#BELIEVEINTHEBX

Statement on Historic Tenant Protections

“The passage and signing of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 marks a milestone for tenants of The Bronx and across New York State. I thank the advocates, Speaker Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Housing Committee Chairman Steve Cymbrowitz for proving that affordable housing and rent regulations are human rights. Our 79th Assembly District is home to thousands of Bronxites who live within rent stabilized units, and now they have strong protections to stay in their homes without fear that a landlord can unfairly raise rents and expenses - causing families to lose their homes. By preventing bad landlords from raising preferential rates to exorbitant levels, limiting the impact of renovations on tenant rent costs, enacting new anti-harassment protections, and making it easier to challenge rent increases and file overcharge claims, the legislation protects tenants across the 79th Assembly District, the South Bronx and New York. As a member of the Assembly housing committee and a Co-Sponsor on this historic legislation, I’m incredibly proud that this moment has finally arrived.

Given how my Mama Hilary overcame homelessness, and reflecting on the days when we sold dinners to pay our rent in The Bronx, I understand firsthand that quality and affordable housing is a right that we all deserve.  I #BelieveInTheBronx because of the determination and passion of the people of the Bronx. The tenant protections enacted today prove once again that we are here for the people."

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"La aprobación y firma de la Ley de Estabilidad de Vivienda y Protección del Inquilino de 2019 marca un antes y un después para los inquilinos del Bronx y en todo el estado de Nueva York. Agradezco a los defensores, el portavoz Heastie, la líder de la mayoría en el Senado Stewart-Cousins y el presidente del Comité de Vivienda, Steve Cymbrowitz por demostrar que las regulaciones de vivienda y alquiler son un derecho humano. Nuestro Distrito 79 de la Asamblea es el hogar de miles de residentes del Bronx que viven en unidades de renta estabilizada y ahora tienen las protecciones más fuertes para quedarse en sus hogares sin temor a que el propietario pueda aumentar injustamente los alquileres y gastos que le llevan a perder su hogar. Evitando que los propietarios suban las tasas preferenciales a niveles exorbitantes, limitando el impacto de las renovaciones en los costos de alquiler de los inquilinos, promulgando nuevas protecciones contra el acoso y facilitando el desafío de los aumentos de los alquileres y los reclamos de sobrecargo , la legislación protege el futuro de los inquilinos del Distrito 79 de la Asamblea, el sur del Bronx y Nueva York.

Como miembro del comité de vivienda de la Asamblea y co-patrocinador en esta legislación histórica, las protecciones para inquilinos promulgadas el dia de hoy protegerán a nuestros residentes de los propietarios y la gentrificación.

Teniendo en cuenta cómo mi madre Hilary superó la falta de vivienda y reflexionado los días en que vendimos almuerzos para pagar nuestro alquiler en el Bronx, entiendo de primera mano que la calidad y la vivienda asequible es un derecho que todos merecemos. I #BelieveInTheBronx debido a la determinación y la pasión de su gente. Las protecciones para inquilinos promulgadas el día de hoy demuestran una vez más que estamos aquí para la gente.”

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«L'adoption et la signature de la loi de 2019 sur la stabilité du logement et la protection des locataires constituent une étape importante pour les locataires du Bronx et de l'État de New York. Je remercie les défenseurs, le président Heastie, le chef de la majorité du Sénat, Stewart-Cousins et le président du Comité du logement, Steve Cymbrowitz, d'avoir prouvé que la réglementation du logement et des loyers est un droit humain. Notre 79ème district de l'Assemblée abrite des milliers de Bronxites qui vivent dans des logements à loyer stabilisé et disposent désormais des protections les plus solides pour rester chez eux sans craindre qu'un propriétaire augmente injustement les loyers et les dépenses qui vous conduisent à la perte de votre maison. En empêchant les mauvais propriétaires d'augmenter les taux préférentiels à des niveaux exorbitants, en limitant l'impact des rénovations sur les loyers des locataires, en instaurant de nouvelles protections anti-harcèlement et en facilitant la contestation des augmentations de loyer et des demandes de surcoût, la législation protège l'avenir des locataires du 79ème district de l’Assemblée, le South Bronx et New York.

En tant que membre du comité du logement de l'Assemblée et co-sponsor de cette législation historique, la protection des locataires adoptée aujourd'hui protégera nos résidents des propriétaires de mauvaise foi et de la gentrification.

Étant donné que ma mère Hilary a vaincu le sans-abrisme et réfléchi au temps où nous vendions des dîners pour payer notre loyer dans le Bronx, je comprends directement que le logement de qualité et à prix abordable est un droit que nous méritons tous. Je #BelieveInTheBronx en raison de la détermination et de la passion des habitants du Bronx. Les mesures de protection des locataires adoptées aujourd'hui prouvent une fois de plus que nous sommes ici pour les citoyens.»

 

Extends and Makes Permanent Rent Regulation Laws

  • Makes permanent the state’s rent regulation laws, including the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 (ETPA), which provide the process by which local governments declare a housing emergency and administer their rent regulation program.

Repeals High Rent Vacancy Deregulation & High Income Deregulation

  • Repeals statutes that currently allow units to be deregulated on vacancy if the rent reaches $2,744 in New York City, or a corresponding amount in counties outside of the city, as well as if the rent reaches that threshold and the tenants earn more than $200,000 per year for more than two years.


Repeals Vacancy & Longevity Bonuses

  • Repeals the statutory vacancy bonus, which allows landlords of rent regulated units to collect an automatic increase in rent of up to 20 percent on vacancy.

  • Repeals the vacancy longevity bonus, which allows landlords of rent regulated units that have not claimed a vacancy increase for eight or more years to collect an automatic rent increase of 0.6 percent multiplied by the number of years since the last vacancy.

  • Prohibits local Rent Guideline Boards (RGBs) from setting their own vacancy and longevity bonuses, and from adjusting rent increases for reasons not in the statute.


Reforms Preferential Rent

  • Prohibits owners who offer tenants a “preferential rent,” or rent below the legal regulated rent, from discontinuing the use of preferential rent or raising the rent to the full legal amount upon lease renewal.

  • Landlords may charge any rent up to the full legal regulated rent once the tenant vacates the unit, as long as the tenant did not vacate due to the owners failure to maintain the unit.


Extends Rent Overcharge Look-Back to Six Years

  • Eliminates the statute of limitations for tenants who claim their landlords have overcharged them, and extends the “look-back” period from four years to six years.

  • Removes the ability for owners to avoid treble damages if they voluntarily return the amount of the rent overcharge prior to a decision being made by a court or the Department of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).


Establishes Statewide Option for the ETPA

  • Expands eligibility for coverage under the ETPA to every county in New York State by removing geographic limitations, allowing any municipality to opt-in to rent stabilization if there is a housing emergency in which the rental vacancy rate is five percent or less.


Provides Relief from Large Rent Increases for Rent-Controlled Tenants

  • Limits rent-controlled rent increases to the lesser of 7.5 percent or a level equal to the average of the previous five RGB increases for one-year stabilized renewal leases.

  • Prohibits fuel adjustments or pass-along increases for rent-controlled tenants.


Reforms the Owner Use Exception

  • Limits the “owner use” provision to the use of a single unit of rent regulated housing stock by the owner or their immediate family as their primary residence.

  • Provides tenants with cause of action if they are evicted because the landlord makes a fraudulent claim about the intended use of the unit.


Keeps Stabilized Apartments Rented to Nonprofits in the Stabilization System

  • Requires units to remain rent-stabilized if they are provided by nonprofits to individuals who are, were or are at risk of becoming homeless.


Reforms Major Capital Improvement (MCI) Increases

  • Caps the annual MCI rent increase at two percent statewide, down from the current six percent in New York City and 15 percent in other counties currently covered by ETPA.

  • Caps any MCI rent increases approved within the last seven years at the lower percentage beginning in September 2019.

  • Removes MCI increases and RGB increases based on an MCI after 30 years, instead of allowing them to remain in effect permanently.

  • Tightens the rules governing the spending that qualifies for an MCI increase.

  • Strengthens enforcement by requiring that 25 percent of MCIs be inspected and audited by DHCR annually.

  • Lowers rent increases by lengthening the MCI formula’s amortization period.


Reforms Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) Increases

  • Caps the amount of reimbursable IAI spending at $15,000 over a 15 year period, for up to three separate IAIs.

  • Removes IAI increases and RGB increases based on the IAI after 30 years, instead of allowing them to remain permanent.

  • Lowers increases by lengthening the IAI formula’s amortization period.

  • Strengthens enforcement by requiring DHCR to randomly audit and inspect at least 10 percent of IAIs annually.


Establishes Stronger Housing Security and Tenant Protections Statewide

  • Strengthens the existing retaliatory eviction law by prohibiting retaliatory eviction by a landlord against a tenant who makes a good faith complaint to them alleging a violation of the warranty of habitability, and requiring the landlord to prove that an eviction is not retaliation if it occurs within one year, rather than only six months, of the tenant making a good faith complaint.

  • Sets a standard period of time for a landlord to provide notice of refusal to renew or of a rent increase greater than five percent, depending on length of tenancy.

  • Requires landlords to make a reasonable, good faith attempt at re-letting a unit if a tenant vacates before their lease expires.

  • Protects tenants by prohibiting landlords from using databases of court information to blacklist tenants.

  • Reforms the eviction process so tenants have more time to pay rent owed, fix lease violations or get a lawyer before losing their home, and also gives them more time to find a new home if necessary.

  • Limits security deposits to one month’s rent, gives the tenants the right to ask for a walkthrough inspection with the landlord before and at the end of occupancy, and requires the landlord to provide an itemized account of why any security deposit is retained.

  • Expands the circumstances under which a judge may consider a hardship and stay an eviction proceeding.


Reform Condo and Co-Op Conversion

  • Eliminates “eviction plans,” which allow non-purchasing tenants to be evicted, and reforms non-eviction plans.

  • Requires 51 percent of current tenants to approve a non-eviction plan, as opposed to 15 percent of tenants or outside purchasers under current law.


Establishes Protections for Mobile & Manufactured Home (MMH) Tenants

  • Limits rent increases to three percent, or six percent only if due to increased operating expenses, property taxes or capital improvements. Tenants could challenge increases over three percent in court.

  • Establishes rent-to-own regulations to protect MMH tenants attempting to purchase a home from an MMH park owner or operator.

  • Strengthens protections against evictions from parks for the purpose of changing the use of the land.

- Assemblymember Michael Blake