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NEW YORK CITY- The State of New York Court of Appeals has ruledthat the Housing Stability Tenant Protection Act of 2019 cannot beapplied retroactively to revive, or expand recovery on, apreviously asserted rent overcharge claim. Now rent charges must beresolved under the law when they go into effect at the time theovercharge occurred.

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Part F of HSTPA, which the court has ruled unconstitutional toapply to retroactive charges, holds landlords responsible for rentcharges above a certain threshold. The Court of Appealsdefinitively held that, under the prior law, an overcharge iscalculated using the rent charged four years prior to the filing ofa complaint, plus any legal increases applicable during thefour-year look-back period, except in the case of fraud.

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Rosenberg & Estis' Deborah Riegel, who represented BelnordPartners before Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in the case, tellsGlobeSt.com the majority expressly agreed with the argument thatthe HSTPA does not apply to claims which were already time barredat the time of its enactment, and ruled that, to the extent theywere not already time barred, retroactively applying Part F of theHSTPA would be a violation of the owners' substantive due processrights, Riegel said.

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"The Court of Appeals handed down a fair and extraordinarilythoughtful decision that will have a tremendous impact across thereal estate industry. A ruling against the owners' would have beencatastrophic, retroactively subjecting them to large overchargeclaims," Riegel added.

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Mariah Brown

Mariah Brown is the New York Bureau Chief and Real Estate Reporter for GlobeSt.com, covering the New York Metro area, Northeast region and national real estate trends. She is responsible for producing multi-media content, including articles, podcasts and video. Before joining the GlobeSt team, she served as a New York Times fellow, reported for the Associated Press in New York and Philadelphia and several other New York City-based outlets.