Evictions fell 18 percent in NYC after rent law passed

Reforms passed in June 2019 disincentivized rent increases— they also caused confusion, real estate industry experts say

New York /
Jan.January 06, 2020 12:15 PM
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)

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 by New York City marshals fell by 18.3 percent after the state passed sweeping changes to the rent law last June.

In the second half of the year, marshals carried out 8,951 evictions in the city, down from 10,958 during the same period in 2018, according to data posted Friday by the de Blasio administration. Tenant advocates believe the drop is a result of the state legislation that ended the 20 percent rent increase on rent-stabilized apartments allowed when a unit became vacant and eliminated landlords’ ability to move apartments to market-rate when the legal rent exceeded a given threshold.

Advocates also point to the city’s Right to Counsel law, passed in 2017, which provides free legal representation for low-income tenants in housing court in 16 Brooklyn and Manhattan ZIP codes so far. Eligibility under that law has been gradually expanded.

But the drop in evictions may be a result of uncertainty over the law, according to Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program. Landlords might have slowed evictions because they were waiting to see how the new law would be carried out, he said.

“If the new laws have curbed frivolous evictions that is good — but it is not clear that is happening,” Martin told the Daily News. “The initial drop in evictions is more likely caused by confusion around the scope and implementation of the law.” [NYDN] — Georgia Kromrei


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