State legislature hashes out framework for rent regulation

State Sen. Shirley Huntley (c.) joins housing advocates to protest the expiration of rent regulations at the Capitol in Albany. AP Photo/Hans Pennink
By Philip Newman

New York state legislative negotiators said Tuesday they had reached what they call a framework toward an agreement on a renewal of rent regulations.

They did not immediately mention same-sex marriage, which has brought both pro- and anti-demonstrators to Albany for a week.

The state Senate and state Assembly leaders, working a day after the legislative session had been scheduled to end, said the rent regulations could be extended four years rather than the previous five years.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said the agreement on rent rules “will mean they [rent-controlled tenants] will be able to sleep and hopefully we’ll be able to expand their current protections.”

Legislative sources said the agreement provides for raising annual household income governing renters covered by rent stabilization guidelines from $175,000 to $250,000 before controls are removed. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pushed for a strengthening of rent laws.

Rent regulations originally were to have expired June 15.

Democrats had worked hard to not only get an extension of rent regulations, but provide more protection for renters while Republicans wanted only a renewal.

About half of New York City’s 2 million apartments are under some form of rent control or stabilization.

The state Department of Housing and Community Renewal said that in Queens there are 5,359 rent controlled apartments and 153,352 apartments under rent stabilization.

Tenants in rent-stabilized apartments are required to sign one- or two-year leases subject to annual increases negotiated by landlord and tenant groups. Tenants in rent-controlled apartments sign one lease, which sets the rent indefinitely unless there are capital improvements to the building or upgrades to the apartment.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

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