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LAS Applauds New Law Establishing Deadlines for Tenant Repairs

The Legal Aid Society praised the signing of legislation that revamps the so-called 7A laws to compel landlords to complete repairs to apartment properties in a timely fashion, as reported by Real Estate Weekly.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law after nearly two decades of campaigning by State Senator Robert Jackson and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz following the death of eight-year-old Jashawn Parker in a fire that swept through his Bronx apartment building in 2002.

Despite the 7A law already being on the books, in reality, the related court procedures and trials frequently dragged on for months as property owners exhausted legal maneuvers while tenants languished. The new 60-day deadline is intended to ensure that court-ordered repairs are completed in a reasonable time.

“We work with tenants without heat, gas or hot water, with rotting roofs, severe mold, rodent infestations and other dangerous conditions,” said Jessica Bellinder, supervisor of Legal Aid Society’s Bronx Housing Justice Unit. “Changes to the 7A law that hold landlords and courts to a reasonable time frame for repairing the property or forcing the landlord to step aside are welcome.”