New York lawmakers pushed through a sweeping package of rent laws that will strengthen protections for vulnerable tenants. For decades, we have advocated to keep our city affordable for all New Yorkers.
On June 14, Governor Cuomo signed into law the most progressive rent regulation reforms in New York State. The package of bills expands rent regulations statewide, closes loopholes that have allowed landlords to force tenants out of their homes, and strengthens protections for renters across our city.
Janet Sabel, Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society, released the following statement in resonse to Albany passing historic housing reforms:
“After decades of placing landlord profits over tenant rights, New York State has taken a historic step towards a fairer housing system by reforming the rent loopholes that allowed landlords and property owners to harass and displace tenants across the State. By passing this legislation, we are finally delivering equity and justice to our clients and all low-income New Yorkers.
While this is a momentous victory, we still have work to do in order to truly enact Universal Rent Control in New York State. We will continue fighting for essential legislation, like the Good Cause eviction bill, to protect the most vulnerable tenants from being pushed out of their homes.
The Legal Aid Society commends Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie for helping to empower tenants across the State.”
What is Changing?
These reforms cover a number of important areas. See what is changing for tenants in need.
By ending the “vacancy bonus” and ensuring other protections for tenants, these new laws will help keep rents lower for New Yorkers. Through vacancy bonuses, landlords could raise rents as much as 20% each time a unit becomes vacant, incentivizing landlords to push tenants out of their homes to increase rents. These changes will help keep apartments more affordable for existing tenants.
Under old laws, landlords could remove units from rent stabilization when a unit crossed a certain high-rent threshold. Now, most apartment units can no longer become de-regulated, helping keep rents down and tenants in their homes.
Previously, landlords could pass costs of renovations and capital improvements on to tenants. This provoked widespread abuse, as landlords regularly inflated the costs of projects just to drive up rent. Thankfully, new laws have put a cap on the costs that landlords can pass on, helping keep rents lower for all New Yorkers.
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