Four years after it was first proposed, “good cause” evictions have returned to the agenda in Albany. Lawmakers are expected to consider this idea as part of a slate of housing bills during the 2023 session.
If it becomes law, good cause evictions would make it more difficult for landlords to evict tenants or raise their rent. Specifically, a landlord would have to show good cause not to renew a lease for a market-rate tenant. “Good cause” in this context means things like failure to pay rent or other lease violations. Currently, New York landlords can choose not to renew for many reasons, such as a desire to sell the property or convert it into condominiums.
Challenging rent hikes in court
The bill would also give tenants the right to challenge “unreasonable” rent increases in court — meaning a raise of more than 3 percent or 1.5 times the Consumer Price Index. If the tenant objects, they would be able to take the dispute to court to have a judge decide. The prospect of going to trial could give tenants leverage in negotiating rent increases with their landlords.
While housing advocacy groups are pushing for these and other changes, landlords oppose them. Lobby groups for property owners compare these measures to a form of universal rent control.
You need to know your legal rights and duties
If New York State’s landlord-tenant laws change this session, both sides will need to know where they stand, especially if they get into a dispute. With so much at stake, advice from a real estate attorney can make a huge difference.