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 and again in January of 2013, the State Legislature amended the Loft Law to include units 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 amended Loft Law requires that units covered under the expanded window period must have at least one window that faces a street, legal yard or legal courtyard; must be at least 400 square feet and may not be located in a basement or cellar; or in an industrial business zone (other than Greenpoint or Williamsburg, North Brooklyn and certain areas of the Long Island City industrial business zone); Furthermore, the building may not have been used as of June 21, 2010, and continuing at the time of submitting a coverage application, 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.