City planning seeks new ways to punish deceitful developers

A “penalty of perjury” clause could serve as a forewarning

Sep.September 29, 2017 09:00 AM
(Credit: Getty Images)

In the landlords versus tenants match, tenants could be on their way to scoring a major win.

City officials are considering adding a “penalty of perjury” clause to the forms required for property demolition, Curbed reported. The move is intended to punish developers who mislead the city about a project’s compliance with rent control measures.

The Department of City Planning’s report to the Housing Committee also recommends updating the review process for demolition permits, better coordination among different departments and stricter entitlements control.

In the past, landlords have gotten around the rent stabilization ordinance by changing the scope of a project after tenants have been evicted or demolishing properties before violations are found. The proposals aim to close these loopholes, but some activists and community members argue the proposals aren’t enough to combat the issue at hand.

Over 1,370 rent-controlled units were taken off the market last year through Ellis Act evictions, which legally allows landlords to evict tenants when demolishing buildings for repurposing.

City committees are considering other options, including a recommendation to better monitor apartment vacancies. Council member Paul Koretz proposed a new rule earlier this year that would require updating vacancy rates before starting any condo conversions. [Curbed]Natalie Hoberman

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