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Quirky New York City housing laws

For those who expect nothing but logic and reason in New York City housing law, we will today help dispel that notion with a walk on the quirky side. Familiarity with the rules that govern landlord-tenant relationships in the city might one day prove useful to you, so please read on.

Our very favorite in Curbed New York's list is from Multiple Dwelling Law § 51-b; NYC Admin. Code § 27-2042. If you don't know that one by heart, it can be summed up like so: Every self-service elevator in multiple dwellings must be equipped with a mirror. The requirement is apparently so that people who are about to enter elevators can tell with a glance if the elevator is occupied.

Another bit of oddness comes from NYC Admin. Code § 27-2009.1(b), which says that in multiple dwellings in New York City, no-pet lease clauses can be neutered in a very specific (though pretty common) circumstance. If a tenant "openly and notoriously" keeps a pet for 3 months and the landlord or other owner's employee knows this, the no-pet clause is waived.

An attorney notes for Curbed that "even the most casual observations" by a landlord or a landlord's worker of pets or "pets' accoutrements" have been used to have no-pet clauses waived.

As many of our Manhattan readers know, disputes over pets have led to far more than one tenant eviction.

The Curbed article also looks at the 1982 Loft Law, chronic nonpayment of rent and a way to get around roommate restrictions.

While the article is lighthearted, there is little amusement to be found in a genuine landlord-tenant dispute involving possible eviction, rent increases or neglected maintenance.

You can contact a qualified Manhattan housing law attorney to discuss protection of your home and your rights.