An HP action is one generally brought by a Tenant against the Landlord to compel the removal of violations within the time prescribed for such removal by the applicable provisions of the New York City Administrative Code. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (DHPD) is joined as a party to the proceeding instituted by the tenant as it is the Agency charged with oversight and enforcement of the various provisions of the New York City Administrative Code including the Housing Maintenance Code, Multiple Dwelling Law, etc. Once an action is commenced by a tenant, generally by way of Order to Show Cause, a Landlord or Managing Agent, or both, may be named as a Respondent in that proceeding and must appear on the appointed date to respond to the allegations. We prepare, serve and file the necessary answering papers and appear on the scheduled Court date. The issues before the Court become:
- whether or not such violations exist
- whether they are properly attributable to the Landlord as opposed to being tenant created
- has the Landlord received proper notification
- what efforts have been undertaken by the Landlord to address the removal of bona fide violations
- has the tenant provided the necessary access for doing so, etc.
We examine the nature of the violations which can fall into one of several categories such as:
- hazardous, or
- immediately hazardous
Each category of violation requires remedial action and certification of removal of the violation within specified periods of time. The more serious the category of a violation, the shorter the allowable curative period. During our Court appearance with respect to an HP proceeding, we endeavor to resolve the proceeding both with the Tenant and the DHPD in a manner which will ensure that necessary access is provided to the Landlord for the purpose of removing all bona fide violations, in the least onerous manner for the Landlord. We also participate in any follow-up Court proceedings which may eventuate, especially where a Tenant claims that the violations were not removed by the Landlord and is then seeking, with the assistance of DHPD, to impose civil fines and penalties of a significant nature.
The process can be daunting if faced alone by a Landlord or Agent and will be made less so by our attorneys experienced in handling such matters.