Expiration of Rent Regulations Approaches as Tenants Mull Impact

The city's rent regulations will expire in just a few days, which could affect about two million New Yorkers living in about a million apartments.  NY1's Courtney Gross explains what happens if state lawmakers don't renew it in time.

Time is running out.  At 11:59 p.m. on Monday the city's rent regulations will expire. 

"Every day, people's leases will be expiring and they will be in panic mode," says State Senator Adriano Espaillat of Manhattan.

Ultimately is up to the state legislature and the governor to extend the law. 

"It is a real game of chicken that is dangerous, because we are talking about two million New Yorkers," says Mayor de Blasio.

So what happens if the law lapses?

"Bottom line: Tenants in rent stabilized apartments who have existing leases should not be at all concerned because they are protected by their leases and owners will honor those leases," explains Jack Freund of the Rent Stabilization Association.

"I think tenants are concerned and they are right to be paying careful attention," adds Emily Goldstein of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.  "I would encourage people not to panic."

Both landlords and advocates say that in the short term, nothing will happen, at least legally. 

Tenants in rent regulated buildings should be covered by a lease, and that lease protects them from a landlord who may want to raise the rent to market rate. 

"This will not affect anyone except perhaps people whose leases expire three to five months in the future from June 15th," says Freund.

"Tenants should not move out," agrees Judith Goldiner of the Legal Aid Society. "They should know no one can show up on Tuesday morning and put them out of their homes. They have to have process before that can happen, and that's not going to happen on Tuesday."

In fact if the 15th comes and goes without a deal, this would not be the first time the state legislature allowed the city's rent regulation to expire. 

The law lapsed in 1997, and it happened again in 2011. 

"The state legislature, when they finally acted, made it retroactive to when the laws had expired so really everyone was protected," says Goldiner.

In the end, most are confident that the regulations will be renewed. It's just a question of when.

 

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