When Democrats took control of the Legislature last year, it opened the door for some changes in New York law. Last week, state lawmakers passed legislation that largely supports tenants, angering landlords who claim they will no longer be able to afford proper upkeep of their buildings. With more than 65% of the NYC population being renters, however, the majority are rejoicing about the new laws–particularly the roughly 2 million New Yorkers who live in rent regulated apartments.
5 of the most impactful changes to the New York City rent laws include:
- A maximum security deposit may not exceed one month’s rent.
- Sharing “blacklists” of bad tenants is now forbidden.
- Illegal evictions now carry penalties of $1,000-$10,000.
- Regulated apartments will remain regulated, regardless of the rent or the tenant’s income.
- Small building landlords may only add a maximum of $89 to rent regulated apartments for renovations made in between tenants. Previously they could charge up to $1,000.
Advocates say these new laws will curb the practice of squeezing existing tenants out of their homes to rent units at a higher price. Critics claim the laws are too restrictive for landlords and, as one New York Post columnist put it, “These new rent laws are a giant gift to New Yorkers who don’t need help.”