Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NYS Assembly introduces Omnibus Bill

The NYS Assembly introduced an omnibus rent bill on January 19, 2011.
Among other things (and subject to further study of the bill in detail), it appears to
  • renew rent regulation
  • bar "Unique or Peculiar" increases in former Mitchell-Lamas and in former Project-based Section 8 buildings - all of which would go into rent stabilization regardless of the year built
  • repeal vacancy decontrol & roll back rents in previously regulated apartments to what they were in Dec. 2006
  • end Major Capital Improvement surcharges once the improvement is paid for

and do many other things.  IF the bill passes the Assembly, it would then have to pass the State Senate and be signed into law by the governor.  

Below is a quick summary part by part.  Click here for a Real Rent Reform memorandum in support of the bill.

The bill is divided into parts A through K:

Part A
Reform of the "owner use" eviction provisions, limits recovery to one apartment, procedural reforms including requirement that landlord prove immediate and compelling need.

Part B
Reduces statutory vacancy bonus from 20 to 10 percent, limits collection to once per calendar year.

Part C Allows a declaration of emergency for former Section 8 buildings, prohibits rent increases based on unique or peculiar circumstances (does not apply to Section 8 buildings that have already left Section 8).

Part D
Repeals the Urstadt Law, thereby restoring full home rule powers over rent and eviction regulation to New York City.

Part E
Extends Rent Regulation:, the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, state rent control (including the Albany chapter of 1963), the three-county coop/condo conversion protection law, and the New York City coop/condo conversion protection law to June 15, 2016.

Part F
Reforms individual apartment improvement program by reducing the rent increase that can be added to an individual tenant's rent from 1/40the the cost to 1/60th, plus procedural provisions.

Part G
Repeals high rent vacancy decontrol, re-regulates apartments in suburbs that rented on or after January 1, 2007 for less than $5,000 per month (New York City) or less than $3,500 per month (suburbs); at current rent if vacancy occurred prior to January 1, 2007 or at legal rent in effect December 31, 2006 plus legal rent increases if vacancy occurred on or after January 1, 2007.

Part H
Reforms preferential rent provisions to prohibit landlords from raising preferential rent to legal rent upon lease renewal; allows increase to legal rent upon vacancy if vacancy was not caused by failure of landlord to maintain habitability.

Part I
Increases from three to six years the ownership requirement before landlords can qualify for rent increase under the alternate hardship provisions of the Omnibus Housing Act of 1983.

Part J
Reforms major capital improvement program by making MCI rent increases temporary surcharges, not to be compounded with base rent, and ending when landlord has recovered the cost of the improvement; procedural changes.

Part K
Allows a declaration of emergency for former Mitchell-Lama buildings, including those already taken out of Mitchell-Lama, prohibits rent increases based on unique or peculiar circumstances.  (This bill would not roll back rents in post-1973 buildings whose rents were already doubled and tripled when they were taken out of Mitchell-Lama.)
Click on for a fuller discussion, with a part-by-part summary.