City Council on Wednesday will consider a pile of bills that would have far-reaching implications for the real estate industry, including a bill that would allow restaurants to add a Covid-19 surcharge to customer checks and extend the ban on enforcing personal liability provisions in commercial leases.
Officials will consider measures to temporarily allow restaurants to increase individual customers’ accounts by up to 10 percent. The legislation would allow facilities to charge a “Covid-19 recovery fee” for 90 days after the resumption of internal meals on 30 September.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit restaurants hard: recent survey The New York State Restaurant Association has found that 64 percent of restorers expect to close by the end of this year. There were many trying to get a rent because the city and the state closed in March.
Although this measure is considered a potential benefit for restaurants that operated with limited capacity during the pandemic, not everyone is convinced that it will benefit workers in these troubled businesses. Brad Lander, a member of the Brooklyn Council, was the only vote against the measure during a meeting hosted on Wednesday morning by the Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing Committee. He said he would prefer the measure to ensure that additional income is passed on to restaurant workers or that service staff have a minimum wage.
“Our restaurants hurt, but the boys, our restaurant workers, are the ones who can’t pay rent or put food on their own table,” he said. Lander noted that the measure in its current form could lead to customers leaning less. One fair wage, a coalition of top and minimum wage workers, also calls on the Council to reject the measure, saying it would hurt workers.
Council member Antonio Reynoso proposed an amendment requiring restaurants that apply the surcharge to pay employees a minimum of $ 15 per hour, but Council spokesman Corey Johnson indicated at a news conference today that the city does not have the authority to enforce such a measure.
The Council also plans to vote on measures to further prevent commercial landlords from going after tenants’ personal property in the event of default. Initial measures, approved in May, applied to baselines that occurred between March 7, 2020 and September 30, 2020. The latest bill will extend this timeline until March 31, 2021.
Another bill on Wednesday’s agenda would prevent affordable housing developers who receive city funding from considering a potential tenant’s credit history when renting an apartment, as well as a student loan or medical debt. Delinquent debt – defined as a debt collection account or a consumer debt judgment – in excess of $ 12,000 would be removed from the account.
Separate measures as well scheduled for vote on Wednesday, would extend a law that prohibits landlords from rejecting applications for apartments in real estate with six or more units based on the source of income of the potential tenant. The new law would apply to real estate with three or more apartments.
Furthermore, the city council is expected to move forward with a measure requiring the Ministry of Buildings to examine the feasibility and safety of using unmanned aerial systems, ie drones, to carry out inspections of building facades. The measure was proposed shortly after two pedestrians were killed by debris that fell from buildings in Midtown and rinsing. Everything according to city law buildings taller than six stories must undergo regular inspections of the facade.
The Agency has until 31 October 2021 to publish the results of the study.