State Assembly to pass stronger rent regulations, tenant protections

Bill affecting rent-regulated properties still faces Senate test
By Rey Mashayekhi | May 19, 2015 04:21PM

The New York State Assembly expects to pass legislation today calling for the strengthening of regulations and tenant protections at rent-regulated properties, Speaker Carl Heastie (D) announced.

While the bill will be sent to the Republican-led state senate for consideration, Heastie hailed the legislation as combating “ever-increasing rents” through measures that include the repeal of vacancy decontrol and limiting rent increases associated with building or apartment improvements.

Such rental increases, implemented through major capital improvements (MCIs) and individual apartment improvements (IAIs), would be separately designated as surcharges under the proposed legislation. No further rent increases would be permitted after landlords recover the cost of the improvements.

Landlords would also be barred from adjusting preferential rent upon lease renewal, while vacancy allowances that allow landlords to hike rent by 20 percent upon a tenant leaving would be reduced to 7.5 percent.

Many features of the bill adopt or modify changes proposed by Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month.

“By providing stronger rent laws and strengthening protections for residents, we can keep countless New Yorkers in their homes with the knowledge that their rights are secure,” Assembly Housing Committee chair Keith Wright (D) said in a statement.