New York State lawmakers agreed Tuesday on a massive overhaul of state rent regulations days before the laws protecting rent-stabilized tenants were set to expire.
“These reforms give New Yorkers the strongest tenant protections in history,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a joint statement. “For too long, power has been tilted in favor of landlords and these measures finally restore equity and extends protections to tenants across the state.”
The new legislation makes the rent regulation laws permanent, without an act of the legislature to repeal or terminate them. Previously they have been scheduled to expire every four to eight years.
The law repeals the provisions that allowed for the removal of units from rent stabilization when rent crosses a high-rent threshold or the tenant’s income is $200,000 or higher in the preceding two years.
The reform also limits the use of the “owner use” provision to a single unit and requires that the owner or their immediate family use the unit as a primary residence.
Also gone are the vacancy and longevity bonuses, which allowed a property owner to raise rents as much as 20 percent each time a unit becomes vacant or allows rents to be raised based on the duration of the previous tenancy.
The bill caps rent increases from major capital improvements at 2 percent, among other limitations.
The reforms will pass both legislative houses, according to the leaders of both the Democrat-controlled senate and assembly. Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the reforms into law when they reach his desk.