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Albany Seeks to Destroy NYC Real Estate Market

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Tenant protections now law, make it a crime for a landlord to forcibly evict or lock out a tenant for non-payment or criminal violations and makes it a requirement to notify any tenant, in writing, if a lease won’t be renewed or if the rent would increase 5% or more.

What do our leaders up in Albany have against The City? They seem to be hell-bent on destroying us. Perhaps Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had it right when he decided to scram, taking his multi-billion dollar business and thousands of proposed jobs with him. Now Governor Mario Cuomo and his Democrat legislators are pulling the rug from under our once great real estate market by rewriting the state’s rules governing tenant protections and rent regulations to satisfy the demands of tenant groups. Last week they rammed through a package of sweeping tenant protections and rent regulations that would be permanent in rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments that according to the Wall Street Journal account for about one million units.

Tenant protections now law, make it a crime for a landlord to forcibly evict or lock out a tenant for non-payment or criminal violations and makes it a requirement to notify any tenant, in writing, if a lease won’t be renewed or if the rent would increase 5% or more. Tenants would also be given more time to obtain legal assistance and permits judges to postpone an eviction for up to a year if the tenant can’t find similar housing in the same neighborhood. Tenant lawsuits for “lack of services” will zoom, crippling landlords. A stacked deck, won’t you say, for tenants and a death sentence for real estate owners, big and small. One renters’ advocate group, Housing Justice for All stated, with glee, that the laws would “end tenant harassment, displacement, destabilization and rising rents,” providing hope that “every renter, from Brooklyn to Buffalo can live free from the fear of displacement and eviction.”

Real estate owners see nothing but the destruction of the real market and the eventual degradation of their units. Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Assn., stated: “Buildings will fall into disrepair, owners will not have the funds to make necessary repairs to these aging buildings and thousands of local jobs will be lost.” It’s strange that investors and landlords are now considered the “bad guys.”

They must, by law, maintain their buildings to strict codes, can’t raise rents more than low single digits with each new lease, are under strict scrutiny when they deny leases to certain applicants, yet when one drives past local public housing and sees the deprivation, decay and sadness of these buildings, we wonder why the state lawmakers, rather than harass the private real estate industry, refuse to take action to make livable, once again, the aging units municipalities rent to the poor and voiceless who must live in these most horrid conditions? We will soon see the middle class squeezed out of the city turning it into another San Francisco or Los Angeles, where the poor and wealthy mingle, meet and live happily together.

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