(June 15, 2019) The strongest tenant protection legislation in history was passed and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday in New York. The legislation heralds the end of rent regulation laws to expire on a schedule of every four to eight years as has been for many years. This will make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for existing housing protected by rent stabilization to be removed from rent stabilization programs. The existing laws expire today. The passage of the bill currently only applies to NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties, The passage of the bill currently only applies to NYC, Westchester, Rockland, and Nassau counties, but there is the option for other municipalities and towns to choose to adopt the legislation should they qualify.
It will greatly stifle MCI’s, major capital improvements, where landlords make repairs and renovations, often at inflated costs, to justify rent increases. Up to now, landlords who were making major renovations were allowed to raise rents by 6 percent. The new law will only allow a 2 percent increase. It will also redefine what actually constitutes an MCI. Landlords predicting this would bill would be passed had been scrambling to get their MCI’s approved before the legislation was enacted. The new bill is called the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019.
Since the Democrats gained control of the Senate last year to join the already Democrat Assembly, there was no doubt that the new laws would be passed. Mayor DiBlasio of NYC expressed his pleasure at the ratification of the bill.
Landlord groups disappointed with the new legislation plan to file suit as early as Monday. They are especially displeased with the idea that the laws have no expiration as they did before.
The real estate industry as a whole is up in arms over the legislation. Realtors claim that the new laws will neither benefit landlords nor renters, and will ultimately harm both.