In 1982, the New York State Legislature enacted the New York City Loft Law and established the New York City Loft Board to regulate the legal conversion of certain lofts in the city from commercial/manufacturing use to residential use. Article 7-C of the Multiple Dwelling Law (MDL), also known as the Loft Law, created a new classification of buildings in New York City known as interim multiple dwellings ("IMD"). Generally, this classification encompasses formerly commercial and manufacturing loft spaces that were used as residences by at least three independent families during the period of April 1, 1980 through December 1, 1981. Because these lofts failed to meet the fire safety and other code requirements for legal residential occupancy, the Loft Law also established the Loft Board with the mission of coordinating the legal conversion of these spaces to safe residential use.
In June of 2010, the State Legislature expanded the Loft Law to include tenants who lives in a commercial or manufacturing building where three or more families have lived independently from one another for 12 consecutive months from 1/1/08 through 12/21/09, in a building that lacks a residential certificate of occupancy.
In addition, the expanded Loft Law requires that the loft unit must have at least one window that faces a street, legal yard or legal courtyard; must be at least 550 square feet and not in a basement or cellar; may not be in an industrial business zone (other than Greenpoint or Williamsburg, North Brooklyn and certain areas of the Long Island City industrial business zone); and as of June 21, 2010, the building may not have been used for certain activities that are inherently incompatible with residential use. See 29 RCNY 2-08 (j) - (s), available through the Laws, Rules and Orders section of the Loft Board's website at nyc.gov/loftboard.
Effective Wednesday June 29th, 2011, the Loft Board has been relocated to 280 Broadway- 3rd Floor- Room 309.