Agreement on Reform of Rent Protection Statutes

The agreement will contain the following elements:

I. Protecting Tenants

Rent regulations will be continued for all tenants presently
constituted, subjected to the changes and reforms noted below
for a period of six years.

II. Vacancy Allowances

For an apartment that is vacant on June 15, 1997, landlords
will be entitled to the following vacancy allowance:

A. For two-year leases, upon vacancy of an apartment, the
landlord shall be entitled to increase the rent by twenty
(20) percent, plus any additional vacancy increases as noted

B. If the lease is for one year, the twenty (20) percent
increase shall be reduced by the difference between a
two-year increase and one-year increase as authorized by the
Rent Guidelines Board.

For example, if the Board approves a 3 percent increase for
one year and a 5 percent increase for two years, the two-year
lease shall increase by 20 percent and the one-year lease
shall increase by 18 percent.

C. In addition to the vacancy allowances noted above, for a
vacant apartment where the previous tenant had lived for
eight or more years, the landlord shall be entitled to a 0.6
percent increase above the 20 percent vacancy allowance for
each year the previous tenant occupied the apartment.

For example, if the prior tenant was in the apartment for 10
years, the landlord would be entitled, for a two-year lease,
to increase the rent by the 20 percent vacancy allowance plus
an additional 6 percent. If the tenant was in occupancy for
20 years, the increase would be 20 percent plus and an
additional 12 percent.

D. For apartments that rent for $300 or less, in addition to
the vacancy allowances as noted above, the rent would
increase by $100 upon vacancy. In the event the rent for the
apartment was $300 to $500, upon vacancy the landlord would
get the vacancy allowances noted above or $100, whichever is

III. Succession

The rights of an individual to succeed the tenant named on
the lease would be limited by removing nieces, nephews,
aunts, uncles and cousins from those authorized to succeed
the prior tenant.

The right of succession without a vacancy allowance shall be
limited to one generation only. For example, a son or
daughter could continue in the occupancy after the mother or
father dies without a vacancy allowance.

Upon the next vacancy, the apartment shall be subject to the
vacancy allowances but qualified successors shall have the
right to continue in occupancy by matching the rent under the
formula of payment in section II.

IV. Regulatory Reform

Provides for reform of regulatory provisions in statute to
simplify the administration of rent regulations without
jeopardizing tenants rights, including: codifying the
four-year statute of limitation for contesting rent, fixing
the problems associated with the $10 filing fee paid to city;
and ending the concurrent jurisdiction of the State Division
of Housing and Community Renewal and the Courts for rent

V. Luxury Decontrol

The level for luxury decontrol would be lowered from $250,000
to $175,000 and the minimum rent would be $2,000.

VI. Escrow

In cases where there is a dispute between the landlord and
tenants, the tenant would be required to pay the rent into
escrow. Housing Court would have no discretion in this
regard, but after two adjournments would be required to order
the payment into escrow.

In buildings with 12 or fewer units, notwithstanding the
above, any undisputed amount of rent shall be paid by the
tenant to the landlord and the balance of the disputed amount
shall be paid into escrow.

The payment of the undisputed amount shall be without
prejudice to either party's legal rights.

VII. New Construction

Includes a statutory provision guaranteeing all new housing
construction after the date of the bill to ensure it will not
be subject to rent stabilization or rent control unless
subject to controls under current law or any new benefit
program as a result of the voluntary acceptance of a
government program which currently would place such units
under rent stabilization.

The Division of Housing and Community Renewal shall be
authorized to contract with the development group such
certifications as are necessary to guarantee such rights.

VIII. Tenant Harassment

Tough new penalties on landlords who harass tenants as stated
in the Executive proposal shall be incorporated into the

IX. Demolition

In any building set to be demolished occupied by three or
fewer tenants, who constitute 10 percent or less of the
overall dwelling units, the owner can relocate the tenants to
comparable apartments, including location, for the same or
lower rent.