Loopholes in the rent laws and fraudulent real estate practices are contributing to the deterioration of the largest affordable housing program in New York City.
Half of all New York City residents are rent burdened and spend over 30% of their monthly income on housing. New York City’s affordable housing problem is being exacerbated by rampant overcharges and the illegal destabilization of rent regulated apartments.
Vacancy deregulation is the point at which a landlord can deregulate a rent stabilized apartment and charge an unlimited rent. This has created a financial incentive for predatory landlords to bypass rent stabilization laws and defraud tenants in return for substantial financial gains.
Predatory landlords are exploiting the reactive policies used by our housing enforcement agencies, resulting in widespread rent fraud, the illegal deregulation of rent stabilized apartments, and a backlog of nearly two million open Housing Maintenance Code violations in New York City.
Without a systematic and proactive enforcement system, the cost of penalties will rarely exceed the profits of fraud. When a rent overcharge complaint is filed by a tenant, the subsequent investigation is often confined to the single unit in which the complaint was filed, as opposed to all units in that building and across buildings owned by that same landlord. As a result, the predatory model is left intact and the rent overcharges continue unabated.
The burden is unfairly placed on tenants to understand complex real estate laws and discover rent overcharges.
Tenants in NYC who live in rent stabilized apartments
The percentage of NYC apartments that are rent stabilized
The percentage a rent stabilized tenant will save, on average, compared to market rate.