2019 Rent Law Update

The State Legislature has enacted the "Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019." The Act is awaiting the Governor's signature to become law.

We have all heard rumors about nine Assembly bills for weeks, but this final bill goes even beyond what those bills proposed, imposing what appear to be the most restrictive and pro-tenant provisions in decades. Click here to read a summary of the changes as described by the NYS Senate and Assembly.

The amendments are far ranging. They change the rent stabilization law by doing away with the vacancy allowance, preferential rents for tenants in occupancy and all forms of luxury deregulation, and they also expand rent overcharge liability and treble damages to six years from four years. While IAIs and MCIs have not been repealed entirely there are limits on how much can be spent on IAIs and the "amortization" periods have been increased exponentially. Furthermore, at the end of 30 years the IAI or MCI must be removed from the legal rent along with all compounded increases.

In addition, there have been numerous changes to the laws governing L&T relationships and L&T litigation including, but not limited to, limiting the amount a landlord can request in security for all tenants to one month, making it unlawful for a landlord to refuse to rent to a tenant as the result of their having been involved in prior L&T litigation and creating a rebuttable presumption that a landlord has unlawfully done so if the landlord has requested information from a credit reporting bureau or reviewed court records and thereafter does not rent to the tenant and requiring service of a 14 day rent demand in lieu of a three day rent demand.

Some of these changes will be more important to you than others. Overall, they are sure to impact your business dramatically. R&E is ready to counsel our clients, owners, managers and lenders, through these changes. In addition to our usual counsel we are planning a seminar for our clients, where we will analyze the individual changes and discuss how you can best cope with them. More information about our Seminar will be sent to you shortly.

We will continue to be here to assist you to operate your properties in the most effective way possible.