Rent Control Would Ruin Upstate

A legislative column by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R,C,I-East Aurora)
May 15, 2019

The move in Albany to unlock rent control from New York City would push another blatantly NYC focused practice onto upstate and cripple our rental industry. It’s simply short-sighted and highlights once again that downstate legislators can only rule from their ivory towers in Manhattan. They can’t fathom what it’s like to live upstate, rent from an apartment complex, work on a farm; it’s a totally different world to them.

Rent control at least to New York City, is the manner by which they limit the increase of rent on a complex, stabilizing the general increase of rent while also managing the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. The concept was first established to create a standard beyond ‘reasonableness’ by which rent could be raised and lowered. However, the degree of control has increased to such ludicrous degrees that the word reasonable isn’t anywhere near the discussion.

The package of bills that is currently being worked on would establish universal rent control across the breadth of New York. The justification being that they would protect renters from undue rent increases and unsafe conditions. My whole question is, these protections already exist upstate. You can’t unilaterally raise someone’s rent against the market norm; you’re required to provide a reasonable and safe domicile. These bills are already dedicated to focusing on New York City problems, such as closing several legal loopholes that decrease the number of rent-stabilized apartments in New York City!

Here we have the crux of the issue; they’re once again pushing legislation that is 100% focused on New York City’s issues while ignoring the problems we have day-to-day here upstate. Why do we need to burden our people with even more red tape and oppressive legislation when the bills are designed to solve a problem in the 5 boroughs? It’s ludicrous.

Union leaders have even written to Gov. Cuomo in recent days to stress the importance of decoupling and answer these rent loopholes, but why, I ask you dear union leader, must we force these changes across upstate New York without a thought for the renters and landlords upstate who have nothing to do with NYC rent control?