Information

Suspending Personal Liability in Leases

By NYC Hospitality Alliance

We're extremely pleased to report that there is significant support in the City Council to pass several legislative reforms we urged them to consider at the 4/29 public hearing, and in other forums. The Council could vote on this legislation May 13th

Due to the NYC Hospitality Alliance's persistent advocacy for our industry, we're extremely pleased to report that there is significant support in the City Council to pass several legislative reforms we urged them to consider at the 4/29 public hearing, and in other forums. The Council could vote on this legislation May 13th. If passed, we urge Mayor de Blasio to sign them into law so they take effect in May.

We thank the many sponsors of the bills (prime sponsors include Speaker Johnson, Council Members Gjonaj, Moya, Rivera, Adams and Cohen) and all the other co-sponsors. The Alliance's Executive Director Andrew Rigie and Counsel Rob Bookman thank our whole team, members, and our small business coalition who worked with us on these important issues. We will continue to push these bills through the finish line!

CONTACT THE CITY COUNCIL, SPEAKER AND MAYOR AND URGE THEM TO PASS THESE BILLS INTO LAW

Below is a summary of each of the bills prepared by our Counsel, Pesetsky and Bookman.
 
PERSONAL LIABILITY IN COMMERCIAL LEASES (Int. No. 1932-A) & TENANT HARASSMENT (Int. No. 1914-A)
 
Landlords will be blocked from enforcing personal liability clauses in leases for commercial tenants who default because of a government order to close indoor eating and drinking operations during the emergency, if the default occurs between March 7th and September 30th, 2020. It will also be unlawful to threaten a commercial tenant based on their status as a business affected by COVID-19 or the tenant's receipt of a rent concession during the Covid-19 emergency.
 
THIRD PARTY DELIVERY SERVICES (Int. No. 1908-B)
 
During the emergency and for 90 days after, third party delivery platforms cannot charge more than 5% of an order. If the company is also handling the actual delivery, they can charge an additional 15% for the delivery itself. We are also working with the de Blasio Administration and the City Council to make a fee cap permanent.
 
TELEPHONE ORDERS (Int. No. 1898-A)
 
During the emergency and 90 days thereafter, there will be a fine of up to $500 for each time a third-party delivery platform charges a business for a "telephone order" that did not actually result in an actual transaction during that call. Again, we are working to make this permanent.
 
SIDEWALK CAFE FRANCHISE FEES (Int. No. 1916-A)
 
The rent paid by restaurants to the City for the use of the sidewalk for a sidewalk cafe (called franchise fees), generally cost restaurants thousands of dollars. These fees will be forgiven for the rest of the year. Rent for unenclosed cafes will not start again until March 1, 2021, and for enclosed cafes, when the emergency order for restaurants is lifted.
 

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