In 2019, New York State’s renter protection framework — commonly known as rent stabilization — will expire, giving tenants a moment of leverage to strengthen and expand their rights. The State has the opportunity to both undo anti-tenant provisions that incentivize the loss of rent regulated housing, and extend our rent stabilization framework to cover all of New York’s tenants.
Over the course of the 20th century, New Yorkers across the state have benefited from various forms of rent control, which protects tenants’ from unjust evictions and arbitrary rent increases. Now, however, that system has been eroded so much that it only applies to tenants in 8 counties, and has been weakened with loopholes that encourage tenant harassment and allow sudden and permanent rent hikes. Since 1994, we have lost nearly 300,000 units of affordable, rent stabilized housing. 5 million New Yorkers have no renter protections whatsoever—simply because of where or what kind of housing they live in.
Every tenant in New York, no matter where they live, deserves the same basic protections.
- Reform “Preferential Rent” (S2845A/A4349) (Krueger/Cymbrowitz): Requires that preferential rent leases last for the duration of the tenancy.
- End “Vacancy Decontrol” (S2591/A1198) (Stewart-Cousins/Rosenthal): Repeals vacancy decontrol and re-regulates deregulated apartments that rent for less under $5,000 in NYC and $3,500 in suburbs.
- Eliminate the “Vacancy Bonus” (S185/A2351)(Serrano/Pichardo): Eliminates the 20% bonus on “legal rent” landlords may add to legal rent when an apartment changes hands.
- Eliminate Rent Hikes Caused by Major Capital Improvements (S3693/A6322) (Gianaris/Barnwell): Eliminates landlords’ ability to pass the cost of necessary building repairs onto renters.
- Stop Harassment and Deregulation Caused by Individual Apartment Improvement Increases (S3770/A6465) (Kavanagh/Richardson): When apartments are vacant, landlords often make cosmetic repairs in order to raise the rent and reach the deregulation threshold. This bill would eliminate that.
- Reform the Four Year Rule (S4169/A5251) (Myrie/Dinowitz): While tenants in rent stabilized apartments are able to challenge rent increases, thanks to the “four year rule,” they are limited in their ability to fight older, but often fraudulent, “legal” rents.
- Expand the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (S5040/A7046) (Breslin/Cahill): Only New York City and the surrounding counties can opt into rent regulation. This is not fair. Localities should decide for themselves whether or not they want to opt into a system to protect tenants. This bill gives all places in New York State the option to decide for themselves.
Sudden rent hikes and landlord retaliation cause eviction in non-rent stabilized apartments. New York State needs a housing law that works for everyone.
- Good Cause Eviction (S2892/A5030) (Salazar/Hunter): Gives every tenant in New York State the right to a renewal lease with fair terms from the landlord. Tenants may still be evicted for “good cause.”
- Rent Control Relief (S299A/A167)(Benjamin/Rosenthal): Brings “rent control” increases in line with “rent stabilization” increases.
- New York Daily News: New York Lawmakers vow to pass sweeping sete of pro tenant policies as they tackle rent regulations
- Spectrum Local News: What would Statewide rent Control mean for Upstate Tenants?
- New York Daily News: Tenants Groups call on Albany lawmakers to strengthen rent laws across the state
- Albany Times Union. Strengthen Tenants’ Rights: And Not Just in NYC