The Real Deal New York

Bill shielding commercial tenants from rent hikes a bad idea: OPINION

Post columnist compared Council proposal to rent stabilization for office and retail market
September 03, 2014 11:55AM

City Council members have proposed a bill that seeks to protect office and retail tenants from rent increases and from eviction as their leases end. The bill would harm commercial property values and the city’s tax base, the New York Post’s Lois Weiss wrote in a column today.

Under the proposed legislation, an agency would implement the new rental guidelines. Expected caps on lease payments would equate to “the cost of leasing similar premises within a one-mile radius … over the last five years,” according to the Post.

Weiss said the bill would heighten the probability that the commercial market would be subject to rent control and stabilization of the residential end. Lease terms would be 10 years, unless the tenant receives approval for a shorter term.

“This is the kind of bill that would send a terrible message to the business community about having arm’s-length transactions between two parties,” Steven Spinola of the Real Estate Board of New York told the New York Post. “City Council attorneys have suggested in the past, and we still believe, it is not within the scope of the powers of the City of New York, and if it moves ahead, it will be subject to legal challenges.” [NYP]Mark Maurer