New Rent Laws Pass in N.Y.: ‘The Pendulum Is Swinging’ Against Landlords (NYT, 14 June 2019)

  • New Rent Laws Pass in N.Y.: ‘The Pendulum Is Swinging’ Against Landlords

  • By Vivian Wang. Published in the New York Times on 14 June 2019

  • Summary:

    • New York lawmakers on Friday passed a sweeping package of rent laws designed to dramatically enhance tenant protections and reshape the state’s housing landscape, after a monthslong battle that galvanized tenant activists and dealt a blow to the state’s powerful real estate industry.

    • The laws signaled a seismic shift not only in the relationship between tenants and landlords, but also in the power balance of Albany, where deep-pocketed developers had long enjoyed access and influence. (...)

    • The laws would immediately transform life for the 2.4 million people who live in roughly one million rent-regulated apartments in New York City, by closing loopholes that have allowed landlords to raise rents or deregulate properties. The existing rent laws were to expire on Saturday.

    • The legislation’s reach could also extend much farther in the coming weeks: Localities statewide will be allowed to adopt their own rent regulations, which had previously been limited to New York City and a few suburbs.

    • And other protections, such as limits on security deposits and protections against evictions, would apply to all renters, stabilized or not.

    • The real estate industry had lobbied fiercely against the proposed changes, warning that they would discourage landlords from investing in properties and erode thousands of building workers’ and contractors’ jobs. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ad campaigns, hired well-connected lobbyists and pleaded their case directly to Mr. Cuomo and other top state officials.

    • But their appeals met skepticism, and sometimes outright hostility, from the state’s newly empowered Democrats, who took over the Legislature last year for only the third time in the last half-century.

  • Keywords: United States, US, USA, New York, rental laws, regulation, big landlords, affordability