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Key card access

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Key card access

Postby jblue » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:46 pm

My mother lives in a rent-stabilized apartment - the apartment that I lived in from age 3 months - 28 years full time, and now live in on weekends to help care for my 93 year old mother. The building went condo many years ago. Now, the building has revoked my card access to to the building, deactivating the key card for all people who are not on the lease, forcing me to walk to the middle of the building where the concierge is. They did this with no warning to tenants. This sounds minor but also removes my access to a gate in the parking lot from the train station. I carry a heavy bag and transport my dog every weekend so the extra walking to get in the building is a nuisance. Can they legally restrict entry access to the apartment building I "live in" every weekend, treating me as a guest of the building?

I read somewhere that the DHCR ruled that landlords must provide up to 4 key card/fobs for tenants employees and guests. I am neither - I am immediate family, caregiver to my mother, and a part time resident, even though I am not on the lease.

Note - I have never tried to claim succession rights to the apartment. This is about building access.
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Re: Key card access

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:16 pm

It may have less to do with your rights (as a non-tenant), and more to do with the rights of your mother.

First, have you searched the forum? We've had extensive discussions on keys and key fobs. That's the point of having a forum -- so we won't have to repeat the same thing over and over. Also check the Reference Section of the forum. Same purpose.

The see this letter from DHCR:
DHCR Letter Re Spare Key and Key Fob - Dec 20, 2006.pdf


And thanks to a tenant attorney for this:

DHCR Policy With Respect to Keys to the Building Entrance Door

DHCR’s policy differs from that articulated in the Ressos Order in that DHCR requires landlords to provide free building entrance door keys to all legal occupants of an apartment, and not just to the limited types of family members included by Judge Ressos. (See Matter of Administrative Appeal of 164-03 LLC, Admin. Rev. Docket No. EW 110010 RO [July 26, 2018]; Matter of Administrative Appeal of Akelius Real Estate Management, LLC, Admin. Rev. Docket No. EX 210010 RO [May 18, 2017]; Matter of Administrative Appeal of Paula Court, Admin. Rev. Docket No. DR 430034 RT [July 29, 2016]; Matter of Administrative Appeal of Various Tenants of 1048 Union Street, Admin. Rev. Docket No. UK 230058 RT [April 27, 2007]).

And the Owner is well aware of DHCR’s policy. Finding that the Owner, Zara Realty Holding Corp. and other Zara-related individuals and companies “have engaged in persistent violations of Rent Regulation laws” and that their practices “are not just illegal - - they amount to tenant harassment under the Rent Stabilization Code,” on March 1, 2019 DHCR and the New York State Attorney General filed a case for injunctive relief against them, seeking to enjoin their illegal activity. (See Complaint in New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal v. Zara Realty Holding Corp., index no. 450245/19 (Sup Ct, New York County).

One of the violations of the Rent Stabilization Law described in the Complaint is Zara’s practice of charging legal occupants of an apartment for keys to the building entrance door. As stated in the Complaint:

The Zara Defendants have been on notice since at least 2014
that their practice of charging for keys to new building door
locks is in violation of the RSC. On November 14, 2014,
[the Office of Rent Administration] issued an administrative
determination to Defendant Parson Manor, LLC, c/o Zara
Realty Holding Corp. ordering the owner to provide all
residents over the age of ten with a key, even if the occupant’s
name is not on the lease. See DHCR Admin. Order No.
CS110054B (Nov. 4, 2014). [The Office of Rent Administra-
tion] has issued three subsequent administrative decisions
ordering the Zara Defendants to provide tenants additional
keys to the building door lock without charge.

(Id. at ¶ 111).

A copy of the relevant pages of the Complaint is annexed hereto as Exhibit D).
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Re: Key card access

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:50 pm

If one really wants to get into the meat of this stuff, log on to the NYS Supreme Court SCROLL system at http://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/iscroll/

Then enter the index number 450245-2019 in the box. That leads to all the documents submitted in the Zara case. (apparently the case is not over yet, but you can download the PDFs of all the papers and pleadings).

You read it all; I won't :)

And for all the DHCR decisions, just FOIL the decisions from DHCR using the ten-digit docket numbers.
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Re: Key card access

Postby jblue » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:39 pm

Thank you. I did search the forum first but didn't really see anything specific to extra cards for family members.
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Re: Key card access

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:06 pm

If you're not on the lease, you're an occupant, or a guest. Tenants are supposed to get at least two cards/FOBs, so one could go to you.
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