State bill would stop rent increases attributed to major property upgrades

The bill would instead offer tax credits to landlords

TRD New York /
Aug.August 29, 2018 10:45 AM

Assemblyman Brian Barnwell, New York State Capitol in Albany, and Senator Michael Gianaris (Credit: New York State Senate and Albany)

Two New York State lawmakers have proposed legislation to prohibit rent increases to affordable housing that has undergone major renovations or upgrades.

Under the current Major Capital Improvements program, owners of rent-stabilized or affordable properties can increase rents by up to 6 percent if upgrades are made to buildings, or if new windows, boilers and roofs are installed. But there have been multiple documented cases where landlords continue to increase rents even after the upgrades have been made.

The new bill, introduced by Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell (D-Queens), would instead offer tax credits to landlords to subsidize major upgrades, according to the New York Daily News.

“Under our legislation, landlords will not be able to increase tenants’ rents due to repairs/improvements the landlord should already have made,” Barnwell said.

Giaranis told the outlet that the language in the current bill would limit the lookback period for rent reductions to 10 years.

The proposal was met with strong opposition from landlords, including the Rent Stabilization Association, which said the bill does not guarantee landlords will paid back for their capital improvements. [NY Daily News] —David Jeans 

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