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Landlords plan legal challenge against Albany rent reforms

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Two landlord groups will reportedly file a lawsuit by mid-July

Two weeks ago, Albany passed a landmark package of bills to protect tenants in years to come, and while tenants celebrate the news, landlord groups are not too happy.

Real estate groups were preparing a lawsuit against the state even before the “universal rent control” package of bills officially passed, the Commercial Observer reported. And most recently, a source told the New York Post that the Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program are planning to file their case in a New York federal court by mid-July, reportedly arguing that the new rent laws violate owners’ constitutional right against unlawful taking of property.

The package of bills encompasses several bold changes, which include ending high-rent vacancy deregulation and vacancy bonus, preventing landlords from using the preferential rent loophole, and calling for more oversight by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

Another significant change is the new regulation decreasing the amount landlords can charge for major capital improvements (MCIs), from 6 to 2 percent.

“The legislation put forward will be a disaster for the city’s future,” John Banks, president of the Real Estate Board of New York told the Commercial Observer. “The Governor and the Legislature are consigning hundreds of thousands of tenants to buildings that [will] soon fall into disrepair.”