The Real Deal New York

Lawmakers to tackle thorny issue of rent regulation

Complicated set of rules scheduled to expire on June 15
January 05, 2015 03:58PM

If lawmakers in Albany don’t reach an agreement, laws that keep monthly rent low for roughly two million New Yorkers will expire on June 15.

State legislators are now girding for a debate about whether to renew those controversial laws — and if renewed, whether the rules should be strengthened or weakened.

“The city is changing enough as it is, and these laws are so important to so many people,” one tenant in a rent-controlled apartment told the Associated Press. “If you want to have neighborhoods, if you want to have families and artists and elderly living in New York City, we need these laws. Can you imagine what New York City would be like without them?”

The laws will determine the size of the rent increase for roughly a million apartments that were built before 1973. Supporters claim that rent regulation is needed to ensure that New York City remains affordable for the middle class and working class. Landlords prefer to rent partments for market-rate prices, rather than keeping rent artificially low.

The rent laws are controlled by the State Senate, which is currently in Republican hands. [AP via Crain’s]Claire Moses