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Stuy Town tenants sue landlord to block rent hikes

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Stuyvesant Town
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Stuy Town tenants sue landlord to stop rent hikes

Tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are suing to block Blackstone, the complex’s landlord, from deregulating thousands of apartments after a regulatory agreement expires this year.

Come July 1, about 6,200 rent-regulated apartments in the massive complex could face deregulation when a tax break known as J-51, which is specifically designated for landlords of rent-stabilized buildings, expires. Now, tenants along with a coalition of elected officials, argue that sweeping rent reforms passed by the state legislature in June override the pending deregulation.

“These laws are clear and unambiguous,” Susan Steinberg, the present of the tenants’ association, said at a Thursday press conference. “[Blackstone] cannot disregard state rent law and raise rents and deregulate units as if the law had never been changed.”

The tenants’ association filed the legal challenge in state Supreme court Thursday against Blackstone, New York City, and New York State Homes and Community Renewal, calling on a judge to determine whether the new rent reforms apply to the thousands of apartments. A spokesperson for Blackstone said the firm is “confident” that the court will reaffirm a 2012 settlement stating that the J-51 units should no longer be subject to rent regulations as of June 2020.

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