The Real Deal New York

Albany bill would hike fines for rent overcharges

Landlords would pay 5 times the amount for a first violation

January 12, 2016 01:35PM

Linda Rosenthal Brad Hoylman

From left: Linda Rosenthal and Brad Hoylman

A new bill in Albany would set tougher fines for landlords who overcharge their rent-stabilized tenants.

State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, both Democrats representing Manhattan, want to hike penalties against landlords who overcharge stabilized tenants to five times the amount of the overcharge, plus interest, for a first violation.

Subsequent violations would result in penalties 10 times the amount of the overcharge, according to the New York Daily News, with the proposed legislation looking to “send a strong message to landlords that failure to comply with the law will not be tolerated,” according to Hoylman.

Under current law, landlords who wrongly overcharge rent-stabilized tenants are subject to fines three times the overcharge or each violation found. Hoylman and Rosenthal’s new measure cites recent ProPublica data that found as many as 200,000 New York City apartments that should be rent-stabilized under law are not.

Increased governmental regulation has been a source of anxiety for those in the city’s multifamily market, with last year’s historic rent freeze and heightened rent regulations among the factors that some believe threaten property values and transaction activity. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi