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Archive for January, 2012

Another Tenant Victory in Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Case? Another Bill from Catharine Young to Reverse It!

Monday, January 30th, 2012

In today’s meeting of the Senate committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, Senator Catharine Young reintroduced S5763B, a bill that would undo the tenants’ latest victory in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties case.

Although her previous bill reversing the tenants’ earlier victory never managed to gain any traction, an earlier version of this bill did pass the Senate last year (but died in Assembly).

Last August, tenants won a second court victory when the New York state appellate court ruled that landlords who illegally deregulated apartments (while simultaneously receiving J-51 tax benefits) are liable for retroactive damages — meaning that they have to pay back the overcharged rent that they collected from their tenants.

Even though Young crafted the original version of this bill prior to that court victory, the bill reverses the court’s decision by allowing landlords to return to the government any J-51 tax breaks received prior to the decision (October 22, 2009), and thereby setting the base rent for all affected apartments to be whatever the legal rent was on that date. (1:10 in video)

Catharine Young Doesn’t Have the Skills to Pass the Bills

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Two pro-landlord rent regulation bills, which were introduced by Senator Catharine Young last year and passed the Senate, have died in Assembly and will not see a vote.

S5041 – This bill would have given landlords the ability to evict rent stabilized tenants if they fail to file a city/state tax return, or voted in the wrong place, and also would have allowed a landlord to challenge a tenant’s primary residency at any time during the lease.

S5763 – This bill would have reversed the tenants’ victory in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties case, by allowing landlords who illegally deregulated apartments (while simultaneously receiving J-51 tax benefits) to return those benefits to the government. By doing so, the landlords would be able to set the legal stabilized rent on the affected apartments, and avoid paying their tenants any potential retroactive damages that the court might determine the tenants are owed. Since this bill passed the Senate, the court has ruled that the landlords do in fact owe their tenants retroactive damages, so this bill would have been a huge victory for landlords had it become law.