Council approves DOB unit to protect tenants from dangerous landlords
Last month the NYC Council passed eleven of the twelve bills in the Stand for Tenant Safety legislation. Meanwhile the twelfth bill was on its way to pass after some amending. Council Member Stephen Levin is the prime sponsor of “Introduction 934-A”, which creates a Real Time Enforcement Unit (RTEU) in the Department of Buildings (DOB). This bill will shorten the DOB’s response time to complaints related to construction without a permit by a month: so now the DOB must respond within 10 days, when previously response time was 40 days. Furthermore, if there is an immediate hazard cited in the complaint the DOB will conduct an inspection within 12 hours. There will also be more regular inspections of construction work that goes on in occupied dwellings.
In his comments during the council vote, Levin stated, “This is the final piece of the STS legislation package made possible by the dedicated coalition of grassroots activists and tenant organizers. I know it lagged a little bit behind the rest of the package, but that was necessary, in order to craft a strong bill.”