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Chelsea Building Neatly Illustrates Rent Laws Loophole

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The state's rent laws include a loophole that works to the advantage of many a landlord: landlords can evict even rent-stabilized renters if the owner will be occupying the apartment in the renters' place. A number of officials, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, would like to eliminate said loophole?and a Chelsea building, 221 West 16th Street is the effort's latest poster child. As the Daily News explains, building owner Gary Brown wants to take over five rent-stabilized apartments in the building for his own use. The units' tenants pay $200 to $300/month in rent and are scheduled to be evicted tomorrow.
As per a press release from opponents of the eviction, "Tenants fear that Mr. Brown's real aim at 221 West 16th Street is to use these units for his Furnished Quarters 'corporate housing' company, renting them out to high-paying temporary occupants. Mr. Brown has received violations for the illegal use of some of the units in this building in the past." There are a few bills pending in Albany to close the loophole, but they might come too late for 221 West 16th.
· Christine Quinn, political bigwigs rally for rent-control tenants on bring of eviction [NYDN]
· Rent Wars coverage [Curbed]