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New Rent Regulation Laws—A Big Disappointment; RGB Final Vote—One Last Hope

​If the rent laws were not to be significantly strengthened, tenant coalitions wanted a much shorter extender. A four-year extender will come in the 2019 session on the heels of a traditionally low-turnout midterm election, which favors the political status quo but, more importantly, the longer the extender, the greater the loss of regulated units. Estimates put the loss of rent regulated units at 100,000 over the four years.

Rent Law Reforms in brief include changes that will mitigate the loss of a substantial number of rent-regulated units but not to the extent that advocates or Mayor de Blasio were seeking with vacancy decontrol.

  • Increase the high rent decontrol threshold to $2700, with annual indexed increases thereafter based on the percentage increase of the applicable rent guidelines board increases.

  • Decrease the vacancy bonus for preferential rent to 5%, 10%, 15%, or 20%, depending on the length of tenancy in the unit rented at a preferential rate.

  • Increase civil penalties available subsequent to a finding of tenant harassment by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal.

  • Increase the amortization period for major capital improvements and mandate separate amortization schedules for buildings with more than thirty-five, and less than thirty-five housing accommodations.

We have one last hope: The Rent Guidelines Board final vote, which will take place on Monday, June 29, at 6:00 p.m. in the Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street (corner of Third Avenue). We need you to show up and let the RGB know it’s time for a rent freeze or a rollback.

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