one hundred seven of the insurance law, or a trust company or other corporation organized under the laws of this state all the capital stock of which is owned by at least twenty savings banks or by at least twenty savings and loan associations or a subsidiary corporation all of the capital stock of which is owned by such trust company or other corporation, and thereupon any corporation which is included in the term "owner" as provided in this subdivision d shall file an additional statement of registration within ten days which shall contain the name and residence and business address of each director and stockholder of the corporation and of each person known to have any beneficial interest in such stock.

  5. Whenever a multiple dwelling shall have been declared a public nuisance to any extent pursuant to subdivision b of this section, and such declaration shall have been filed as therein provided, all officers, directors and persons having an interest, as holder or beneficial owner thereof, in more than ten percent of the issued and outstanding stock of any corporation other than a banking organization as defined in section two of the banking law, a national banking association, a federal savings and loan association, the mortgage facilities corporation, savings banks life insurance fund, the savings banks retirement system, an authorized insurer as defined in section one hundred seven of the insurance law, or a trust company or other corporation organized under the laws of this state all the capital stock of which is owned by at least twenty savings banks or by at least twenty savings and loan associations or a subsidiary corporation all of the capital stock of which is owned by such trust company or other corporation, then in operation and control of such multiple dwelling, shall, in addition to all other liabilities and penalties provided in this code and elsewhere, be jointly and severally liable for all injury to person or property thereafter sustained by any tenant of such multiple dwelling or any other person by reason of the condition constituting such public nuisance and for all costs and disbursements including attorney's fees of any suit brought by such tenant or other person.

  6. No civil or criminal liability or penalty shall attach to any person by reason of such person's ownership or beneficial ownership of stock in a corporation owning a multiple dwelling declared to be a public nuisance pursuant to subdivision b of this section because of his or her failure to comply with any of the provisions of this code, whose interest in such corporation is less than twenty-five per cent of the issued and outstanding stock thereof, as owner or beneficial owner thereof, and who has sustained the burden of proving that he or she has not participated directly or indirectly in the management, operation or control of such multiple dwelling.

  7. No civil or criminal liability or penalty shall attach to any person by reason of such person's ownership or beneficial ownership of stock in a corporation owning a multiple dwelling declared to be a public nuisance pursuant to subdivision b of this section because of his or her failure to comply with any of the provisions of this code unless and until such person has had a reasonable period of time to comply following his or her having become an owner as defined in this code.

  8. No civil or criminal liability or penalty shall attach to any person who shall by operation of law become an owner of a multiple dwelling then or thereafter certified and declared a public nuisance to any extent pursuant to subdivision b of this section, or the holder or beneficial owner of stock in such owner, if a corporation, because of his or her failure to comply with any of the provisions of this code and of the multiple dwelling law for a period of six months after he or she acquired ownership of said multiple dwelling or the stock or beneficial interest in the stock of a corporation which is the owner.

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