Tenants in a building may establish a “tenant association” by providing their landlord with a petition signed by tenants representing at least 50% of the occupied units, certifying that they are forming a tenant association.
The landlord must confer in good faith with the tenant association on issues of common concern, and on request, must attend at least one tenant association meeting every three months.
If a landlord does not comply with these obligations, it can support a tenant petition to the Rent Board for a rent reduction.
A tenant association remains operative so long as it represents at least 50% of the occupied units in the building.
Every three years, a landlord can require the tenant association to recertify that it represents at least 50% of the occupied units. If the tenant association does not timely re-certify, it is temporarily suspended until such time as it has re-certified.
Amendments to Current Law
The ordinance specifies that an individual tenant can have a tenant association representative present during the tenant’s individual meetings with the landlord.
It also requires landlords to remain in attendance at meetings of the full tenant association until the end of the meeting (up to two hours).
The ordinance also addresses what it means to confer in good faith and the types of matters that may be discussed with a tenant association.
"Confer in good faith" means that the parties shall have the mutual obligation, personally or through their authorized representatives, to meet and confer and continue for a reasonable period of time as set forth in Section 49A.4, in order to exchange freely information, opinions, and proposals, and to endeavor to reach agreement.
The ordinance clarifies that a duly-formed tenant association remains in good standing unless and until either:
- It fails to re-certify on the landlord’s request (which can occur no more than once every three years), or
- A new tenant association representing a greater number of occupied units is formed to take its place