November 07, 2003

Article at The New York Sun

Abandoned Housing; The Bush Boom

Speaking in the same breath of the absentee-landlord tax and the annual requirement to register multiple dwellings is mixing apples and oranges ["Abandoning a Bad Tax," Julia Vitullo-Martin, Opinion, November 5, 2003].

The former is the tax code and the latter is the housing maintenance code, which requires owners of multiple dwellings (three or more residential units) to register their buildings annually with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

This has nothing to do with taxes and everything to do with enabling us to contact someone responsible for the multiple dwelling in the event of an emergency.

Annual registration has been the law since 1993. After an initial misstep that placed an unintended burden on the small homeowner, HPD simplified the process for owners to correct our records. HPD sent out a new letter simply requesting that they self-certify that they own a one- or two-family home and not a multiple dwelling. This less-burdensome process will be used in all five boroughs.