Legal Aid Society

News

LAS: Proposed Regulations Will Protect Rent-Stabilized Tenants

The Legal Aid Society and Legal Services New York City applauded regulations proposed by the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) to the Rent Stabilization Code (RSC) which would increase critical protections for rent-stabilized tenants.

DHCR’s proposal would revise its “first rent” policy, which has led landlords to withhold tens of thousands of units from the market in hopes of combining them and securing increases far in excess of those contemplated in the statute, commonly referred to as the “Frankenstein Loophole”.  The proposal also aims to close several other loopholes in the RSC that have encouraged landlord fraud and misconduct.  An additional prosed reform would allow family members to inherit rent-stabilized apartments under certain circumstances.

The proposed changes would reign in bad behavior by landlords and help to stop the displacement of low- and moderate-income people from their homes and communities.

“Between a lack of protections and the continued use of loopholes that unscrupulous landlords employ to illegally evict tenants or drive-up rents, more is needed from all levels of government to protect these vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Ellen Davidson, an attorney with the Civil Law Reform Unit with The Legal Aid Society. “We applaud DHCR and these proposed regulations that would benefit thousands of our clients who reside in rent-regulated apartments, and we encourage DHCR to adopt them in its final plan.”