Personal Liability, Fee Cap & Bogus Fees

By NYC Hospitality Alliance

Back in May, the NYC Hospitality Alliance helped enact a package of important temporary laws to deal with COVID-19, which must now be extended due to the length and impact of the pandemic.

The first law suspended enforcement of personal liability guarantees in leases for commercial tenants who default because of a government order to close their indoor eating and drinking operations during the emergency - the law is scheduled to expire on September 30th. So today, the NYC Council held a public hearing at which The Alliance's executive director Andrew Rigie and Alliance counsel Robert Bookman testified in support of legislation extending the law six months until March 30th, 2021 because restaurants in NYC still have not reopened indoors and will not be operating at 100% capacity for the unforeseeable future. The extension of this law provides incredibly important protections to small business owners unable to pay rent for reasons out of their control. We anticipate this legislation will pass in the Council and be signed into law by the Mayor before the end of the month, so there is no gap time between the current law and its extension. Please note, this law is being challenged in court by the real estate industry.
The second and third laws extend the fee cap on third party delivery and assigns penalties to these companies if they charge bogus fees for phone calls that don't result in an order. Today, Rigie also spoke at a virtual bill signing event with Mayor de Blasio where the Mayor signed these bills into law. Extending these laws has been an important part of our legislative work and strategy and we will continue to fight for a permanent cap.  
If you believe you are being over charged for your delivery services or being charged bogus fees for phone calls that did not result in a business transaction, you may report it to and send a copy to with the following information: 
(1) The name of your food service establishment.
(2) The third-party food delivery service that charged you fees.
(3) The amount of fees you have been charged, broken down by category, e.g., delivery fee, marketing fee, pick-up order fee, group order fee.
(4) Any communication dated June 2, 2020 or later from the service about what fees they are charging.

Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Speaker Johnson, Council Member Rivera, Gjonaj, Moya, and many others for their support for these important issues.

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