New York State Human Rights Law requires housing providers to make reasonable accommodations or modifications to building or living space to meet the needs of occupants with disabilities. Search modifications may be to the interior of the housing accommodation unit, changes to the housing provider’s rules, policies, practices or services, or changes to common areas of the building to provide the occupants with equal opportunity to use the building.
Executive Law section 170-d became effective April 1, 2020 requiring owners, property managers and brokers to distribute notice to tenants of their rights to reasonable modifications and accommodations for persons with disabilities. The Executive Law required New York State Division of Human Rights (“DHR”) to adopt, promulgate, amend and resend suitable rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of the law. Although this law became effective over two years ago, enforcement of the notice requirement was delayed until DHR promulgated its rules.
On May 18, 2022 DHR adopted rules in accordance with Executive law 170 – d, which require housing providers (owners, lessee, sub lessee, assignee, managing agents of, or other person having the right to sell, rent or lease a housing accommodation, or any agent or employee thereof), to provide each prospective and current tenant with “Notice of Tenants Rights to Reasonable Modifications and Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities”. Housing accommodations include any building or structure or portion of which is used or occupied or intended to be used as a home, residence or sleeping accommodation of one or more persons.
Housing providers must provide notice in the form prescribed by DHR to all new and current tenants within 30 days of the effective date of their tenancy, or for current tenants, within 30 days of the effective date of executive law. The notice must be in writing in 12 point font or larger, and include telephone numbers and email of the property manager or other person responsible for accepting reasonable accommodation requests. The notice may be sent by email, text, electric messaging system, facsimile or hardcopy. Housing providers should retain proof of delivery of the notice. While an electronic communication containing a link to the notice is permissible, it must contain text to inform the prospective tenant that the link contains information regarding tenants’ rights to reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and the notice must be available for printing and downloading. The notice may also be included with other written communications such as a lease or the written materials provided to tenants. However, oral disclosures do not satisfy the requirements for delivery.
In addition to providing the notice to each prospective and current tenant, housing providers must post the notice in a well-lit area in the building where the individual seeking the accommodation would easily be able to see it, in any leasing office and display a link on the homepage of any website created and maintained by the housing providers to the Division’s notice as required by the regulation. Real estate brokers and real estate sales people are required to post the notice in their office in a conspicuous well lit area where individuals seeking housing accommodations could easily see it.
DHR is expected to post a link to the notice form on its website in short order.
About the BBG Administrative Department
Our Administrative attorneys have extensive experience representing sophisticated clients in all stages of administrative proceeding before the New York State Division of Human Rights, New York City Commission on Human Rights, New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Department of Buildings (DOB) and Environmental Control Board (ECB).
Should you have any questions regarding the reasonable accommodations and the notice requirements, please do not hesitate to contact your BBG attorney on record or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.