The bill would give a landlord the right (but not the obligation) to essentially forge the signature on a lease renewal that a rent regulated tenant failed to sign, even if the tenant had a valid reason for not signing the lease. Landlords could use this ability to, for example, insert an illegal rent hike into a tenant’s lease, and then put that lease into effect without the tenant’s consent, which would give the landlord more power to evict the tenant for not complying with the new lease that he or she “signed”. Tenants would gain no rights whatsoever from the legislation.
Catharine Young has reintroduced a bunch of her old, failed, landlord-giveaway bills for 2015:
S2281-2015 would give landlords the option (but not the requirement) to automatically renew leases for rent stabilized tenants who fail to sign a renewal lease, even if the tenants have a valid reason for refusing to do so. Previously this bill was known as S4032-2013 and S7732-2011.
S2904-2015 would give landlords the right to commence eviction proceedings against tenants who vote in the wrong place or fail to file a tax return, and would also permit landlords to challenge their tenants’ primary residency anytime they feel like it. Previously this bill was known as S3671-2013 and S5041A-2011.
S2078-2015 would allow a landlord to collect a full vacancy increase on a rent stabilized apartment (20%) in the event that the residing tenant vacates or dies, and his/her family wishes to continue the lease. Furthermore, this bill would also limit succession rights to a single generation. Previously this bill was known as S3672-2013 and S6472-2011.
S2278-2015 would eliminate rent regulated tenants’ rights two-year leases (forcing them to only sign one-year leases), and would raise the vacancy increase on those one-year leases to 20% (which is the current rate for a two-year lease). Previously this bill was known as S3673A-2013 and S6515-2011.
S2283-2015 would allow a landlord to kick out any rent regulated tenant (who is not over age 62 or disabled), thereby freeing the apartment for the owner’s personal use. In contrast to the current law, the landlord would not need to show an “immediate and compelling necessity” to do this, nor would long-term tenants (those who have lived in their apartment for 20+ years) be protected. Previously this bill was known as S4033-2013 and S5152-2011.
S2280-2015 would allow owners and managers of rent regulating housing to serve on the Rent Guidelines Board and therefore control rent increases in Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland counties. Previously this bill was known as S2045-2013.
The Urstadt Law, which was passed by Albany lawmakers in 1971, took away New York City’s right to implement its own housing laws. Although NYC’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, has called for a repeal of the Urstadt Law, Senator Catharine Young has so far refused to allow this to happen.
It’s easy to see why. If the lawmakers of New York City were allowed to make the laws of New York City, then the landlords would have no use for Catharine Young. This would mean that all of the money she gets from NYC landlords (which greatly exceeds her actual salary from the state) would disappear.
So it should come as no surprise that every time a senator (such as Liz Krueger, who actually represents part of NYC) tries to introduce a “home rule” bill to let the city control its own housing laws, Catharine Young and her friends in Albany simply kill it.
Despite the fact that she’s bankrolled by NYC landlords, Catharine Young actually has the nerve to pretend that she wants to bring down rents in New York City. In an official statement to Crain’s newspaper, Young wrote:
“The best way to bring down rents is to expand the number of housing units. It is a basic supply and demand issue… Changing the Urstadt Law would prove to be a disaster for the future of New York City’s housing market.”
Watch Young kill S1492 in this video from a Housing committee meeting last year (3:15):
At yesterday’s meeting of the senate housing committee, Catharine Young introduced S5084, a bill that would provide automatic yearly rent increases for tenants living in Mitchell-Lama housing in New York City. Furthermore, the bill would increase the surcharges paid by residents who are above the income threshold. Finally, the bill would increase the income limits for Mitchell-Lama tenants.
This is exactly what low-to-moderate income families don’t need — more competition from other, higher-income families applying for the same very limited supply of housing (where very long waiting lists are already the norm), while simultaneously making these apartments less affordable over time through yearly RGB increases. But this is an amazing deal for companies that own and operate these housing units, because they would get automatic rent increases without even asking for them, plus they would get extra surcharges to boot!
Senator Adriano Espaillat cast the single negative vote (3:13 in the video).