NY State Rent Law Revisions Slams Landlords
The following is an analysis of the main provisions of the HSTPA by attorneys with Finger and Finger, A Professional Corporation. Finger and Finger, is Chief Counsel to The Builders Institute (BI)/Building and Realty Institute (BRI)
1. A significant change is the fact that ETPA is now permanent. No longer will it have to be renewed every four, five or 10 years, but it will never have to be renewed – it is here to stay.
2. Not only is there no longer a Vacancy Increase, but the long-term Vacancy Increase has also been eliminated.
3. The High Rent Decontrol is also eliminated, so Tenants earning millions can remain forever in ETPA housing and even have Succession Rights.
4. A county Rent Guidelines Board can no longer give a Vacancy Increase or even a Low Rent Increase.
5. The Major Capital Improvement Increases (MCI’s) are now also limited – the amount is limited to no more than two percent of the present rent, is eliminated for buildings with less than 25 percent regulated apartments.
6. The ability to evict for personal use, with the Landlord needing more than one apartment (possibly due to family size) is eliminated and the Landlord can only obtain one apartment for family use.
7. As to Preferential Rents, they cannot be increased to the Legal Regulated Rent on Lease Renewal. However, they can go back up to the Legal Regulated Rent on Vacancy.
8. Regarding Rent Overcharges, the ‘safe harbor’ of paying the overcharge back to avoid Treble Damages is eliminated, and the four-year “lookback” is increased to six years with the N.Y. State Homes and Community Renewal Agency (HCR) entitled to look at any information available, no matter how far back, thereby requiring a Landlord to keep records
9. Issues as to Collections, Evictions and other significant changes will be discussed in future articles, as will impacts on cooperatives and condominiums.