Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019

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Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019
New York State Legislature
Territorial extentNew York (state)
Enacted byNew York State Legislature
PassedJune 14, 2019
Signed byAndrew Cuomo
SignedJune 14, 2019
Status: Current legislation

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) is a New York state statute that introduced major changes to landlord-tenant law.[1]

History[edit]

After the 2018 elections – in which Democrats took control of the New York State Senate for the first time in a decade and just the third time in 50 years[2] – momentum began on behalf of changes to landlord-tenant law.[3][4] Eventually, a package of nine bills emerged which incorporated a large number of proposed changes.[5]

On June 11, 2019, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced that they had reached a "landmark agreement" on new rent laws.[6] Both houses of the New York state legislature passed the HSTPA on June 14, 2019, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the HSTPA into law later that day.[1]

Major provisions[edit]

According to Sharon Otterman and Matthew Haag of The New York Times, the HSTPA "mark[s] a turning point" for the millions of New Yorkers living in rent-stabilized apartments "after a steady erosion of protections and the loss of tens of thousands of regulated apartments."[7]

Among the HSTPA's reforms are limits on security deposits to just one month's worth of rent, new protections against evictions, prohibitions on the use of tenant blacklists, the elimination of vacancy decontrol and high-income deregulation, and the closing of the owner use loophole.[7][8] The law institutes new limits on the amount spent on major capital improvements (MCIs) and individual apartment improvements (IAIs) that can be recovered through increased rent,[9][10] which tenant groups contended were subject to "routin[e] abuse" by landlords seeking to "jack up rents and push out tenants."[6] The "look back" window for rent overcharge claims was extended from four to six years.[11][12]

The HSTPA also instituted a number of new protections for residents of mobile homes.[13] Furthermore, the law permits other New York municipalities to institute their own rent regulations.[10] In addition, the HSTPA – unlike its predecessors, which had to be renewed – is permanent.[13][14]

The one major proposal which did not pass was a "good cause" eviction bill, which would have made it far more difficult for landlords to evict tenants from their apartments in the absence of misdeeds by the tenants.[8][14]

The HSTPA rent regulation laws did not expel all exit paths for buildings to remove themselves from regulation though. Building owners can still use demolition, substantial rehabilitation, conversion to and from commercial use, and economic infeasibility to continue deregulating their apartments.[15][16] If a landlord can not prove substantial rehabilitation, though, their rent histories may be seen as unreliable keeping them from moving away from regulation.[17]

Reaction[edit]

Reaction to the HSTPA was divided.[18][19] Tenant groups cheered the bill's passage.[11][19] Meanwhile, landlord groups worried that some of its provisions would undermine their ability to build and maintain apartment buildings.[18][20]

Legal challenge[edit]

On July 15, 2019, an assortment of landlords and landlord groups initiated a legal challenge to the law in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.[21] In an 125-page complaint,[21] the plaintiffs claimed that the Rent Stabilization Law – as modified by the HSTPA – violated their rights under Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.[22][23] This expedited path to federal court became possible following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Knick v. Township of Scott.[24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wang, Vivian (June 14, 2019). "New Rent Laws Pass in N.Y.: 'The Pendulum Is Swinging' Against Landlords". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  2. ^ Wang, Vivian (November 7, 2018). "Democrats Take Control of New York Senate for First Time in Decade". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  3. ^ Tobias, Jimmy (May 30, 2019). "In the Heart of Real-Estate Power, a Housing Movement Nears Victory". The Nation. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019. The push to enact new rent regulations comes at a politically fortuitous time for the tenants' movement. During the 2018 statewide elections, a slew of left-wing candidates, many of whom rejected real-estate-industry campaign contributions, swept into office and increased the influence of New York progressives just as Democrats regained control of the state Senate for the first time in a decade.
  4. ^ Ferré-Sadurní, Luis (April 17, 2019). "Tenants May Get More Protections in New York City, After Decades of Battles. Here's Why". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019. For years, Republicans controlled the State Senate, and stymied Democratic efforts to strengthen laws affecting about one million rent-regulated apartments in the city. But with a newfound monopoly over the state legislature and governor's mansion, Democrats have wasted little time introducing a cadre of bills aimed at protecting tenants.
  5. ^ Lennard, Natasha (May 14, 2019). "Across the Country, Progressives Are Pushing for Universal Rent Control — and New York Is Next". The Intercept. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  6. ^ a b McKinley, Jesse; Ferré-Sadurní, Luis; Wang, Vivian (June 11, 2019). "Landmark Deal Reached on Rent Protections for Tenants in N.Y." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Otterman, Sharon; Haag, Matthew (June 12, 2019). "Rent Regulations in New York: How They'll Affect Tenants and Landlords". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Ferré-Sadurní, Luis (June 21, 2019). "How New Rent Laws in N.Y. Help All Tenants". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  9. ^ Raskin, Sam (May 3, 2019). "Tenants and landlords debate New York's expiring rent laws at packed Assembly hearing". Curbed. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Kasakove, Sophie (June 21, 2019). "No Wonder Big Real Estate Is Fighting New York's New Rent Law". CityLab. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Slattery, Denis (June 14, 2019). "New York enacts pro-tenant rent law overhaul as landlords plan legal challenge". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  12. ^ Kim, Elizabeth (June 13, 2019). "'A Real Sea Change': What NYC Tenants Need To Know About The New Rent Reform Deal". Gothamist. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Stein, Samuel (June 18, 2019). "Tenants Won This Round". Jacobin. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Chadha, Janaki (June 12, 2019). "Rent overhaul signals a 'tectonic shift' of real estate's power in Albany". Politico. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "Deregulation Under the New Rent Laws".
  16. ^ https://rew-online.com/2019/07/legal-viewpoints-what-you-need-to-know-about-nyc%CA%BCs-new-rent-regulations/[dead link]
  17. ^ "Sweeping Reforms to Rent Overcharge Under New Rent Laws".
  18. ^ a b Ferré-Sadurní, Luis; Chen, Stefanos (June 17, 2019). "Rent Laws' Impact: Tenant Paradise or Return of the 'Bronx Is Burning'?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Rosenberg, Zoe (June 14, 2019). "Tenant advocates and real estate insiders react to New York's rent law reform". Curbed. Archived from the original on June 29, 2019.
  20. ^ Ferré-Sadurní, Luis (April 17, 2019). "Tenants May Get More Protections in New York City, After Decades of Battles. Here's Why". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Ricciulli, Valeria (July 16, 2019). "Landlord groups claim rent laws 'violate the US Constitution' in lawsuit". Curbed. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Ferré-Sadurní, Luis (July 16, 2019). "Landlords Strike Back, Suing to Dismantle Rent Regulation System". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  23. ^ Allyn, Bobby (July 17, 2019). "New York Landlords Call Rent Control Laws An 'Illegal Taking' In New Federal Lawsuit". NPR. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.
  24. ^ Brenzel, Kathryn; Kromrei, Georgia (July 16, 2019). "RSA, CHIP file lawsuit challenging New York's new rent law". The Real Deal. Archived from the original on July 20, 2019.

External links[edit]