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SENATOR LIZ KRUEGER ON TEMPORARY EXPIRATION OF NEW YORK STATE RENT LAWS

(MSCC) John Mudd — A letter from Senator Liz Krueger as shared by (INTERFAITH ASSEMBLY) MARC GREENBERG — We are pleased to share the following message received yesterday from State Senator Liz Krueger on the temporary expiration of New York State’s rent laws. We continue to applaud Senator Krueger for her tireless efforts on behalf of all New Yorkers.

Senator Liz Krueger — As I’m sure you are aware, New York State’s rent regulation laws governing more than one million apartments expire at midnight tonight. I am working closely with tenant advocates, my Senate Democratic colleagues, and the Assembly leadership to renew and strengthen the laws. Although negotiations are continuing in Albany today, there is a chance the laws may temporarily lapse. In the event the laws are not renewed tonight, there is no reason to panic – a short-term expiration will have no immediate legal impact on tenants. In fact, the rent laws technically expired for a number of days in both 1997 and 2011, and were then renewed retroactively.

However, it is always important for tenants to know their rights:

-Expiration of the rent laws is not grounds for eviction . A landlord cannot put you out of your apartment without going to court. If they try to do so, it is illegal – call the police.

-If you have a lease, you are protected at least as long as the term of your lease . If you have a renewal lease, landlords are not permitted to withdraw it if rent laws expire; sign it and return it as soon as you can.

-If your lease expires on or before Sept. 30, 2015, you are entitled to receive a renewal.

-If you are rent controlled, you are protected by New York City law and are unaffected by the potential expiration.

To get help with issues regarding the expiration of rent laws, including illegal rent increases, eviction attempts and harassment, contact one of the following:

-Public Advocate’s Tenant Hotline:  212-669-7250

-NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal special emergency hotline:  844-736-8435

-Please feel free to call my office with questions or concerns at  212-490-9535

It is vital for the rent laws to be significantly strengthened this year.  New York State’s rent regulation system is by far our largest and most important affordable housing program.  It enables more than two million people, the vast majority of whom are moderate- or low-income, to live in safe and affordable housing.  Unfortunately, as a result of “reforms” enacted over the last two decades, the laws were severely weakened to make it easier for landlords to remove housing from rent regulation and increase rents.  In order to protect tenants and stem the loss of hundreds of thousands of additional affordable homes, we must repeal vacancy deregulation, eliminate vacancy bonuses, and reform the MCI, IAI, and preferential rent systems.

If you are interested in getting involved with advocacy efforts to renew and strengthen the laws, you can contact the Alliance for Tenant Power at 212-608-4320 or the Metropolitan Council on Housing at 212-979-6238.

You can also call Governor Cuomo at 518-474-8390  or email him using this contact form  https://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php, and tell him the rent laws must be renewed and strengthened.

Sincerely,

Liz Krueger, State Senator, liz@lizkrueger.com