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New York City Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

Is no-harassment certificate a powerful new tool for NYC renters?

The imagery spotlighting an entrenched reality of the New York City housing universe is both stark and vivid. A recent article in a national publication references "predatory developers encircling [tenants'] neighborhoods." It couples that language by noting a new tool serving as a "preemptive strike" that besieged renters can employ to combat landlords' vulture-like conduct that threatens housing affordability and security.

NYCHA-directed criticism persists re tenant heat outages

We preface today's blog post with a nutshell summary of the key details relevant to New York City's annual "Heat Season." That period commences on October 1 each year and runs through May 31.

City owners of residential buildings are required to adhere to specified heat standards during that timeframe. Most importantly, they entail this:

Landlords flout New York City's J-51 tax abatement program

You make updates and renovations to your New York City property. Then you slap your tenants with appreciably higher rents.

That's not the way that New York City's J-51 tax abatement program is intended to work. Rather, the tax breaks passed along to participating landlords are supposed to be responded to in turn by the maintaining rent-regulated status for all apartments in the building for the duration of the tax break.

NYT: Let us count the reasons why affordable rent is vanishing

We noted in a recent blog post the view of the New York Times' editorial board that affordable housing in NYC is under an onslaught, and for myriad reasons.

The paper stresses that change is badly and imminently needed to reverse decades'-long policy enactments that have worked to erode the city's rent-regulated housing stock. The board urges high voter turnout in upcoming elections that will hopefully install new lawmakers having a pro-tenant agenda that can reverse decline and promote reform. The following are pointed to as being especially prominent catalysts that have driven rents to prohibitively high levels.

High-profile NYC landlords under spotlight for falsifying permits

A representative for the major New York City development firm Kushner Companies refers to scores of alleged housing violations as innocent "paperwork errors."

City housing officials call them something else. The city's Departments of Buildings cited the company last week for unlawful conduct aimed at ousting rent-regulated tenants in 17 buildings across the metro. Kushner Companies is specifically alleged with having falsified construction permits and then harassing tenants through disruptive practices that would hopefully prompt many of them to leave.

Rent-stabilized tenants tell tale of extreme landlord coercion

Data exist to mark and lend understanding of the turnover rate in the legions of rent-stabilized buildings across New York City. When one complex features notably higher-than-average departures, it can be telling evidence of unusual -- even abnormal - circumstances.

Consider the story surrounding the Austin Nichols House, a multi-dwelling complex in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn termed as "coveted" in a recent national media profile. The building, which was once a bourbon warehouse, was converted some years back into rent-stabilized apartments for 338 tenants. 

Arguments why RGB should have voted for a rent freeze

We recently noted for readers the results of the June 26 vote taken by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board on rent-stabilized lease increases. The RGB decided to raise rents 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively, on one-year and two-year lease terms effective October 1 of this year. That adjustment spelled the largest spike in several years.

Legions of people across the metro area expressed ire and great concern in the wake of the RGB's announcement. A rental jump of any amount has been criticized on multiple grounds. Leah Goodridge, a board representative who took a minority position by voting for a freeze, explained her reasons for doing so in a recent media opinion piece. Following are some of her key points.