Coopersmith and Coopersmith

Beginning April 1, 2021, all owners or managing agents of residential property in New York State are obligated to provide notices to all residents of their rights to accommodate disabilities by virtue of an amendment to New York Executive Law Section 296.  Though there is some ambiguity, the law provides that an individual with a disability may make modifications to the premises at their own cost and expense and the owner of a property may require the restoration of the premises at the end of the term.  We note that the law enacted does somewhat conflict with New York City’s Human Rights Law which requires that landlords provide a reasonable accommodation at the landlord’s cost and expense. Examples of accommodations which New York State have highlighted include:

  • a ramp or other reasonable means to permit a tenant to enter and exit the premises. 
  • ability for a tenant to have an animal with proper medical documentation despite a “no pet” rule. 
  • installation of bathroom grab bars (for housing constructed after March 13, 1991, the walls need to be reinforced for grab bars)
  • notices in large print font or delivered electronically in the event of a visual disability of a tenant
  • preferential parking for an impairment that requires a parking space close to the building

For all current leases these notices should be delivered before April 1.  Going forward, the notices should be delivered within thirty (30) days of the lease and we note that this obligation includes Cooperative apartments.  Our recommendation for a best practice is to update all leases to incorporate this requirement.  A sample disclosure form generated by New York State can be found HERE.

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