In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, properties throughout the city’s flooded neighborhoods saw critical infrastructure collapse along with everything else in the storm’s path. However, four weeks after the storm Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t interested in hearing any more excuses from landlords who haven’t restored heat and electricity. At a press conference this afternoon, he announced these landlords will face “enforcement proceedings” should these critical services remain absent from their properties.
“I won’t even take this question,” Mr. Bloomberg at an afternoon press conference when asked what these proceedings will entail. “We’re expecting everybody to cooperate. This is New York, I’m sure there’s going to be somebody who doesn’t and then we’re going to worry about it. You have an obligation to maintain your rental units in a safe manner. If you don’t, you’re breaking the law.”
Along with his tough talk, the mayor noted struggling landlords in affected areas do have a lifeline as they can sign up for the NYC Rapid Repairs program to receive government-provided repairs. The mayor said this process simply needs to be handled expeditiously.
“We’ll get to that very quickly,” he said of the deadline for property owners. “Our hope is that everybody will sign up and the tenants will push the landlords to do so and that the landlords will do so because it’s in their own interest! They’re going to have a tough time collecting rent if they don’t do something to get heat, water and electricity back.”