In her op-ed piece published in the NY Times on Dec. 26, 2019, Mara Gay unequivocally endorses protective tenant legislation enacted in Albany last year that pointedly seeks to better keep bad-faith landlords and property management groups in check.
Specifically, New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 has ushered in a host of beefed-up safeguards for renters. Those are proving to be a lifeline for legions of lessees, says Gay, especially New York City residents living in rent-stabilized units. Reportedly, such premises comprise about half of the metro’s vast housing stock.
Gay has strong reasons for speaking out, and an insider’s view of underhanded landlord tactics aimed at driving rent-controlled individuals and families from their homes. Gay is now a member of the New York Times editorial board. Some years back, she was a harassed renter in a rent-controlled building that she says was owned by management determined to oust her and her neighbors in order to re-let units at jacked-up prices.
The strategies employed to achieve that goal (which was ultimately secured) have been noted many times in the past. Gay says that the owners falsely accused renters of not paying rent. They conducted harassment campaigns. And they created unlivable conditions by engaging in disruptive and questionable construction projects.
Such actions still go on across the city, of course, but Gay stresses that things have become better for stabilized renters in the wake of the recent law’s passing. She points to Wall Street Journal-authored research underscoring that landlords are now alleging rent nonpayment at a rate far lower than was the case last year.
Still, high numbers of tenants unquestionably continue to be challenged – unethically and unlawfully – by landlords seeking to do what Gay says has long been “business as usual.”
The deep legal team at the long-established NYC pro-tenant law firm of Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben & Joseph advocates with passion and proven results on behalf of New York tenants. We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to help valued clients fully promote their interests in housing matters.