GOOD-BYE NYC REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY: Landmark Deal Reached on Rent Protections For Tenants

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that he will sign a deal negotiated by legislative leaders that would strengthen rent stabilization rules covering more than a million tenants in and around New York City.

The proposal, which lawmakers plan to pass Friday, would permanently extend the current rules governing rent increases for rent-stabilized units. It would also restrict the ability of landlords to remove units from the system and permit cities throughout the state to opt into rent stabilization rules if they choose.

“This is the best bill they can pass, so I will sign it,” the Democratic governor told reporters Wednesday.

The landmark proposal, hailed as historic by Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, represents a significant shift toward tenants’ rights in a state Capitol where New York City’s powerful real estate industry has long held significant sway.

“The tables have finally turned in favor of millions of tenants across New York state,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan. “For far too long, big real estate pulled the strings in Albany.”

Landlords oppose the changes, but their concerns are unlikely to derail the measure.

“This legislation fails to address the city’s housing crisis and will lead to disinvestment in the city’s private-sector rental stock,” the real estate-backed group Taxpayers for an Affordable New York said in a statement.

The organization warned that apartment buildings will fall into disrepair if the state doesn’t allow owners to raise rents to recoup the cost of improvements.

The state’s rent stabilization and rent control system governs rental increases and evictions in about 1 million units in New York City and some suburbs, typically in older, multi-unit buildings.

The rent law is set to expire Saturday. Renewing and strengthening the rules is a key priority for many liberal groups that helped Democrats take over control of the Senate in last year’s elections.

“None of these historic new tenant protections would be possible without the fact that New York finally has a united Democratic Legislature,” Heastie and Stewart-Cousins said in a statement announcing their proposal.

One of the most significant provisions in the proposal would allow elected officials in cities and towns to opt into the rent stabilization system if their communities have a tight housing market with few rental vacancies.

Another would eliminate the ability of landlords to remove a unit from rent stabilization if the tenant’s income is $200,000 or higher.

(AP)




19 COMMENTS

  1. First this doesn’t really affect private homes. We are talking about multiple dwellings. This is the kind of law which is a good feeling law. Yeah! The tenants don’t have to pay more rent. What this law really does is hurt the tenants and the landlords. Until now a landlord had the incentive to fix over an apartment Such as painting, putting in a new kitchen or bathroom every few years. Now unless something is really broken it won’t get fixed. In addition, many landlords have many apartments and hire professional contractors to do the work. Now they dont need the professional contractor. To fix up an emergency they will take the cheapest person to do the work.

  2. Best way to create a housing shortage. This is very good news for communities that want to attract people moving our of New York City. Those with “protecksia” get cheaper apartments, and the rest won’t be able to find housing and will be forced to move out.

  3. Lol. For decades when Albany was a joke, ALL YIDDEN and ALL OWNERS gave heavily to Republicans and democrats alike. Check the records, they’re public.

    Now that the loonies control the legislature I can only laugh.

  4. Just to clarify above, I’m laughing because I am a principled voter, meaning I’d never violate my principles for a vote or donation for any reason. If a Democrat is more in line with my views, I’d cross party lines and vote for him. Once for AG in VA, just once 🙂 don’t worry.

    “It’s good for business” they’d all say.

    No, you gave money to someone whose every position runs counter to yours because you were more concerned with your wallet than your faith, ethics and morals.

    Tastes bad, doesn’t it.

  5. the problem is, the free market makes it impossible for even someone making $100,000 a year to rent out a 3 bedroom on top of other costs like food, healthcare etc.

  6. You mean “goodbye New York Real Estate GREED.” I lived in New York a few decades ago and it was already difficult to impossible to find affordable housing. The “rent-controlled apartment” was already a joke, with landlords going to great lengths to drive people out of rent-controlled buildings so they could raise the rent or gentrify. Some of the dodges were disgusting – leaving vital plumbing unrepaired, rat infestations unmanaged, or starting phony “construction” projects to either push out or drive out tenants.

    This law is way, way overdue. And we should remember, one of the major aveiros for which the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed was oppressing the poor. That was also the midah that did in S’dom. Even if we Yidden are all as clean as new-born babies, the fact that it’s happening in New York means that the city is in line for punishment, and we will suffer along with it. Having just laws is one of the requirements of Bnei Noach too.

  7. How about restricting Property taxes and water …?
    Well, who cares its not on the “progressives” agenda.
    Most “progressives” are still living @ their parents..

  8. Why is this article so vague?

    It goes on endlessly about how much harder it will be to raise rents and make evictions but gives no clue as to what those restrictions actually are.

  9. When small landlords get forced out of the game, who will take their place? The City has proven time and again that they are very incapable of maintaining their properties. Look at NYCHA’s scandal after scandal…

  10. When will there be a cap on the bums that don’t pay rent and the judges side with them. Also when will there be a cap on water sewer and taxes ??

  11. So many frum yidden are heavily invested in the NYC real estate market, either directly or indirectly, and it will unfortunately effect them negatively. This is just another bill fueled by democratic thinking, that is short sighted. Los Angeles, once upon a time was a beautiful city, now, thanks to the implementation of countless bills based on democratic ideology, has become a homeless town.

  12. So, I hope all of you tenants who live in
    Boro Park, Flatbush and Williamsburg are happy. Watch how your landlord, realizing that they can’t maintain on a quality, long term basis ( because the new law severely how much they can pass along in rent increases) start milking the building . This entails doing minimal, cheap ,shoddy repairs and collecting rents for as long as they can, and then walking away and abandoning the building

  13. Anonymous Jew: This law only applies to older and larger buildings. It does not apply to buildings built after 1974. It will not affect the vast majority of rentals in frum neighborhoods.

  14. Uncle Ben,
    The vast majority of Boro Park and Flatbush apartment houses were built long before 1974. They both experienced significant development in the 1920s after the conversion of the ground level West End steam railroad into an elevated ” subway” and the same with the Brighton line in Flatbush.
    After WW2, the remaining empty lots were developed. In the 1960s I went by bus to BTA from Bensonhurst to Church Ave and the main avenues were filled with apartment buildings. The same in Boro Park when I visited my grandmother.

    As I stated, don’t expect a landlord to make major capital improvements if they can’t recoup their costs

  15. Actually, IT IS a massive problem. The law in NY is totally skewed in favor of the tenant, no matter how destructive he is.

    The state now provides free legal help for low-income tenants so they can summon the landlord to court over and over, thus avoiding paying their minimal rents for months on end.

    Those who will be hurt the most are the small family owners because they are dealing with aging buildings and constantly receiving citations from inspectors. With the new laws they cannot recoup their renovations by even minimally raising the rents. Replacing the roof, changing from oil to gas, and basic infrastructure maintenance are massive expenses. Top this with the constant raising of taxes and the rising cost of insurance, the honest landlord will be greatly affected by these new laws.

    What will happen now is that (even very wealthy) tenants will forever stay in their huge apartments, move in ‘supposed’ family members to take over the leases, resulting with absolutely no turnover in available housing.

    Do you remember when the south Bronx was totally burnt out? Blocks and blocks of buildings were abandoned by small landlords who were paying far more for the total cost of maintaining the buildings than they were collecting in rent. When the city takes over these buildings and puts them under NYCHA, the deterioration is accelerated even more. Look at what has been happening in the projects run by NYCHA!

    If the government really cared about proper housing, the most effective way would be to offer subsidies (sort of like Section 8) to elderly tenants and poor families with young children, and as the family size is reduced over the years the subsidy shrinks and the tenant is then obligated to find a smaller apartment, thus creating a turnover of housing. This would also guarantee that only those who are qualified would be receiving this help. It is not a permanent right that never ends. NYCHA receives BILLIONS a year and cannot get anything done right. The projects today are cesspools of mold and lead and tenants go without heat and working elevators for months on end. As usual, when the government is involved, expect it to fail….

    Many cities across the country who used to have rent control or rent stabilization got rid of them because, in contrast to creating vacancies it did just the opposite.

    There are definitely a small minority of slumlords who abuse and harass their tenants and do illegal things. Those tenants should be protected and the landlords prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

    The majority of landlords in the outer boroughs, though, are struggling to make a profit and these new laws (set for permanence) are a humongous blow to their pockets!