[HISTORY: Adopted by the Suffolk County Legislature as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable. Uncodified sections of local laws amending these provisions are included at the end of this chapter.]
[Adopted 5-28-1985 by L.L. No. 19-1985 (Ch. 406, Art. I, of the 1985 Code)]
This Legislature hereby finds that individuals, especially senior citizens and young couples, experience personal disruption and financial hardship when compelled to vacate rental premises on short notice by landlords leasing premises for an indefinite term.
The purpose of this article is to provide such tenants with minimum lease terms so as to allow for orderly long-term planning by such individuals.
This Legislature further determines that the establishment of minimum standards to strengthen and clarify the legitimate rights of tenants and landlords in Suffolk County will protect the public interest, public health, safety and general welfare of all residents of this County by preventing uncertainty, potential hardship and dislocation of tenants.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A structure containing more than two dwelling units.
- HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
- Any building located within the County of Suffolk, permanent or temporary, or any part thereof, occupied or intended to be occupied by one or more individuals as a residence, home or sleeping place, together with the land and buildings appurtenant thereto and all services, privileges, furnishings, furniture and facilities supplied in connection with the occupation thereof. It shall not include a lodging house, boardinghouse, motel or hotel.
- An owner, lessor, sublessor or assignee of a housing accommodation in a premises owned by a cooperative corporation or association, or any other person receiving or entitled to receive rent for the use or occupancy of any housing accommodation, or an agent of any of the foregoing.
- An individual, corporation, partnership, association or any other organized group of individuals or the legal successor or representative of any of the foregoing.
- Consideration, including any bonus, benefit or gratuity, demanded or received for or in connection with the use or occupancy of housing accommodations or the transfer of a lease of such housing accommodations.
- A tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee or other person entitled to the possession or to the use or occupancy of any housing accommodation.
Any landlord renting a housing accommodation to a tenant within the County of Suffolk shall offer to such tenant, in writing, a minimum lease term of one year. This provision may be waived by the tenant, in writing, by the election of a tenancy on a month-to-month basis.
[Added 3-18-2008 by L.L. No. 6-2008]
Any landlord offering to rent a housing accommodation which is the subject of a pending foreclosure action or proceeding shall notify a prospective tenant, in writing, of the foreclosure action, prior to entering into a lease with the prospective tenant.
Any landlord renting a housing accommodation to a tenant within the County of Suffolk shall provide such tenant with written notice that a foreclosure proceeding has been initiated against the premises that are the subject of the lease within five business days of receiving notice of the foreclosure proceeding.
[Amended 3-18-2008 by L.L. No. 6-2008]
A willful violation of this article by a landlord shall constitute a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. Each violation shall be deemed a separate offense.
Any individual injured in whole or in part as a result of a violation of this article by a landlord may bring an action to recover damages in an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages or $500, whichever is greater, plus reasonable attorney's fees. This remedy shall be in addition to, and shall not preclude, any action that an individual may have under common law, local law, state law or federal law.
[Adopted 6-12-1990 by L.L. No. 16-1990 (Ch. 406, Art. II, of the 1985 Code)]
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted by the Legislature after disapproval by the County Executive on 5-31-1990.
This Legislature hereby finds and determines that certain evils and abuses exist which have caused many tenants, who are welfare recipients, to suffer undue hardships, deprivation of services and deterioration of housing facilities because certain landlords have been abusive of such tenants by failure to make necessary repairs and to provide necessary services.
This Legislature further finds and determines that the abuses and neglect by such landlords contribute to the deterioration of communities within the County of Suffolk by fostering economic decline and devastation that adversely affect property values.
This Legislature also determines that town and village governments are hampered in efforts to prosecute landlords for violations of municipal building codes and zoning ordinances and to respond to emergency conditions at such housing accommodations because of the surreptitious nature in which many such landlords often conduct their business.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to impose a full disclosure requirement on the County Department of Social Services with regard to the ownership and identification of landlords providing housing accommodations to recipients of public assistance and care paid for by the County of Suffolk so as to assist municipalities in efforts to compel the upgrading of such facilities.
The County Department of Social Services shall maintain a written record of the names and addresses of landlords providing housing accommodations occupied by recipients of public assistance or care or their families, the rental payments for which are provided by the County of Suffolk in whole or in part, as follows:
In the case of a building owned by a person other than a corporation, the name and residence address and phone number of at least one of the owners, if any, who resides in the County.
In the case of a building owned by a person other than a corporation, if none of the owners reside in the County, the name and residence address and phone number of at least one of the owners and, in addition, the name and residence address and phone number of any individual residing in the County, if any, who manages or controls the building, or the name and residence address and phone number of a principal officer, if any, who resides in the County, of a corporation which manages or controls the building.
In the case of a building owned by a corporation, the name and residence address of the corporation and the name and residence address and phone number of at least one of the principal officers of the corporation, if any, who resides in the County.
In the case of a building owned by a corporation, and if none of its principal officers reside in the County, the name and business address and phone number of the corporation and, in addition, the name and residence address and phone number of the individual who manages or controls the building, or the name and residence address and phone number of the principal officer of a corporation which manages or controls the building.
The information required by Subsection A of this section shall be made available on a quarterly basis to the municipal department having jurisdiction over local code enforcement for the municipality in which such housing accommodations are located.
Landlords shall, upon request, provide the information required by this section to the County Department of Social Services.
Any intentional or willful violation of § 696-7C of this article shall be punishable by a civil fine of $1,000 per violation.
This article shall apply to all placements of recipients of public assistance or care in housing accommodations on or subsequent to the effective date of this article.