Albany, NY Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson today voted to pass legislation he sponsored, which will provide historic tenant protections for New Yorkers no matter where they live in the state. (A6458). The legislation does not include a sunset date making these new protections permanent.
For far too long, families have been forced out of their homes and neighborhoods because of unfair rent increases and landlords who game the system to put profits over people, said Assemblymember Bronson. I am honored to have worked with my colleagues to put this measure together and be sure the voices of Rochester were heard. Importantly, the final legislation recognizes the different needs of communities throughout our state by providing for local control by allowing upstate communities to opt-in, and provides protections for our neighbors living in manufactured home communities.
Measures in the legislation that affect upstate communities include:
- Providing local control by authorizing, not requiring, every county in New York State to opt-in to the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, if the vacancy rate in their community is 5% or less. Currently, only New York City and municipalities in Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland counties are eligible to opt in.
- Prohibiting retaliatory eviction by a landlord against a tenant who makes a good faith complaint to them alleging a violation of the warranty of habitability.
- Establishes a standard period for a landlord to provide notice of refusal to renew a tenants lease
- Prevents landlords from using databases of court information to blacklist prospective tenants
- Limits the amount of a security deposit to an amount equal to one months rent and requires any deposit to be refundable, and provides tenants the right to ask for a walkthrough inspection with the landlord before occupancy and again after, and requiring the landlord to provide an itemized account of why any portion of the security deposit was retained.
- Limits mobile and manufactured home rent increases to 3% unless the increase is justifiable, in which case the park owner may increase rent up to 6%. Any increase above 3% can be challenged by park tenants in court as unjustifiable.
- Establishes a new rent-to-own protections that would protect MMH tenants attempting to purchase a home from an MMH park owner or operator
- Adds a Homeowners Bill of Rights rider for all leases.
These new tenant protections would not have been possible without the tireless work of the advocates, and the courageous testimony of tenants who provided input at public hearings across our state. Its a new day for tenants in New York, and I am proud to have voted for such long-overdue legislation that protects people, not landlords bottom lines.