Politicians look to revise rent-regulation law

March 02, 2011 12:32PM

New York State’s rent-regulation law, which governs the rents for more than one million stabilized apartments in New York City, expires June 15, but Democrats are already speaking out against it in its original form, the Observer reported. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver believes that rent regulation must be renewed and strengthened in favor of tenants. If it isn’t, he will not support the renewal of a tax incentive that expired in December and was embraced by apartment developers. “We shouldn’t be extending a tax break for residential developers without making sure we are strengthening protections for the tenants who live in their buildings,” Silver said in a statement last month. A spokesperson for Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is “open to everything,” though he is not confident a deal will be reached before April. Rent stabilization has been renewed and revised numerous times over the years, with landlords making important gains over the past two decades. In 2003, a Republican majority in the Senate renewed the law, but kept the cap at $2,000. Since regulations were first relaxed in 1993, over 300,000 apartments have been deregulated. Local Democrats hope this will be the year they finally turn the tide, and Silver’s desire to connect what they call rent reform to 421a could help them do it. Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, declined to say whether he supports linking rent stabilization and 421a. [NYO]