Legislators allow rent laws to expire

June 16, 2011 08:33AM

After months of fruitless negotiations, New York’s rent laws expired late last night, despite the Assembly and Senate signaling early in the evening that they would pass a bill to extend the existing rent laws for two days, ending Friday at 3 p.m, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Senate voted the extension bill down 43-14 late in the night, with the majority of Democrats, and some Republicans, voting against it. The Senate Democrats had been persuaded by tenant advocates to deny even a very short-term extension in order to draw attention to their efforts to expand protections for tenants.

“Our members have said from the start: extension is not enough — we need to strengthen regulations,” said Austin Shafran, a spokesperson for the Senate Democrats.

Technically, the rent law’s impasse allows landlords to radically raise rents on rent-regulated tenants, but the law has expired previously for short periods and there weren’t major problems.

Talks are due to resume today. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would call the Legislature back to Albany repeatedly until the law was renewed.

Cuomo spoke out in favor of regulation last month.[WSJ]