Benjamin M. Williams Benjamin M. Williams, member of Rosenberg & Estis P.C.

NEW YORK CITY—New York rewrote the residential rental rulebook in June 2019 to restrict rent increases. These new landlord-unfriendly laws will slow income growth without providing property tax breaks. Meanwhile, property taxes will keep increasing, albeit more slowly, and eventually normalize at 30% of gross income for many apartment buildings.

HSTPA will reduce landlords’ income. The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) (see related GlobeSt article) prohibits pre-paid rent and application fees, limits background check fees, and minimizes late fees. For rent stabilized apartments, HSTPA minimizes Major Capital Improvement (MCI) and Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) allowances, bans Vacancy and Longevity Bonuses, paralyzes Preferential Rents, and prohibits High Rent Vacancy & High Income Deregulation. HSTPA also made it more expensive for landlords to operate by making landlords liable for more overcharges and damages, restricting recovery of attorneys’ fees, subjecting them to new penalties, and adding hurdles to evict problem tenants. Landlords are mainly stuck with Rent Guidelines Board increases, which have recently been 1-2% per year.

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