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Housing Maintenance Code

CHAPTER 2
HOUSING MAINTENANCE CODE

[table of contents]

SUBCHAPTER 5
LEGAL REMEDIES AND ENFORCEMENT

ARTICLE 8
Recovery of Expenses

Section
27-2143 Action Against the Owner for Recovery of Expenses
27-2144 Lien on Premises
27-2145 Establishment of Lien
27-2146 Validity of Lien; Grounds for Challenge
27-2147 Levy on Rents
27-2148 Appointment of Receiver


Sec. 27-2143 Action against the owner for recovery of expenses

The department may bring an action against the owner of a dwelling for the recovery of any costs, expenses and disbursements incurred by it under any provision of the administrative code making such expenses a debt recoverable from the owner. The institution of any such action shall not suspend or bar the right to pursue any other remedy provided by law for the recovery of such expenses, and such action may, subject to jurisdictional limitations, be joined with the enforcement of any such other remedy or any other claim against the owner relating to the same premises.

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Sec. 27-2144 Lien on premises
  1. There shall be filed in the office of the department a record of all work caused to be performed by or on behalf of the department. Such records shall be kept on a building-by-building basis and shall be accessible to the public during business hours. Within thirty days after the issuance of a purchase or work order to cause a repair to be made by or on behalf of the department, entry of such order shall be made on the records of the department. Such entry shall constitute notice to all parties.

  2. All expenses incurred by the department for the repair or the elimination of any dangerous or unlawful conditions therein, pursuant to this chapter or any other applicable provision of law, shall constitute a lien upon the premises when the amount thereof shall have been definitely computed as a statement of account by the department and the department shall cause to be filed in the office of the city collector an entry of the account stated in the book in which such charges against the premises are to be entered. Such lien shall have a priority over all other liens and encumbrances on the premises except for the lien of taxes and assessments. However, no lien created pursuant to this chapter shall be enforced against a subsequent purchaser in good faith or mortgagee in good faith unless the requirements of subdivision a of this section are satisfied; this limitation shall only apply to transactions occurring after the date such record should have been entered pursuant to subdivision a and the date such entry was made.

  3. A notice thereof, stating the amount due and the nature of the charge, shall be mailed by the city collector, within five days after such entry, to the last known address of the person whose name appears on the records in the office of the city collector as being the owner or agent or as the person designated by the owner to receive tax bills or, where no name appears, to the premises, addressed to either the owner or the agent.

  4. If such charge is not paid within thirty days from the date of entry, it shall be the duty of the city collector to receive interest thereon at the rate of seven percent per annum, to be calculated to the date of payment from the date of entry.

  5. Such charge and the interest thereon shall continue to be, until paid, a lien on the premises. Such lien shall be a tax lien within the meaning of sections 11-319 and 11-401 of the administrative code and may be sold, enforced or foreclosed in the manner provided in chapters three and four of title eleven of the administrative code or may be satisfied in accordance with the provisions of section thirteen hundred fifty-four of the real property actions and proceedings law.

  6. Such notice mailed by the city collector pursuant to this section shall have stamped or printed thereon a reference to article eight of this subchapter.

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Sec. 27-2145 Establishment of lien

Upon the completion of any repair, or other work giving rise to a lien, the department shall file among its records a certificate setting forth the work done and the expenses incurred and certifying that such expenses were necessary and proper in the exercise of its lawful powers.

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Sec. 27-2146 Validity of lien; grounds for challenge
  1. In any proceedings to enforce or discharge the lien, the validity of the lien shall not be subject to challenge based on:

    1. The lawfulness of the repair or other work done; or

    2. The propriety and accuracy of the items of expenses for which a lien is claimed, except as provided in this section.

  2. No such challenge may be made except by (1) the owner of the property, or (2) a mortgagee or lienor whose mortgage or lien would, but for the provisions of section 27-2144 of this article, have priority over the department's lien.

  3. An issue specified in subdivision a which was decided, or could have been contested, in a prior court proceeding to secure a court order to repair under article five of this subchapter or to secure the appointment or the discharge of a receiver under article six of this subchapter, shall not be open to reexamination, but if any mortgagee or lienor entitled to notice of such prior proceeding was not served and did not appear therein, his or her mortgage or lien shall have priority over the lien of the department. In addition to this limitation, an owner who has been served with a statement pursuant to section 27-2129 of article five of this subchapter, or his successor in interest, may subsequently contest any item contained therein except as provided in such section.

  4. With respect to any issue specified in subdivision a which is not subject to subdivision c, the certificate of the department filed pursuant to section 27-2145 of this article shall be presumptive evidence of the facts stated therein.

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Sec. 27-2147 Levy on rents
  1. The department may serve upon any person liable for rent or other compensation for the occupancy of premises subject to this article a notice containing:

    1. a statement of the contents of the certificate filed pursuant to section 27-2145 of this article, or of a judgment in an action under section 27-2116 of article two of this subchapter or section 27-2143 of this article or in an action to enforce a lien under this article;
    2. a statement of the amount remaining due under such certificate or judgment; and

    3. a demand that rent thereafter be paid to the department as it comes due. Service of the notice shall be made by personal delivery of a copy thereof, or by certified mail.

  2. Upon receipt of such notice, the person to whom it is directed shall pay any rent due, and future rent as it comes due, to the department in the manner set forth in the demand. The department may, upon failure to pay, sue for rent due. In such suit, the validity of proceedings prior to the issuance of the notice under subdivision a of this section shall not be subject to question.

  3. The department shall issue a receipt for each sum paid under this section. Such payment and receipt shall for all purposes have the same legal effect as payment to or a receipt from the owner or other person authorized to collect rent. No person shall be subject to any proceedings for the recovery of possession or other relief, or any penalty or forfeiture, arising out of his or her failure to pay to any person any sum paid to the department under this section.

  4. The department shall, at the time of service of any notice under subdivision a, give the owner and agent notice by certified mail at their last registered address, or other address, if known, of such action. Unless within twelve days of such notice suit has been instituted by or on behalf of the owner to restrain such action or recover from the department any sums collected, the action of the department shall not be subject to challenge.

  5. Upon collection of the total sum owing to the department, it shall forthwith serve, upon each person served with a demand under subdivision a of this section, a notice cancelling such demand.

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Sec. 27-2148 Appointment of receiver
  1. Whenever the sum of any lien or liens established by this chapter, plus any lien or liens established pursuant to any other section of the administrative code for the expenses of repairs made by the department, shall amount to five thousand dollars or more, the department may issue an order appointing the commissioner of the department of housing preservation and development receiver of the rent and profits of the premises. Such receiver may be appointed upon thirty days' notice to the owner, mortgagees and lienors of record of such premises. Such notice shall contain the amounts of such lien or liens and give the owner, mortgagees and lienors of record an opportunity to either pay the outstanding liens or to contract in writing with the department on terms satisfactory to the department for such payment. Any mortgagee or lienor who pays the department shall be assigned the department's lien.

  2. A receiver appointed pursuant to this section shall have all of the powers and duties of a receiver appointed in an action to foreclose a mortgage on real property. Such receiver shall not be required to file any bond.

  3. The receiver shall be entitled to the same fees, commissions and necessary expenses as receivers in actions to foreclose mortgages. Such fees and commissions shall be paid into the fund created pursuant to section 27-2111 of article one of this subchapter. The receiver shall be liable only in his or her official capacity for injury to person and property by reason of conditions of the premises in a case where an owner would have been liable; such receiver shall not have any liability in his or her personal capacity.

  4. Such receivership shall continue until the amount of such liens and the commissions have been fully paid. Upon the termination of such receivership, an accounting shall be given to the owner together with any moneys collected in excess of the lien and commission and the department shall, within twenty-one days, file a satisfaction of any and all liens filed by the department against such premises.

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