178 residential buildings may lose 421-a tax breaks if they don’t file as rent regulated

Posted On Wed, November 23, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, November 23, 2016 By In affordable housing, Policy

A recent report detailed how nearly two thirds of the city’s 6,400 rental buildings where landlords received 421-a tax breaks didn’t file properly as rent stabilized, meaning they could raise the rents as much as they chose. Now, 178 of these buildings may lose the coveted exemptions if they don’t start complying with the regulations. The Post reports that the Department of Housing Preservation and Development sent out warning letters to these landlords, who altogether represent 1,400 apartments, telling them if they don’t comply within 90 days their benefits will be “revoked retroactively.”

The city and state started looking into 285 questionable building owners in 2014, subsequently forming the Real Estate Tax Compliance Program, a joint effort among the Attorney General, HPD, and the Governor’s Tenant Protection Unit. As DNAinfo explains, the program mandates that owners register their apartments as rent-regulated, thereby obliging to the rent increases set by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. They revoked benefits from 35 addresses, amounting to $4.5 million; the remainder either proved they were in compliance, agreed to file changes, or received the new letter.

Most of the 178 buildings are co-ops or condos of less than 50 units. The city won’t release the list of landlords or addresses, but none are in Manhattan and most are in Brooklyn and Queens. Even if the tax breaks are revoked, tenants will still be entitled to stabilized rents.

[Via NYP and DNAinfo]

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