Pataki Signs Executive Order on Rent

New York 1 Cable, June 14, 1997

With just hours to go before rent laws expire, talks to save the current laws are on hold until Sunday morning.

The key players were once again unable to come to a compromise yesterday when they met in Albany. Vacancy decontrol continues to be the major roadblock to an agreement. The Governor says, short of a compromise, there's nothing he can do to keep the laws from expiring...but he has taken a step designed to prevent tenants from being harassed if the laws expire.

The governor signed an executive order ealier today. It calls for the appointment of Attorney General Dennis Vacco as a special prosecutor to probe cases of harassment and other illegal activities by landlords. The governor says Vacco should work with county district attorney's when investigating the cases.

As part of his order, the governor told the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal to set up a toll-free hotline for tenants who feel they are being harassed. That number is 1 (888) 736-8457. The hotline will be up and running until 6:00 tonight, then starting at noon tomorrow, it will be open 24 hours a day.

New York City has also set up some numbers. Tenants with harassment complants can call 1 (212) 487-6633. Or, if you want general information about changes in rent laws, call 1 (212) 487-5858. The phones will be staffed from 6:00am until 10:00pm.

Now here's a look at who will be affected if rent laws expire:

And be sure to stay tuned to New York 1 all weekend - we'll have the latest on talks in Albany, as well as more on what to expect if the rent laws expire.