The language of the bill is simple: all tenants must have equal access to common spaces and amenities in buildings or complexes where common spaces or amenities exist.
An owner found in violation could be subject to fines up to $25,000.
The bill is aimed at the practice of providing premium services to tenants at market rent to the exclusion of those rent-stabilized tenants paying far below that rate. In some cases, buildings have separate entrances, and rent-stabilized tenants cannot access elevators that lead to certain amenities.
Proponents said in a news report that many tenants have complained about being blocked from such features as pools, rooftop decks and on-site gyms, which are offered exclusively to market rate tenants.
Examples of tenants being excluded from premium amenities have surfaced in several news accounts over the past several months.
New York City’s Public Advocate, who took over the position after former Advocate Bill de Blasio became mayor, called the segregation of tenants based on rent paid “inherently immoral.” She told reporters that in at least one case, she has filed a discrimination complaint with the city’s Human Rights Commission.
The author of the bill says that one owner was reluctant to offer access to amenities even when the rent-stabilized tenants agreed to pay a separate fee for the service.
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