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New York City Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

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.

Lease increases announced for NYC's rent-stabilized units

The definitive decision annually reached by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board on rent-stabilized lease increases was announced on June 26.

It hardly went unnoticed.

An amped-up and passionate response to the RGB's dictate was indeed expected, for numerous reasons. A whopping 44% of the metro's rental units - that is, nearly one million apartments across the city - are reportedly affected by the board's yearly decision. And announced increases of any size spell big news for legions of those renters, given that an estimated 30% of them spend at least half of their monthly income on rent. 

Recent NYC tenant protections broad-based, with teeth

New York City legislators have been notably busy over the past several months drafting local laws that a recent New York Law Journal article notes are intended to materially expand tenant protections. The newly enacted statutory housing provisions apply to rent-stabilized and rent-controlled residents across the city.

And they come with some punch and a punitive veneer for bad-faith landlords engaging in actions and enabling housing conditions that the Journal says are demonstrably "intended to get [a] tenant to move out or otherwise waive rights."

How Housing Court is misused by bad landlords

A recent in-depth article on rent-stabilized housing in New York City and disputes that end up in Housing Court leads off with the assertion that, for legions of people, the term "gentrification" has unsettling connotations. In fact, it is "a dirty word."

Landlords who put pressure on rent-regulated tenants

As property values in the city continue to increase, many landlords are looking to cash in – regardless of laws protecting tenants’ rights. Many buildings are being sold to unscrupulous investors hoping to turn a quick profit by making life miserable for rent-regulated tenants and getting them to leave.

They will use just about any tactic they can to chase tenants out, often in clear violation of laws. If your landlord is using these tactics against you, there are ways you can fight back.