Just how cumbersome are New York City's laws governing rental properties? DNAinfo reports that both the city's public advocate, Letitia James, and the mayor, Bill de Blasio, both elected officials from the Democratic Party, have failed to register the rental properties they own with the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development. From DNAInfo:
In the past five months, Mayor Bill de Blasio has twice applied for a DOB document that would verify that the century-old two-family Park Slope rowhouse that he and his wife own but rent out is being used legally. Both times the DOB rejected the de Blasios' application because it lacked the proper paperwork.
The de Blasios seek what's known as a "letter of no objection," which serves as a substitute for a certificate of occupancy for homes built prior to 1938. Before that year, certificates of occupancy weren't issued.
When a property owner puts in an LNO application, the DOB will review the paperwork and, if it meets all requirements, will confirm that a property is being used the right way.
The Buildings Department wouldn't specify the reason for the de Blasios' rejection, other than to say that some documents were missing in both applications.
As the NY Renters Alliance, a group of market-rate renters, put it on its Facebook page:
It turns out that the homeowner registration form is so complicated, so annoying, and so useless that even the Mayor and the Public Advocate can't figure it out.
This form costs owners/landlords around $6 million/year, provides almost no information to the city that they couldn't get through tax records and google, and keeps a herd of HPD clerks in business tracking down scofflaws. It also drives out smaller landlords, and provides a convenient way for bad tenants to get away without paying rent.
Classic, amazing stuff.