Landlords and owners of apartment buildings with rent-stabilized units in New York City are gearing up to mount a legal challenge to a state effort to close loopholes in a 2019 rent reform law that permitted them to combine vacant rent-controlled apartments and raise rents.

The state Division of Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) filed public notice earlier this month of its intention to adopt new tenant-friendly regulations amending New York’s Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA), which was enacted four years ago.

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