Rent Laws Rich For Landlords: Green

New York Daily News, May 19, 1997

Landlords have made more than enough money off rent-regulated apartments under laws due to expire next month, Public Advocate Mark Green said yesterday.

With Albany legislators deadlocked over extending the protections for 2.6 million city tenants, Green released a study that he said shows the Rent Guidelines Board has approved increases totaling 210% since 1975.

In the same period, the landlord's expenses rose just 143%, Green said. The board-approved rent increases were higher than the estimated cost increases in 18 of the 22 years covered in the study, Green said.

That means an apartment that cost $400 a month in 1975 should cost just $972 a month this year. The board-approved increases put that same apartment at $1,240, he said.

The Rent Guidelines Board annually recommends hikes based on a formula intended to keep landlord income in line with increased costs.

"The rent regulation system is working fairly both for landlords and tenants alike," Green said. "Now is not the time to toy around with ending and changing the system."

State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-Rensselaer) has threatened to allow rent regulations to expire June 15 unless Democratic Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver agrees to pare back the rules.

Gov. Pataki, who comes up for reelection next year, has proposed retaining protections for current tenants, but allowing for market-rate rents once a tenant dies or moves.