The Real Deal New York

State Dems eye rent reform ahead of elections

Change in Senate control could be a windfall for de Blasio, setback for landlords
September 09, 2014 08:00AM

Landlords are bracing for political change this fall as Democrats stand poised to take the Senate and introduce a number of pro-tenant measures.

Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins could replace Republican Dean Skelos as State Senate majority leader, Crain’s reported. That development would put a staunch advocate of rent reform in the driver’s seat.

Stewart-Cousins is the main sponsor of legislation that would repeal a provision allowing landlords to deregulate apartment units if they remain vacant or if rent surpasses $2,500 a month, according to the newspaper.

The impending end of an alliance between Senate Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference also makes it more likely that the Senate will turn blue and support Mayor Bill de Blasio’s push to repeal the Urstadt Law, which gives power over rent regulation and co-op conversion to state legislators, Crain’s reported.

What remains uncertain is whether Senator Jeff Klein, leader of the IDC, will throw his full support behind repeal. The real estate industry has backed Klein with millions of dollars and the lawmaker has not yet indicated he would vote to return power over rent laws to the city. [Crain’s]Tom DiChristopher