Pro Bono News

The Urgent Need for Rent Regulations (NY)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Urgent Need for Rent Regulations

"The Warranty of Habitability states that New York City tenants have the right to a livable, safe and clean apartment.

Unfortunately, it does not state that the rents have to be affordable or that owners can’t bend the rules.

The Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997 extended the rent laws for six years. However, it gave owners a 20% vacancy increase, Luxury Decontrol (deregulates apartments that reach $2,000 or tenants making $175,000), four-year limit on rent overcharges, and limitations on succession rights to only certain family members and from only one generation to the next.

In 2003, Albany’s Republicans passed a (rushed) bill renewing the rent laws with a provision allowing property owners to terminate preferential rents upon the renewal of tenant leases. This provision has taken tenants’ rights away from them. Some property owners quickly realized that they could make a quick profit by taking advantage of and bending some of the new rules, which have resulted in an increase in housing court cases, tenant harassment and a huge turnover of tenants in our communities..."

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