Indeed, we can't believe it's over. This Rent Law Saga will certainly go down in the history books (for what, we're not entirely sure), but Gov. Cuomo and state legislators arrived on an agreement to extend the city's rent laws. As previously speculated, the threshold to deregulate an apartment is moved up to $2,500 from $2,000 a month and yearly income for tenants is moved up to $200,000 from $175,000. In addition, the amount a landlord has to invest in renovating an apartment will go up significantly. In the soon-to-be past a landlord must invest $40 in renovations for every $1 rent increase. That number will be going up to $60.
Sounds like rent regulation activists should be pretty happy about this outcome. Obviously, they're not.
Michael McKee, the treasurer of the Tenants Political Action Committee says "Governor Cuomo has been telling people for months that the big difference between 1997 and now is that George Pataki is not the governor and that he is a strong Democrat and that he is going to deliver real rent reform. This is not real rent reform. This is continuing the phase-out and elimination of the entire rent regulation system in the downstate region.” Sucks for the democratic lawmakers to hear that, because they've pretty much set themselves up for having to pass a pretty unpopular— at least among democrats— property tax cap. But that's a divisive battle for another day.
· Deal Extends City's Rent Laws, With Boost for Tenants [WSJ]
· Deal on Rent Laws and Property Caps in Albany [NYT]