The Real Deal New York

Tenant versus landlord disputes are down, study finds

Meanwhile, tenants won fewer rent-reduction orders over the last 12 months
July 02, 2014 05:15PM

Landlords and tenants seem to be getting friendlier.

The number of tenant complaints filed with New York State against landlords during the 12 months ending on March 31 of this year is down 19 percent from the same period four years ago, according to data collected by the Rent Guidelines Board. It’s down 9 percent compared to the same time one year ago.

Meanwhile, tenants won fewer rent-reduction orders over the last 12 months compared to the year before. The caseload of tenant overcharge complaints has also been on the decline for several years, the report found. And yet another point of contention between tenants and landlords — the number of apartments deregulated and changed to market-rate properties — also fell last year to the lowest point in a decade.

Still, some friction remains. While landlord advocates credited the numbers to the solid relationship between tenants and landlords, tenant leaders said the new numbers are proof that many tenants simply don’t know their rights.

The findings follow last week’s vote to approve the smallest increase on rent-regulated units on record, even though Mayor Bill de Blasio advocated for a one-year freeze.

Another reason for the friendly figures may be that many of the state-regulated rents are now above market rents in neighborhoods, according to the Wall Street Journal. Consequently, residents are moving out rather than filing complaints, the Journal reported. [WSJ] — Claire Moses