August, 2019

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 became effective on June 14, 2019. These new laws could have significant impacts on rent-regulated units and rental laws throughout New York State. While Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP does not specialize nor counsel clients in the areas of rent-stabilization and rent control, we have prepared the following information as a courtesy in response to several client inquiries we have received concerning this new law.  

 A few notable changes include the following:   

 1. Rent regulation under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) is now permanent, with no scheduled expiration.

 2. Prior to the adopted changes, the ETPA coverage was limited to the five boroughs of New York City and the surrounding counties of Rockland, Westchester, and Nassau. Under the new law, any New York State municipality that meets the statutory requirements for a housing emergency can opt in to the provisions of stabilization.

 3. Under rent stabilization there is now a stringent limit on a landlord’s ability to raise rents to pay for costs of improvements. Landlords may only spend and recover an aggregate of $15,000 over a 15-year period on three separate individual apartment improvements and can only raise rent in connection to those costs up to 1/168th for buildings with 35 or fewer units or 1/180th for buildings with more than 35 units. This temporary rent increase may only exist for 30 years.

 4. Under rent stabilization, landlords are limited to raising rent by 2% for costs associated with major capital improvements and these costs are now amortized over 12 years for buildings with 35 or fewer units or 12½ years for buildings with more than 35 units. This temporary rent increase may only exist for 30 years.

 5. For all rental units, security deposits are limited to the amount of one month’s rent. Any amount of security deposit being refunded to tenant at the end of tenancy, less amount retained by landlord to account for damage, must be returned to the tenant within 14 days of vacating, along with an itemized statement indicating any amount retained by the landlord.

 6. For all rental units, application fees (including background and credit checks) are limited to $20.

             For a more comprehensive list of our summary of the changes on the law, click HERE.