Sunday, July 5, 2015

Key change in 2015 rent law may slow pace of de-regulation

Tucked into Albany's renewal of the rent laws is a new provision, described by the
(landlords') Rent Stabilization Association:

"For high-rent vacancy deregulations based upon the new threshold, deregulation will be based upon whether the legal regulated rent for the prior tenant was more than $2,700. Please note that this change does NOT affect prior deregulations which were based upon the legal regulated rent of the new tenant."  

What it means:  

Up to now, the last tenant in an apartment that became vacant could have been paying $1800 - but the landlord then "improved" the apartment raising the rent to the de-regulation amount ($2500 before June 15, 2015).  Once it was up to that amount, the owner took it out of rent regulation permanently and rented it for whatever the market would bear - sometimes $4000 or more.

The change is that to de-regulate the apartment under the new law the LAST TENANT in that apartment when it was rent stabilized must have been paying at least $2700 a month. The improvements that the owner puts may raise the rent, but they will NOT result in de-regulating the apartment.  (How this will actually work is not clear.  Consult your tenant association's attorney!)  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Find out which buildings have more de-regulated apartments

Excerpted from John Krauss's blog

Whither Rent Regulation   


Buildings that are 100% stabilized look the same on [DHCR's] list as buildings with just one apartment left in the program.
The secrecy blanketing the stabilization program . . .  provides cover for landlords who fail to tell the state (register) their stabilized apartments. Registration is voluntary — another loophole in the law — and failure to do so could be an indication that they are overcharging their tenants.
If a landlord doesn’t like charging the legal rent, they can simply “forget” to register. It’s up to the tenant to take them to court to comply.


. . . Remarkably, the number of stabilized apartments in each building over the last seven years is hidden in plain sight, in property tax bills. With help from a few civic hackers, I built, a collection of every tax bill going back to 2008 for every building that might be stabilized in New York Cit