Pro Bono News

How New Rent Laws in N.Y. Help All Tenants (NY)

Friday, June 21, 2019

How New Rent Laws in N.Y. Help All Tenants

"The bulk of the landmark changes to New York’s rent laws last week was aimed at strengthening protections for the 2.4 million people who live in New York City’s rent-regulated apartments, or almost half of the city’s tenants.

But buried in the 74-page bill is an expansive patchwork of new protections that apply to all renters statewide, including 43 percent of New York City renters who live in unregulated apartments.

Taken together, the new laws — on everything from evictions to security deposits to rent caps for residents of mobile homes — represent a significant power shift away from landlords and cement New York’s standing as a national leader of policies favorable to renters, of which there are 8.2 million statewide.

“It’s arguable now that New York state’s protections are more stringent than in any other state,” said Ingrid Gould Ellen, professor and faculty director of New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. “Ultimately, the real measure of stringency is going to come from the actual implementation and enforcement of these laws.”

Trade groups representing landlords and property managers said new limits on security deposits and evictions could hinder an owner’s finances and ability to remove disruptive tenants. The New York real estate industry vigorously opposed the new laws and invested in an expensive lobbying campaign and ad blitz to unsuccessfully counter the measures..."

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