Empty numbers: Landlords say vacancy survey distorts truth

Manhattan’s vacancy rate hit 10.5 percent in 2020 and the five boroughs averaged 6.5 percent, according to census data released last week. The magic figure that keeps New York rent-stabilized is 5 percent. If vacancies creep above that, the rental surplus voids the housing emergency and with it, rent stabilization. Fortunately for renters who benefit from the program, it does not use the 10-year census. Instead, it goes by a triennial poll called the Housing

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Catsimatidis notches win for landlords in 421a suit; tenants vow to appeal

Billionaire John Catsimatidis has scored a courthouse win against tenants in one of his Prospect Heights rental buildings. A class action lawsuit that accused Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Group of illegally overcharging tenants at 670 Pacific Street was dismissed by a state Supreme Court justice this week. The lawsuit, filed in October, was one of several cases alleging that landlords improperly recorded an inflated first rent payment at new development rental buildings that received 421a tax

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Gary Barnett has another problem at UES site: a stabilized tenant

Notorious landlords aren’t the only thing standing in the way of Gary Barnett’s vision for an Upper East Side development. There’s also a rent-stabilized tenant still living in one of the remaining buildings at Barnett’s $80 million assemblage on First Avenue between East 85th and 86th Streets, court documents show. But technically it’s not the tenant who’s holding up Barnett’s firm, Extell Development. It’s the state agency that administers the rent regulations, which is refusing

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Landlords ask Cuomo to ditch eviction ban after ending Covid restrictions

New York is going back to normal. Landlords feel left behind. Tuesday marked a major milestone for the state when Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted nearly all remaining social distancing mandates and other safety precautions, some 16 months after pandemic-related lockdowns began. Dining out? Feel free to squeeze in next to strangers. Run a gym? Hourly disinfecting is now optional. Why, then, ask New York’s landlords, do tenants need 10 more weeks of an eviction moratorium?

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Nab this rent-stabilized penthouse for $8K per month

A penthouse in Mercedes House, the 31-story luxury building that snakes across a block in Hell’s Kitchen, would set you back $8,000 per month — but the rent can’t go up much from there. A lawsuit filed by a limited liability company, MH 770-54th Street, alleges that the tenants of PHE, a two-bedroom apartment at the luxury building, stopped paying rent last April, and now owe nearly $100,000. According to the lawsuit, they have a

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North Point buys Hudson Valley apartment building for $19M

North Point Management, a multifamily investment group, acquired a 150-unit apartment building in the Hudson Valley for $19 million from Tower Management Service. Tower had purchased the Crestwood Apartments at 92 Fitzgerald Drive in Middletown, New York, in late 2015. The building was most recently valued at $7.8 million, according to data from PropertyShark. The deal marks North Point’s second Middletown acquisition in the past year. In July, the firm snapped up a 112-unit multifamily

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Where the lawsuits challenging NY’s 2019 rent law stand

Five cases: three dismissals and two decisions pending. It’s been nearly two years since the New York state legislature passed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, yet five separate suits challenging the law’s constitutionality are still taking up space on court dockets. The plaintiffs — an array of landlords, property managers and related interest groups — are banking that the suits can crawl their way to the Supreme Court, where a majority

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New York’s rent relief site goes live — without applications

It’s live: After a month-long wait, information about New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program appeared on the website for the state’s Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The page includes details on eligibility for the program, benefits and the necessary application materials, but skips a key detail: when the program will actually launch. The site says applications will be accepted “soon.” The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which runs the program, had previously said

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NY close to approving $2.4B rent relief bill — but its rollout will be the real test

State lawmakers are close to making a budget deal that includes more than $2 billion in rent relief, to be disbursed to tenants or landlords. Groups representing both sides say the proposal is a step in the right direction, though they have concerns about how it will be rolled out. The plan, spelled out in a newly printed bill, would bar evictions and rent increases for one year in cases where landlords accept aid. Both

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Socialist notches key NY Senate appointment

The Democratic Socialists of America just got another seat at the table where New York state housing laws are decided. Sen. Jabari Brisport, a newly elected Democrat from Crown Heights, was named to the Senate’s Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development. Housing bills must typically be passed by the panel to come up for a vote on the Senate floor. Brisport, a public school teacher who ousted incumbent Sen. Tremaine Wright with the support

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