In 1982, the NYS Legislature enacted Multiple Dwelling Law Article 7-C, “Legalization of Interim Multiple Dwellings”, otherwise known as the Loft Law. The goal of the Loft Law was NOT to create a new classification of housing stock, but rather to legally convert these de facto multiple dwellings into regular multiple dwellings with valid residential certificates of occupancy. Landlords were required to move the loft buildings toward legalization according to a statutory schedule. The New York City Loft Board was created to oversee the process. In the meantime, the tenants in loft buildings covered under Article 7-C received certain protections.
Loft Law tenants are NOT Rent Stabilized tenants. That is a mistake that people often make. Loft Law tenants have a separate set of rights, governed by Multiple Dwelling Law Article § 286, which include:
- Continued occupancy, provided that the unit is their primary residence.
- A rent freeze, subject to escalations.
- The right to sell the improvements that the tenant made back to the landlord or, after the landlord’s declination of its right of first refusal, to an incoming tenant.
- The protections available to residential tenants pursuant to the real property law and the real property actions and proceedings law.
Itkowitz PLLC handles the special disputes that arise in the context of Loft Law matters.