Sen. Julia Salazar proposes legislation to crack down on buyouts

The new legislation would place $1,000 fine on violations

TRD New York /
Sep.September 05, 2019 02:23 PM
State Senator Julia Salazar (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

State Senator Julia Salazar (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

State Sen. Julia Salazar introduced a bill in the New York State Senate yesterday to place new limitations on buyouts of rent-regulated apartments. The legislation, if approved, would go into effect July 1, 2020.

Salazar, a Democratic socialist, proposed penalties of up to $1,000 for buyout offers that qualify as harassment. Providing false information about an offer, contacting a tenant at their place of work without their permission or contacting a tenant who has rejected a buyout offer too soon could all result in a steep fine.

The proposed law also adds a lot more paperwork to the buyout process. Under the proposed bill, landlords would have to make the buyout offer to the tenant in writing, and include the name of the person who made the offer, the offer date, the dollar amount and the reason for the offer. Landlords will have to submit documentation to the state’s Homes and Community Renewal agency within 90 days of the offer. The agency, according to the proposed bill, would in turn be responsible for providing an annual report to the State Assembly and the State Senate on buyout offers for each census tract.

READ MORE:
How landlords are trying to get around the new rent law
Sen. Julia Salazar, bane of real estate industry, talks rent laws and property rights

At the time of this article Senator Salazar did not offer comment on her proposed bill.

As justification for the bill, the memo makes mention of a July 12 article in The Real Deal, which documented a landlord-focused seminar explaining the changes to the rent law. At the seminar, industry experts predicted a return of buyout offers, as landlords scramble to turn a profit under the new framework.

According to real estate attorney Sherwin Belkin, while some landlords may wait for the stars to align to combine vacant rent-regulated units and set a new first rent, others may be looking to accelerate vacancies. (As TRD reported, under the new framework, vacant units can be combined into “frankenstein apartments” to bump up the rent and set a new first rent.)

Belkin said Salazar’s proposed bill is “overstepping” and “overkill,” and added that the proposed change would have a chilling effect overall on buyout offers.

“The memorandum seems to imply that there is widespread harassment associated with buyouts,” he said. “I think that’s a nice phrase, but I don’t believe it’s the case. I believe it is anecdotal.”

Setting a first rent is one of the few remaining avenues to increase rent, after a tectonic shift in the state’s rent laws saw the demise of the vacancy bonus and vacancy deregulation, and set new limits on rent increases due to major capital improvements and individual apartment improvements.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Blackstone CEO Steven Schwartzman and Stuyvesant Town (Credit: Getty Images)

After authorities vowed review of Stuy Town deal, Blackstone changes course on vacancies

Tete-à-tete with TRD: How landlords are dealing with New York’s new rent laws

Tete-à-tete with TRD: How landlords are dealing with New York’s new rent laws

Real Capital Analytics data showed that New York’s multifamily market had a very slow July. (Credit: iStock)

New NYC rent law “beginning to shut down investment”

A rent-stabilized portfolio in Rego Park, Queens, that sold at a 38 percent discount in November

Managing the rent law aftershocks

Rent overcharge claims against landlords are on the rise (Credit: iStock)

Rent overcharge cases pile up

Housing Rights Initiative's Aaron Carr (Credit: iStock, Facebook)

D-Day for landlords: High court hears rent overcharge cases

Cammeby's International's Avi Schron is spearheading the new lobby group (Credit: iStock)

Rent-law revenge: Big landlord leads effort to punish Senate Dems

The drop in evictions may be a result of confusion over the implementation of the law. CHIP's Jay Martin (inset) (Credit: iStock and Twitter)

Evictions fell 18 percent in NYC after rent law passed

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...