AG nails landlord for breaking rent law, promises more to come

Ink Property Group and three of its principals will pay up to $1.75 million to settle claims by state Attorney General Letitia James that they duped rent-stabilized tenants out of leases, illegally deregulated units and falsified financial documents to secure bank loans. But for now, Ink is on the hook for only a fraction of that. The firm has shelled out $300,000 to a state affordable housing fund and promised $400,000 to the tenants who

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Cea Weaver pokes landlords’ hive over rent reform

Housing advocate Cea Weaver has sent sparks flying across landlord-tenant Twitter since late last week, when she posted that rent-stabilized owners crying poor are more likely crying wolf. The tweet came in response to a video by the Community Housing Improvement Program, a landlord group, highlighting the estimated 20,000 rent-stabilized units allegedly rendered unrentable by the state legislature in 2019. The clip shows a string of unfinished apartments that sit vacant because the law prevents

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In housing-starved NYC, tens of thousands of affordable apartments sit empty

In a Washington Heights apartment building, vacant units are littered by the forsaken belongings of tenants. A wall decal in one reads “I love God” in bubble letters. In another, a dresser gathers dust beneath a boarded-up window. In a third, abandoned possessions poke holes through trash bags. The abandoned items were left by tenants of rent-stabilized apartments that now sit unoccupied and unavailable in a city desperately in need of low-cost housing. Landlord David

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Rent stabilization: dysfunctional by design

Landlords and tenants finally agree on something: Rent stabilization is broken and needs reform. But they are ignoring a larger truth: Price controls for housing haven’t worked, aren’t working and never will work. First, a disclaimer. This is not a rant against government programs. Inclusionary housing, where low-rent units are subsidized by market-rate ones, can work. So can publicly subsidized housing. But permanent rent stabilization in New York is not subsidized. Although supporters treat it

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Hochul challengers bang pro-tenant drum before primary election

Democratic candidates for state office seized the final 24 hours before the primary election to align themselves with a political zeitgeist — tenant protections against landlords. Gov. Kathy Hochul’s challengers took the opportunity to set themselves apart from the incumbent by portraying themselves as candidates for the people and not the property owners. Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Long Island centrist and Hochul’s closest competitor, appeared outside NYCHA’s downtown Manhattan headquarters Monday afternoon to bemoan the

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Rent board approves first full-year, post-Covid hike: 3.25%

Another rent board vote, another disappointment for tenants and landlords. To the chagrin of both sides, the Rent Guidelines Board voted 5-4 Tuesday night to raise stabilized rents 3.25 percent on one-year leases and 5 percent on two-year leases. Separately, the board voted 7-2 to freeze rents on stabilized hotels. Both adjustments take effect Oct. 1, 2022. The full-year hike for rent-stabilized apartments was the first since Covid hit and signaled an end to the

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Landlords buy TV time to sway New Yorkers, rent board

Less than a week before the Rent Guidelines Board votes on how much to hike rents for stabilized apartments, landlords desperate for a bump have launched a campaign to draw attention to their plight. Still, the group behind the awareness drive is the first to admit that owners likely won’t get the increase it says is needed to cover rising costs. At least not this year. The messaging blitz released Thursday by the Community Housing

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Rent stabilization spreading north in NY

In a blow to upstate landlords, a city in the Hudson Valley is poised to be the first north of the New York City suburbs to adopt rent stabilization. A recent study found the rental vacancy rate in Kingston to be 1.57 percent, the Times Union reported. The vacancy rate is low enough that the Ulster County city could declare a housing emergency, which under state law would allow it to implement rent stabilization for

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Landlords called it: Vacancy rate jumps, rent-stabilization stays

When Gov. Kathy Hochul extended the deadline to complete the 2021 Housing and Vacancy Survey, landlords decried the move. They predicted the city would use the extra time — which the state said the pandemic made necessary — to wait for more renters to return, pushing vacancy rates below the 5 percent threshold required to preserve rent stabilization. Looks like the landlords called it. The survey, released this week, revealed a vacancy rate of 4.54

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Can tenants have it both ways?

Anh-Thu Nguyen and her two roommates don’t want to leave their apartment. Why would they? Although it won’t appear in Architectural Digest, it’s perfectly livable, it’s on the most prestigious street in Brooklyn’s nicest neighborhood, and it’s cheap. Not only are they right across the street from 526-acre Prospect Park, the Olmsted and Vaux–designed jewel of the borough, but they have been paying low rent in a building that, if renovated, could command a lot

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