§282 Establishment of Special Loft Unit
In order to resolve complaints of owners of interim multiple dwellings and of residential occupants of such buildings qualified for the protection of this article, and to act upon hardship applications made pursuant to this article, a special loft unit referred to herein as the "loft board" shall be established which shall consist of from four to nine members representative of the public, the real estate industry, loft residential tenants, and loft manufacturing interests, and a chairperson, all to be appointed by the mayor of the municipality and to serve such terms as he may designate. The compensation of the members of the loft board shall be fixed by the mayor. The members of the loft board shall not be considered employees of the state or the municipality, provided, however, that state or municipal employees or officers may be named to the loft board. The mayor shall establish the loft board within ninety days of the effective date of chapter three hundred forty-nine of the laws of nineteen hundred eighty-two. The loft board shall have such office and staff as shall be necessary to carry out functions conferred upon it and may request and receive assistance from any state or municipal agency or department. The loft board shall have the following duties: (a) the determination of interim multiple dwelling status and other issues of coverage pursuant to this article; (b) the resolution of all hardship appeals brought under this article; (c) the determination of any claim for rent adjustment under this article by an owner or tenant; (d) the issuance, after a public hearing, and the enforcement of rules and regulations governing minimum housing maintenance standards in interim multiple dwellings (subject to the provisions of this chapter and any local building code), rent adjustments prior to legalization, compliance with this article and the hearing of complaints and applications made to it pursuant to this article; and (e) determination of controversies arising over the fair market value of a residential tenant's fixtures or reasonable moving expenses. The violation of any rule or regulation promulgated by the loft board shall be punishable by a civil penalty determined by the loft board not to exceed seventeen thousand five hundred dollars which may be recovered by the municipality by a proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction. The loft board may designate provisions of such rules and regulations for enforcement in proceedings before the environmental control board of such municipality. Notices of violation returnable to such environmental control board may be issued by officers and employees of the department of buildings of such municipality and served in the same manner as violations returnable to such board within the jurisdiction of such department. The environmental control board, when acting as the designee of the loft board, shall have the power to impose civil penalties, not to exceed seventeen thousand five hundred dollars for each violation, and to issue judgments, which may be docketed and enforced as set forth in section one thousand forty-nine-a of the New York city charter.
The loft board may charge and collect reasonable fees in the execution of its responsibilities. The loft board may administer oaths, take affidavits, hear testimony, and take proof under oath at public or private hearings.
All applications for registration as an interim multiple dwelling or for coverage of residential units under this article shall be filed with the loft board within six months after the date the loft board shall have adopted all rules or regulations necessary in order to implement the provisions of chapter one hundred forty-seven of the laws of two thousand ten. The loft board may subsequently amend such rules and regulations but such amendments shall not recommence the time period in which applications may be filed. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, after such date no further applications for registration or coverage as an interim multiple dwelling or for coverage under this article shall be accepted for owners or occupants of buildings that would otherwise qualify as interim multiple dwellings or for coverage pursuant to this article.
Where any occupant has filed an application for coverage pursuant to this article and has received a docket number from the loft board, it shall be unlawful for an owner to cause or intend to cause such occupant to vacate, surrender or waive any rights in relation to such occupancy, due to repeated interruptions or discontinuances of essential services, or an interruption or discontinuance of an essential service for an extended duration or of such significance as to substantially impair habitability of such unit, at any time before the loft board has made a final determination, including appeals, to approve or deny such application. This subdivision shall not grant any rights of continued occupancy other than those otherwise granted by law. Any agreement that waives or limits the benefits of this subdivision shall be deemed void as against public policy. In addition to any other remedies provided in this article for failure to be in compliance, in article eight of this chapter, or in the regulations promulgated by the loft board, an occupant who has filed an application with the loft board for coverage under this article may, no later than thirty-six months after the loft board shall have adopted rules and regulations as set forth in subdivision one of this section, commence an action or proceeding in a court of competent jurisdiction, which notwithstanding any other provision of law shall include the housing part of the New York city civil court, to enforce the provisions of this subdivision.