De Blasio proposes tenant protections for rent-regulated units

Plan would end vacancy decontrol and allowances, permanent surcharges

Bill de Blasio
Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a sweeping expansion of tenant protections for the city’s 1 million rent-regulated apartments Tuesday, calling for an end to vacancy decontrol and new restrictions on rent surcharges.

The proposals would see an end to vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to charge tenants market rates once a rent-regulated unit exceeds a rent threshold of $2,500 per month.

De Blasio is seeking an end to such thresholds, as well as the elimination of vacancy allowances that allow landlords to hike a unit’s rent by 20 percent when a tenant leaves.

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Another proposal would restrict rent surcharges implemented by landlords to recoup building and apartment improvement costs – making such permanent surcharges temporary and spreading them out over a seven- or 10-year period, depending on the improvements.

De Blasio wants the New York State Legislature to enact the legislation before existing rent regulations expire June 15, according to the New York Daily News.

The Mayor signed legislation last week providing tax relief to property owners whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. [NYDN]Rey Mashayekhi