Saturday, September 20, 2014

Can a stabilized tenant be forced to sell lease in bankruptcy?

NY Times

New York City and State Join Effort to Shield Stabilized Leases

New York City and state officials have thrown their weight behind an elderly widow fighting to keep her rent-stabilized lease from becoming an asset with which to pay off her creditors, arguing that it would undermine the safeguards that both bankruptcy and rent laws are supposed to provide.

In a brief filed jointly this week with the state’s Court of Appeals, lawyers from the state attorney general’s office and New York City’s Law Department said that, under current law, a lease for a rent-regulated apartment is not property that can be sold. Such a lease, they argued, amounts to a public benefit, just like disability or unemployment benefits, that is exempted from bankruptcy estate and cannot be seized as an asset in a personal bankruptcy.  [Website comment: it is more similar to the exemption for a "homestead" - currently valued at $150,000 or less.] 
Click on the link above for the full article, and on "read more" below for Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal's bill to ensure the exemption of a stabilized lease.  



A10186

 S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         10186

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                    August 25, 2014
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Rosenthal)
         -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary

       AN ACT to amend the debtor and creditor law, in relation  to  bankruptcy
         exemptions for rent regulated tenancies

         THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
       BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


1    Section 1. Section 282 of the debtor and creditor law  is  amended  by
    2  adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
    3    4.  BANKRUPTCY  EXEMPTION  FOR  RENT REGULATED TENANCIES. THE DEBTOR'S
    4  INTEREST IN A RESIDENTIAL RENT REGULATED TENANCY, HELD AND  OCCUPIED  BY
    5  THE  DEBTOR FOR A RENT REGULATED UNIT, REGULATED UNDER THE RENT STABILI-
    6  ZATION  LAW  OF  NINETEEN  HUNDRED  SIXTY-NINE,  THE  EMERGENCY   TENANT
    7  PROTECTION  ACT  OF  NINETEEN  SEVENTY-FOUR,  THE EMERGENCY HOUSING RENT
    8  CONTROL LAW, THE LIMITED-PROFIT HOUSING COMPANIES ACT OR THE  CITY  RENT
    9  AND REHABILITATION LAW.
   10    S  2.  This  act  shall take effect immediately and shall apply to the
   11  satisfaction of judgments on or after such date.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Michael McKee's Articles of Interest to Tenant Advocates

Gotham Gazette on Rent Wars

Gouging Begins in Latest Battle Over Rent
 Mayor DeBlasio, Michael McKee, Anderson Fils-Aime
Laws

by David Howard King, Sep 16, 2014

When Mayor Bill de Blasio declared early in his tenure that he would like to see the City regain control of its rent laws from the State many insiders laughed. "Why would we let that go?" asked one legislator. "Control is worth more than one election cycle."
What exactly is it worth to state legislators? According to a New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) study of campaign donations during the last state-level campaign cycle of 2011-2012, real estate and construction interests gave $7,523,955 to legislators and were the top donors of any business sector to each legislative conference.

Harlem Tenants Sue for Overcharges





Photo
Keith L. T. Wright, 59, has lived in the Riverton complex, 
a middle-class bastion in Harlem between 135th and 138th Streets, 
east of Fifth Avenue, for his whole life.

On Sunday, Mr. Wright, a state assemblyman, stood at the 
Riverton gates waving his rent receipt as he announced the 
filing of a $10 million lawsuit against the property’s managers.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Friday in State Supreme Court 
in Manhattan, claims that CWCapital Asset Management and an 
affiliate, Compass Rock Real Estate, have been systemically 
overcharging tenants as part of an effort to oust longtime 
residents and charge more for Riverton apartments.

Click here for the rest of the NY Times article  and 
click here for the Real Deal article.

Michael McKee's Articles of Interest to Tenant Advocates


Monday, September 15, 2014

Tenants Bill of Rights passes NYC Council

From Met Council on Housing:

VICTORY - TENANTS' BILL OF RIGHTS PASSES NYC COUNCILOn Wednesday, the NYC Council approved a version of the Met Council on Housing's "Tenants' Bill of Rights" to empower and educate everyday New Yorkers about their rights as tenants.Controversy about the legality of the bill as written (which would require the Tenants' Bill of Rights to be posted in every building) held the bill up for years. The bill that was passed last week requires HPD to make the document available on their website an for distribution.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dems in State Senate? Landlords Scared.

The Real Deal
State Dems eye rent reform ahead of elections

Landlords are bracing for political change this fall as Democrats stand poised to take the Senate and introduce a number of pro-tenant measures. 


Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins could replace Republican Dean Skelos as State Senate majority leader, Crain’s reported. That development would put a staunch advocate of rent reform in the driver’s seat. Stewart-Cousins is the main sponsor of legislation that would repeal a provision allowing landlords to deregulate apartment units if they remain vacant or if rent surpasses $2,500 a month, according to the newspaper. 

See more at: http://therealdeal.com/blog/2014/09/09/state-dems-eyeing-rent-reform-ahead-of-elections/#sthash.sD5ni5vO.dpuf