Renters rally ahead of rent regulation expiration

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HARLEM, Manhattan — Residents rallied in Harlem Saturday to protect their homes. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio,  two million New Yorkers could be impacted if lawmakers in Albany do not act.

The state’s current rent regulations are set to expire on June 15, setting the stage for a showdown. The democratic majority in the State Assembly has already voted to strengthen rules that offer greater protections to tenants. The Republican-led Senate is expected to fight the proposed changes.

De Blasio outlined 3 key areas where he wants to see changes:

1. End Vacancy Decontrol
“Landlords should not be able to take an affordable apartment and turn it into a luxury apartment.”

2. End Vacancy Bonuses
“It’s time to get rid of the vacancy bonus for landlords. Why should a landlord be able to raise the rent 20% just because the apartment turned over? It’s just another trick to take the affordable units and make them unaffordable for the people of this city.”

3. End Capital Improvement Rent Hikes
“It’s time to say no to the idea that a landlord can hike up the rent permanently just because they made an improvement. If they make an improvement, they can charge just the amount of money it took to make that improvement but not make it a permanent windfall for the landlord.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote an op-ed that ran in Saturday’s Daily News in favor of stricter regulations for landlords. Landlord associations have reportedly said that the city needs to keep taxes and other building-owner costs down, otherwise small-time landlords will struggle without additional rent.

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