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Andrew Cuomo vows to change rent regulation

With Senate Democrats now in control, a shift in policy is now a real possibility.

Governor Andrew Cuomo (credit: Hans Pennink/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

In a speech yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to end the system under which landlords can bump up rents beyond what the Rent Guidelines Board sets in exchange for making capital improvements to apartments, according to Politico.

Dig Deeper: The new policy would also prevent landlords from increasing rent in a regulated unit when it becomes vacant. As currently constituted, an apartment is no longer subject to regulation once its monthly rent reaches $2,733.

Origins of rent regulation: For our history buffs… President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Price Control Act into law in 1942. In the throes of World War II, the goal was to prevent inflation by setting price controls in a fully employed economy.

New policy already hurting landlords: The city continues to aggressively enforce rent regulation laws, which is clearly taking a toll on landlords. Vacancy decontrol accounted for a mere 3,517 units that left the system last year, the lowest number since 1999.

Be Smart: The right-to-counsel law has become a factor. It has increased the number of tenants in housing court who are represented by a lawyer from 1 to 27 percent, lowering the eviction rate by nearly 30 percent. 

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