A new memo is available from Tenants PAC to assist tenant groups and local elected officials who are considering whether to opt into the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974.
The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, enacted June 14, removes the earlier arbitrary geographic restrictions on ETPA applicability and allows any city, town or village anywhere in New York State to opt into the state rent stabilization system.
To do so, the governing body of the municipality must first determine (based on precise data, normally by conducting a vacancy survey) that the net vacancy rate for the class of housing accommodations to be regulated is 5 percent or less, and then vote to declare a housing emergency.
Part I of this new memo describes the difference between the net vacancy rate and the gross vacancy rate, and why the standard for declaring a housing emergency is based on the net vacancy rate.
Part II of the memo summarizes relevant court cases going back to the 1974 enactment of the ETPA, involving landlord challenges to vacancy surveys and declarations of emergency in the three suburban counties of Nassau, Rockland and Westchester. These landlord challenges have sometimes been successful, more often unsuccessful.
Municipalities that vote to opt into the ETPA should expect a landlord lawsuit challenging their action, and need to be aware of precedent.
The memo is attached to this email as a Word document. It is also available on the Tenants PAC website (tenantspac.org) on the home page. Click on:
ISSUES INVOLVING RIGHTS OF CITIES, TOWNS & VILLAGES IN NEW YORK STATE TO OPT INTO THE EMERGENCY TENANT PROTECTION ACT OF 1974
You can also access the court decisions described in the memo on the Tenants PAC website: click on the name of each case to access the actual court decision. The ten court decisions are not attached to this email. (I can email the attachments to you if you wish, but you can print them out from the website.)
Also on the Tenants PAC website, you can sign up to receive email notices from Tenants PAC, including our "Articles of Interest to Tenant Advocates" email blasts which go out one to three times a week to several hundred tenant activists. On the home page, click on:
For more information:
Tenants Political Action Committee