Recognizing that elevators are an essential building service for so many New Yorkers, the City Council and Mayor de Blasio enacted legislation (Local Law 101 of 2015) to address concerns about elevators which remain out of service in residential buildings for extended periods of time.
Effective July 1, 2016, referrals for additional enforcement action against owners who fail to repair hazardous and inoperable elevators are made by the Department of Buildings (DOB) to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). When an owner fails to restore elevator service as ordered by DOB, and after a compliance period expires, the elevator condition is referred to HPD. Upon such referral, HPD assesses what action may be necessary, based upon the reason why the elevator is inoperable and other relevant factors, such as whether there are other operable elevators in the building. HPD's Elevator Division may contract for the repair of an inoperable elevator if an owner is unwilling or unable to do so in a timely manner. HPD may also seek an order in Housing Court to compel the owner to restore the service, and any appropriate additional penalties or orders as necessary.
If HPD’s contractor performs work to repair the elevator, the expenses for the repair work are billed to the property pursuant to Administrative Code §§27-2128 and 27-2129. The City is subject to laws governing procurement, contracting, and wages that may make such work significantly more expensive than the price the owner could obtain himself. The City will bill the property through the Department of Finance for the cost of the emergency repair plus related fees and/or for the cost of sending a contractor to attempt to make repairs. If the owner fails to pay, the City will file a tax lien against the property. The tax lien will bear interest and, if it remains unpaid, may be sold and/or foreclosed to collect the amount owed.
Local Law 101 provides that beginning December 2016 and every December thereafter, a report containing information compiled by both HPD and DOB will be provided to the Mayor and the Speaker of the Council as well as posted online. This report will detail information pertaining to elevator referrals received by HPD from DOB.