The Daily Dirt: Landlord group takes aim at state eviction protections

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

Third time’s the charm? This landlord group hopes so.

The Rent Stabilization Association has filed a lawsuit alleging that New York’s bar on some evictions is unconstitutional, Suzannah Cavanaugh reports. The move comes one day after both a victory and blow were dealt to the real estate industry.

On Wednesday, a federal judge voided national eviction protections. Later in the day, the city’s Rent Guidelines Board cast its preliminary vote in favor of increasing rent on stabilized apartments and lofts ranging between 0 and 2 percent on one-year leases and 1 to 3 percent on two-year leases. RSA had called for increases between 2 and 4 percent on one-year leases and 3 and 5 percent on two-year leases.

The group’s lawsuit alleges that the state’s protections violate landlords’ first amendment rights. In order to avoid eviction, tenants must fill out a hardship declaration form. RSA claims that because the measure — which was just extended until August 31 — requires landlords to distribute these forms, they are effectively being forced to express support for the state’s eviction ban.

Two previous lawsuits have taken aim at the state’s measure but both failed.

“Our clients, as small property owners, have suffered like so many others during this pandemic, and now, they are being crushed by the unconstitutional burdens that the state has imposed on them,” RSA president Joseph Strasburg said.

What we’re thinking about: Will a revamped Chelsea Hotel open by the end of the year, as the owners predict? Send a note to

A thing we’ve learned…

The New York City District Council of Carpenters is pushing the state Senate to pass a bill that would make general contractors liable for outstanding wages or benefits owed to their subcontractors on a project. The union rallied outside the Waldorf Astoria, where Trident General Contracting is serving as a subcontractor. The bill, which has already passed in the Assembly, is sponsored by Sen. Jessica Ramos and Assembly member Latoya Joyner.


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Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Thursday was $18 million for a co-op at 300 Central Park West on the Upper West Side.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $134 million for an apartment building at 920 Park Avenue on the Upper East Side.


The priciest residence to hit the market was a co-op at 4 East 72nd Street in Lenox Hill at $11 million. Compass has the listing.
— Research by Orion Jones

Elsewhere in New York

— Sheldon Silver is heading back to prison. The New York Post reports that the disgraced Assembly Speaker was ordered to return two days after he was granted furlough. Federal officials have since decided that he cannot serve the remainder of his six-year sentence in home confinement.

— Bradley Tusk, who serves as a political consultant to Andrew Yang’s campaign, has pledged to stay away from City Hall if his candidate wins, Politico New York reports. “If we win, I will not lobby or talk with the new mayor — nor anyone in a Yang administration — on any matter that intersects with our work,” Tusk said, adding that this firewall also pertains to his lobbying firm, venture capital company, gaming consultancy firm and “any other business interest we have.”

— Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling on the city’s health department to set up vaccine sites for tourists in Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge Park and around the city, Gothamist reports. The city would potentially offer the single-shot Johnson & Johnson shot to visitors.

Correction: An earlier version of this newsletter included incorrect information about a lawsuit filed against a different contractor with a similar name as Trident.