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A group of real estate groups and individual property owners filed a lawsuit Monday, challenging newly passed laws that strengthen rent and tenant protections in New York City. Last month, Democratic officials in Albany passed a landmark package of bills that close loopholes that have allowed landlords to increase rents and deregulate stabilized apartments. The lawsuit, filed by the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), and seven individual property owners, claims that the laws, as well as the entire rent regulation system, violate the 14th and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as reported by The Real Deal.
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Image by Jorbasa Fotografie / Flickr
In front of a packed auditorium at Cooper Union’s Great Hall last night, the Rent Guidelines Board voted on rent hikes for the city’s one million rent-stabilized apartments, the New York Times reports. The board voted 5-4 and approved a 1.5% increase on one-year leases and 2.5% on two-year leases. The new rents will kick in on October 1.
Image via Pixabay.
Real estate industry leaders say they will file a lawsuit against the state to challenge a package of bills containing changes to current rent regulations, which expire on June 15, the Observer reports. As 6sqft previously reported, the legislative package headed to both chambers for a vote this week contains landmark changes to current rent regulations aimed at strengthening New York’s rent laws and tenant protections. Industry stakeholders say they’ll challenge the legislation on several points including one that makes the rules permanent, rather than having them expire every few years. The lawsuit would also challenge the retroactive nature of a provision to lower the amount landlords can charge for major capital improvements.
The industry fears ‘disaster’
Image by Jorbasa Fotografie / Flickr
Democratic leaders in Albany announced Tuesday that an agreement has been reached on a package of bills that will significantly strengthen New York’s rent laws and tenant protections. As the New York Times reports, contained in the legislative package headed to both chambers for a vote this week are landmark changes to current rent regulations, which expire on June 15. The new legislation is meant to address concerns about the high cost of housing and the sweeping inequality that has resulted from it. To that end, as the Times explains, “the changes would abolish rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, close a series of loopholes that permit them to raise rents and allow some tenant protections to expand statewide.” These changes have long been opposed by the real estate industry, which lost some of its influence in Albany when its Republican allies became outnumbered in the State Senate in the November elections.
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Google Street View of Atlantic Plaza Apartments
Residents at a 700-unit rent-stabilized complex in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn have expressed concern over their landlord’s plan to install facial recognition technology at the building’s entrance. Tenants at Atlantic Plaza Towers filed an objection with the state’s Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) agency, which oversees rent-regulated properties, in January, after learning that Nelson Management, their landlord, was seeking state approval to install StoneLock, a facial recognition system, Gothamist reports. Tenants and housing rights attorneys have expressed concerns over the far-reaching possibilities involved in this new method of digital surveillance.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio announces findings on tenant representation last August. Image: nyc.gov
6sqft reported last year on a new bill that would guarantee a lawyer for all low-income residents facing eviction. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed that bill into law, guaranteeing legal representation for low-income residents who face eviction (h/t Citylab). The legislation is the nation’s first that provides right to counsel in housing matters. The new law is the result of efforts of activists and organizers that began in 2014.
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Whether you want to know or not, NYC landlords may soon be required to tell you of any past or current bedbug infestations in your building when you sign or renew a lease. As reported by the NY Post, a new city council bill would force landlords to file infestation histories with the Department of Housing and Preservation Development and to either publicly post them in the buildings or distribute them to tenants. The agency would also require all histories to be posted on their website.
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In preparation for his State of the City address this evening at the Apollo, the Mayor announced two major affordable housing initiatives. The first will allocate $1.9 billion for 10,000 new apartments reserved for households earning less than $40,000, 5,000 of which will be set aside for seniors and 500 for veterans. The second implements a new Elder Rent Assistance program to provide 25,000 seniors with monthly rental assistance of up to $1,3000, to be funded by the city’s proposed Mansion Tax.
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New York City Public Advocate Letitia James released this year’s annual “Worst Landlords Watchlist” Thursday at a tenants’ rights rally in lower Manhattan. The interactive database lists the top 100 building owners who have racked up the most violations (like rats, roaches and dirty elevators, to name just a few) relative to the number of buildings they own. This data is gathered from the Department of Buildings and Department of Housing. Three of the city’s five worst landlords according to the list have been on it for two years in a row. The top three offenders–Harry D. Silverstein, Allan Goldman, and Efstathios Valiotis–own buildings throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. Silverstein received 2,032 HPD violations and 50 DOB violations over 575 units in eight buildings.
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, Tue, September 27, 2016
The City Council held a hearing Monday on a bill that would guarantee lawyers for all low-income residents facing eviction. The New York Times reports that the bill, which has the support of an overwhelming majority of council members, would make New York City the country’s first jurisdiction to do so. Currently more than 70 percent of low-income tenants in New York City head to Housing Court without legal representation according to a recent report by the city’s Office of Civil Justice, while landlords are almost always represented by lawyers. This leaves tenants at a disadvantage from the start, say tenant advocates. Last year nearly 22,000 tenants were evicted from their homes across the city.
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