What Does the Rent Deal Mean to You?

New York 1 Cable, June 17, 1997

So what does the agreement mean for tenants and landlords?

Under the compromise reached last night, there will be no vacancy decontrol - as Senator Bruno and Governor Pataki had wanted. When an apartment becomes vacant, the landlord can increase the rent by 20%. If the previous tenant lived in the apartment for 8 years or more, landlords can charge an additional increase of .60% of the old tenant's rent for each year the resident was living in the apartment.

If apartments renting for $300 dollars or less a month become vacant, there will be a special $100 dollar a month rent increase permitted. Also, succession rights allowing spouses, domestic partners and other relatives to keep an apartment when a loved one dies will be limited to one generation. But nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins would no longer have those rights.

The deal also changes luxury decontrol. Apartments will now be deregulated for tenants earning more than $175,000 dollars who pay more than $2,000 dollars a month in rent. The previous threshold was $250,000 dollars.

Any tenant involved in a dispute with landlords will have to deposit rent in escrow accounts. But in buildings with 12 units or less, only the disputed portion of the rent would be paid into escrow. The rest would be paid to the landlord.

Finally, under the deal, any housing construction started after the legislation is approved, will not be subject to rent control or stabilization...under most circumstances. If approved, the law will remain in effect for six years.