Millions Of New York City Tenants Dreading Possibility Of Huge Rent Hikes


apartmentsMore than one million apartments could be subjected to huge rent hikes if New York’s rent laws are allowed to expire at midnight.┬áTenants in the city were expressing concern that rent regulations could expire, and said they worried about tenant protections, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“This would put seniors, low-income families at-risk for eviction,” tenant Linda Sarsour, of Bay Ridge, said.

Tenants were targeting the office of State Senator Marty Golden, a Republican who they said has shown no interest in bolstering rent regulations.

Approximately 2.5 million New Yorkers live in rent-stabilized apartments, and they said they want stronger protections – specifically, getting rid of vacancy decontrol.

“Once a tenant reaches $2,000 in rent and leaves his apartment, the apartment is out of regulation,” tenant Tom Murata said.

That would be for tenants whose combined income exceeds $175,000. As a result, expiring leases would go to market rate.

The Rent Stabilization Association issued a statement from landlord Peter Petrov, a small building owner in the Bronx.

“Vacancy and luxury decontrol is not an issue in my building or in other poor and middle class neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. More restrictions would limit the ability of small building owners like me to pay our real estate taxes and water bills and make repairs. That hurts the city and our tenants,” Petrov said.

“We have taken hundreds of thousands of affordable units off the rolls and made them luxury housing,” New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.

Silver wants more than an extension of existing regulations, so tenants can be protected. He said that the Big Apple is increasingly becoming a city of the rich and the poor.

{CBS Broadcasting/ Newscenter}