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New watch list aims to protect rent-regulated tenants from harassment

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The Department of Housing Preservation and Development has released its first “Speculation Watch List”

Max Touhey

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development has released a “Speculation Watch List,” the first of its kind that rounds up rent-regulated properties that were recently sold and where tenants may be at risk.

According to The Real Deal, the list is comprised of rent-regulated properties that are multi-family and have sold for more than $10,000. The properties on the list has a revenue that does not justify its sales price, creating the potential for property owners to harass tenants to accept buyouts. The list is to be released quarterly and for this initial version, there are 51 properties on the list, though they are not ranked in any particular order. A spokesperson for the HPD told amNew York that the agency plans to review around 300 sales annually and expects to add about 150 properties each year.

Some landlords have questioned the city’s methodology, stating that the list doesn’t account for differences in rates of return in various neighborhoods and only relies on median cap rates on a borough-wide level, says the The Real Deal.