Last week, New York’s legislature passed a raft of bills that will dramatically change the landscape for landlords and tenants in the state. Specifically, the laws make it harder for landlords to convert rent-controlled apartments to market-rate apartments, one of the major fuels for gentrification.
“It’s all over,” Lazer Sternhell, a real-estate investor and broker in New York told the Wall Street Journal, we assume while crying. “You can’t raise the rents. You can’t deregulate.”
We feel for you, buddy.
For decades, landlords have been able find loopholes in rent laws in order to either raise rents dramatically or deregulate apartments entirely. As the Journal notes, landlords have removed 300,000 units from rent-regulation since 1994, making millions in the process.
This won’t be possible anymore, at least not on this scale, with the rent laws that were passed by New York’s Democrat-controlled legislature last week.
Since the new laws’ passage, landlords have spent their time complaining and making veiled threats about their diminished motivation to renovate or improve existing properties. Others say they’ll have to lay off staff.
Some buildings are apparently already being valued less than they would have before the laws were enacted, according to investors.
“Every spreadsheet in New York just changed,” Steven Vegh, a real-estate broker, told the Journal.
But, of course, tenants know what rental deregulation really means. They’ve already experienced landlords who refuse to fix anything in hopes the tenants will eventually be forced out and they can turn the properties market-rate (even Jared Kushner has gotten in on this game).
Sorry landlords, but your time is up. Guess you’ll have to fall back on the millions and millions you’ve made off of kicking people out of their homes and displacing entire communities. Sucks!!!