ALBANY — On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation which prohibits landlords from collecting rent or maintaining a nonpayment eviction proceeding during the period for which there is no valid certificate of occupancy.

This law also prohibits tenants and owners from living in a residence that does not have a valid certificate of occupancy.

The law would expand existing laws to cover cities with a population of less than 325,000 people.

It immediately went into effect.

“All New Yorkers deserve a safe decent and affordable place to call home,” Cuomo said. “This new law helps ensure equal protections for New Yorkers in every corner of this great state and will hold accountable those who seek to profit off substandard housing once and for all.”

Certificates of occupancy are required before building owners allow tenants to take occupancy pursuant to both the Multiple Residence Law and the Multiple Dwelling Law.

The Multiple Residence Law applies to cities having a population of 325,000 or less.

This law would provide more consistency between the two laws in preventing violations of certificates of occupancy requirements and helping ensure that dwellings are suitable for habitability.

“Renters should never have to accept substandard and dangerous living conditions,” said Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter. “By prohibiting the collection of rent when there is no certificate of occupancy, we are incentivizing building safety.”

“Affordable housing continues to be a growing issue in our state,” said Sen. Jamaal T. Bailey. “We consistently see landlords overcharging tenants who are living in deplorable and unsafe conditions, and in certain cases, illegal dwellings. My bill would prohibit landlords from collecting any rent without a certificate of occupancy.”

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