NYC Rent Control Law Expires After Lawmakers Engage In ‘Worst Of Political Games’

An Extension Can Still Be Granted As Sides Will Meet Again On Friday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Late Wednesday night, the state Senate failed to extend the New York City rent control law until Friday, leaving more than 1 million tenants temporarily no longer protected by the 1946 law.

The surprising defeat also threatens a linked bill that would cap local property tax growth statewide.

Although a deal had been struck between the Assembly and Senate to extend the bill to Friday, Senate Democrats and Republicans got into what Democratic Sen. Diane Savino called “the worst of political games” minutes before the bill expired at midnight.

The inaction, however, likely means no immediate threat to renters.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seek to strengthen protections for tenants enjoying lower rent intended to help keep the middle class in the city.

Earlier Wednesday, tenants in the city were expressing concern that rent regulations could expire, and said they worried about tenant protections, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

“This would put seniors, low-income families at-risk for eviction,” tenant Linda Sarsour, of Bay Ridge, said.

Tenants were targeting the office of State Sen. Marty Golden, a Republican who they said has shown no interest in bolstering rent regulations.

Approximately 2.5 million New Yorkers live in rent-stabilized apartments, and they said they want stronger protections – specifically, getting rid of vacancy decontrol.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond Hears From Renters In Brooklyn

“Once a tenant reaches $2,000 in rent and leaves his apartment, the apartment is out of regulation,” tenant Tom Murata said.

That would be for tenants whose combined income exceeds $175,000. As a result, expiring leases would go to market rate.

The Rent Stabilization Association had earlier issued a statement from landlord Peter Petrov, a small building owner in the Bronx: “Vacancy and luxury decontrol is not an issue in my building or in other poor and middle class neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. More restrictions would limit the ability of small building owners like me to pay our real estate taxes and water bills and make repairs. That hurts the city and our tenants,” Petrov said.

“We have taken hundreds of thousands of affordable units off the rolls and made them luxury housing,” Assembly Speaker Silver said.

Silver wants more than an extension of existing regulations, so tenants can be protected. He said that the Big Apple is increasingly becoming a city of the rich and the poor.

Please stay with CBSNewYork on Thursday for more on this developing story.

Please offer your comments below.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from John Slattery
  • frankie

    I live in a rent stabalized apt, and most of the building is co-op and the maintenace for my apt if i owned would be $ 645 per month, my rent is $1049 per month. how could owners cry when the rent is $400 per month more than the maintenance. any owner who buys a building that has rent stabalized apts already now this, now they want to cry.

  • Jimfromearth

    In my building their are many senior’s living
    On social security as their only income.
    About $1,000. Monthly . Without rent
    Stabilization they probably could not afford
    To pay their rent no less food. They need to
    Live where they were raise to be near their
    Friends and family for help. Not move to
    North Carolina ! You may as well send
    Them to meet their maker!

  • NOYB

    who cares…….move out you cheap people

    • Vinnie

      Yeah…let’s start with you when you lose your job, get an unexpected medical condition (i.e., cancer) or get your investments trashed by somebody like Madoff. What comes around goes around. I’d like to see you begging on the street, greedy slimeball.

  • Gio

    now I wonder … what does this do to the Illegal Sublets situation? It’s a big problem for landlords but a cash cow to PI’s

  • markosouid

    my rent is $1500 with the rent control the land lord said if i leave he will rent it for $2500 i work 3 weeks to cover the rent if there is no rent controll i will sleep with my 4 kids on the street sombody got to do somthing

  • Just Plain Upset

    I wouldn’t be able to afford to live in this city if it weren’t for rent stabilization. As a teacher living and teaching in her neighborhood, that affordability is essential to my budget. As it is, even with rent stabilization, I’m still paying almost 1300.00 in a non-luxurious area for a 1 br., which is nearly 1/2 my pay. Can we say “quality of life”?

    • MOSSAD

      As a teacher you and your union (Weingarten, Mulgrew) are raping this city. You got a 42% increase in salary over eight (8) years by Mayor Bloombucks this last decade in exchange for.. fudged numbers, dismal results, etc.

  • EricG

    The yuppies are the ones who are causing the rents to go sky high

  • Trishe

    This is becoming a city of the rich….but I am wondering who is going to be picking up after them if the little people can’t afford to live here.

  • Purple People

    What I’m wondering is why none of you are arguing the fact that millionaries are being protected by the very same people who are allowing the rent stablize program expire. Millionaries are not paying their fair share, so why should the least among us pay?

    • alulu4youyou

      Right on! You are absolutely correct.

      It is disgusting that all the GOP/TP politicians care about only property and “things,” not people, and certainly not lower and middle class working people in this state.

      They are a disgrace.

  • nyc

    Memo from Bloomrich : If you are middle class or poor and cannot afford to live in New York , just leave. This is becoming a city for the rich only !

    • alulu4youyou

      Right on! The GOP/TP of this state is a disgrace and need to be voted OUT.

  • mo

    the landlords that have rent controlled buildings get tax breaks from state.they did this in bopston years ago and the rents run about the same as ours do 2,000-8,000 a month .the rents did not roll back they continued to increase even with all of the people who moved out . if rent controlled and stablized apartments become empty that is about 1.1 million .there is another way to think of it that is 2.2 million people who work in departments stores, she stores ,baby stores ,salons ,spas ,hospitals ,hotel ,daycare ,drycleaners,laundramat ,supermarkets , book stores,movie houses ,delis ,bar /resturants moving companies ,ups,fed ex ,and government jobs .do you really want all of these people to leave who’s going to do the work?

  • nycwolf

    Get rid of rent control and rent stabilization. Its about time people pay what is fair. Just think of all the stabilized apartments over crowded with all those illegal aliens. What a waste. Pay what’s fair or get out. Santa Monica did away with Rent Control years ago and look what a great balance of people they have. Tenants want and want and want. Poor landlords cant afford it all with stabilization.

    • nyc

      I agree. There is over one million Illegal immigrants in New York. Many Illegals are working for cheap employers that should be fined. I wish we would adopt some of the same laws that have been passed in Arizona and other states. I think New York is still a sanctuary city and you cannot ask someone if they are Illegal ? As a New Yorker all my life, I have watched this city that I love loose it’s character. Sad.

  • Bruce Goldensteinberg

    Where will the protests be for middle class new yorkers who are tired of subsidizing those who have rentals where they pay a fraction of the price? Most of those with rent control apts use them as 2nd homes and rent them out. Also, many have houses out on Long Island. Rent control makes it impossible for average working class folks to live in NYC and favors the well-connected. Once it’s gone, rents will decrease overall.

  • Jimmy

    Don’t the people who have to pay market rates subsidize the people in the rent controlled apartments?

    • SadCity

      Landlords receive various subsidies from NYC and NYS for rent controlled apartments. I don’t know the process for rent stabilized apartments.

  • Ph.D

    In general what the landlord’s don’t want you to know if how much
    the value of their property goes up each year in NYC that alone is
    enough of a raise.

  • Chris O'leary

    God bless Sheldon Silver he has always fought the Landlord
    Sharks ,if this city helps ll’s raise rents even higher where are
    all the workers that live in NYC that serve the rich and the poor going to live in
    Maine. Regular workers like the store clerks,dental assistants ,bus drivers
    Pharmacists, and a zillion other important workers that without them would
    make this city stop are not “Condo” people or can pay $3000.00 a month
    for a one bedroon apt. Shame on the landlord’s shark group the RSA.

    • MOSSAD

      O’Leary (if that’s your name): you know very well that bus drivers make a very good living and so do pharmacists, and can afford their rents. If you really mean what you write then you are a fool, and should go live in Ireland.

    • Gustavo

      Get rid of ridiculously low rents for people who do not deserve them. Young professionals are subsidizing low rents for rent stabilizers for no reason. We are not in a communist era. Stop being cute or we will leave this city for a better place.

  • SadCity

    Been in rent stabilized apartment for 25 years (I was born in my beautiful parents house and moved to Manhattan after college) , never ever made anywhere near 175K/yr. My apartment is less than 300 sf and my landlord is a pig and gets subsidies from NYS (even though he is debt free/has paid off ALL his loans a few years ago). Minumal services and no heat a few weeks a year (in the height of the winter) and does not give hot water 24/7 (which is the law!!). Mice, rats, etc. Why do I stay? I can’t afford to move ANYWHERE. I’ve been unemployed for over 4 years. worked in housing industry (construction). No one is hiring and I am almost 60 (retrain? maybe). I’m about to go on public assistance (my 90 year old Dad has no idea of my financial crisis – he would die if he knew and he can’t help me cause he lives in Arizona on Social Security). I will file for bankruptcy soon. My friends (the ones who are left and didn’t abandon me) try to help, I am now on food stamps. I have $5000 left from my lifetime of 401K retirement savings. So please, don’t talk to me about doing away with rent stabilization. No one will hire me, overqualified for Shoprite, Banana Republic, McDonalds (trust me, I’ve sent out over 1000 resumes in the last few years). I used to be middle class, have health insurance, nice 401k, etc. I don’t even think public assistance will pay my $700.00/month rent. So where will i be? Maybe on the street? I feel bad for my neighbors who pay 2 and 3 times my rent and suffer with poor maintenance in our building. I don’t know how they put up with theese living conditions. I know there are better landlords in NYC, but mine is not one of them. What keeps me going is my sense of humor (and readingsome the ignorant comments here). If you don’t know the law or know the difference between Rent Control and Rent Stabilization, why do you pretend to know (just google!). There are a few people here who actually know what they are talking about. Please continue to post the truth….

    • Bruce Goldensteinberg

      You are nothing more than a loafer! Why do I and other productive WORKERS have to pay for your apartment? I say this to all who are getting rent control. If you can’t afford it on your own, then move. I don’t care to where. I’m tired of paying for someone else when you are probably taking vacations and buying a flat screen tv with my money.

  • ann

    I am a tenant in a rent stabalized building and by far am earing $175 K in fact I am collecting recycled soda/beer etc cans and bottles to help compensate my stabalized rent. Some of us in these types of buildings need to save stabalization. Please help the tenants.

    • Outrages

      175k? BUY A HOUSE.

  • Frank Rizzo

    We really need to get back to the 1970s and 1980s when market rents were affordable. Bring back the good old days!!!

    • Dale Auburn

      “Living In The Past” was a nice song by Jethro Tull (1974), but it makes lousy public policy.

  • Frank Florentino

    It is entirely the fault of Sheldon Silver, doing the bidding of his union masters (especially the teachers unions) that the rent laws expired without extension. I support rent regulations, although it is obscene that someone making $175K a year needs or gets help paying rent. Back to Silver, this succubus on the body politic, finally pushed the envelope too far, in doing the powerful public unions’ bidding, which is undoubtedly why Cuomo did not have an acceptable bill to sign into law.

  • Mark

    As someone who paid $1900 per month for a studio apartment that was about 12 by 15 (it’s probably going for 2000+ now), I sympathize with those who are angry at people who are in rent stabilized/controlled situation, but I must say your anger is misdirected. Although I’m sure there are some renters and some landlords who are scheming and corrupt, the real problem is that there is a huge disparity of wealth in this country and it is most evident in NYC. The myth of NYC (perpetuated in film and TV) makes thousands of people all across the world yearn to get to NYC. There is a never ending supply of renters willing to pay more and more to be part of the myth of NYC. There’s only so much supply, especially in the better neighborhoods in Manhattan. Without some protection, current renters would be at the mercy of the free market and in housing in NYC and uncontrolled market would mean disaster.

    • MOSSAD

      J.O.: Is your mother a skank or a ho? I always forget the difference.

    • MOSSAD

      There is no such person as “Bruce Goldensteinberg”. This is obviously a fictional individual created to further J.O.’s anti-Semitic hatemongering, providing a stick figure villain to which he can immediately reply. While I suspect J.O. is black (of the Charles Barron variety); I am not 100% sure.

    • joe

      Amen, thats why i left that dump after 34 years of living there………..greatest cesspool in the world is more like it!

  • JHNY

    As a former Landlord, dealing withn these and other govt programs, I can assure you was dealing with a low reimbursement from the tenants on these controls. As a landlord, with the oil price now at $4.00 per gallon, it became impossible to collect enough rent to cover the losses. I was in debt to the oil company for thousands and that does not count all the other overhead such as Insurance, Electric, Water and repairs which I did myself. Sadly, two years ago I was forced into forclosure and sold at action. this was all due to rent control and rent stabilization laws. At the least, the bank did find someone to resell but I was out on my ass. The Oil prices were the final nail and even when I went to court to force an increase due to hardship, a number of my tenants paying $350.00 amonth showed up to call me a crook and how I was tryin g to kick them out to raise the rents. The judge agreed w the tenants even after I presented a complete financial certified by my CPA. Govt control ruins everything and destroys lives, except for those tenants who keep voting for the likes of Silver and now Cuomo

  • Dunham1

    The problem is security. Under the expired law, behaving tenants who pay on time, albeit higher rents every two years, may keep renewing their leases for as long as they like. If the law expires, every tenant can be placed on month to month at the end of his or her present lease, hence subject to eviction.

  • Dale Auburn

    I ask again:

    The rent regulations were enacted in the 1940’s as a TEMPORARY “emergency” measure to prevent inflation in the booming wartime economy. Are we really supposed to believe that the “emergency” still hasn’t ended after almost 70 years?

  • Johan Cox

    Stop confusing the 2!!!!

  • FL

    It is unfair when these tenants are paying less than $300.00 with all these costs increasing (water, electricity, gas, etc.). These people have no idea what it costs to run and maintain a building. This rent controlled regulation is either making these tenants rich or homeowners poor.

    This is why lots of homeowners are defaulting and are underwater when the mortgage payment is about 4K while these parasites are paying approximately $120.00 monthly, which do not even cover their water bill.

    I don’t know think any reasonable person would call this a fair game.


    no rent stabilization would be a budget and neighborhood buster for nyc and nys that must pay the rents for so many dependent families . rent stabilization must stay and be strengthened i am ashamed of my party taking the side of the land lord against those in great need

  • layla

    The writer of this story has a few fact wrong. Rent Stabilization Laws were started in 1969. It’s Rent Control that began in the 40’s and it’s been phased out since the 60’s – only a few are left.

    And for an apartment to be vacancy decontrolled, it doesn’t matter how much the tenant made. If the move out and the rent is $2000 or more – the apartment is deregulated.

  • Jimmney

    Ny’ers need to create some ” vacancies” in Albany when some “terms” expire.:(

  • Andy

    NYC is becoming a city strictly for the rich. I believe this is part of a plan designed to to enslave people again. How else will the poor be able to pay off their debts? Immigrants, no offense, don’t have to worry, the government takes care of them. Those of us who were born and raised here are seriously in trouble if we don’t fight, protest and vote. The government gives us nothing. It seems like more then half this country is owned by other countries anyway. The government doesn’t care. They can still afford to live here.

  • George

    I hope that some of the people who will at some point be thrown out on the street have a son or daughter that will become a thug with a gun and fend for himself. We need a revolution in this city. It’s coming. The rich just want get get richer at any cost. Hopefully this city could go back to the 60’s and 70’s where landlords would give you three months free rent if you rented an apartment. If you read the news papers or watch the news, you will find that little by little this city is going down. More power to these thugs. Everywhere you look, it’s all about money

    • Andy


      I understand where you are coming from but i hope it doesn’t get like that.

  • Barry Levine

    I was a landlord for six buildings from eight families to sixteen families and when I found out that I could do better buying triple tax free bonds from David Lerner I sold my buildings whose tenants I was subdizing and bought those bonds which paid five and three quarter percent triple tax free without headaches or weekly city inspectors who alwas needed a “tip”. My tenants took trips or vacations and in reality I was doing the paying. Free at last, free at last, great Gawd almighty I am free at last!!!

  • tenant

    some of these landlords are greeeeedy pigs. charging over a thousand dollars for some of these small closet size studios is not right. GREED is the motive behind these hikes and yes it does take money to run these filthy toxic buildings yet when you need repairs, it takes a miracle to get some of these pig landlords to fix what needs to be fixed, yet these same land lords are their first thing to collect the rent. GREEDY PIGS.

  • DeShean

    Why do I have to pay 3 times what my neighbor pays??? She’s a millionaire. I have tens of thousands of student debt. She lives alone (we have the same floorplan and our units are in similar condition). She also has other homes. I had to find two roommates on CL so I could afford the rent. Why does she get to pay 1/3rd what I get to pay? She should pay market just like I do.

    • MR

      She can’t be a millionaire and reside in a rent stabilized apartmetn. Either you are exxagerating or you are stupid. The MAX cap on a rent stabilized apartment is 175,00 a year.

      • mr


      • Stephan

        MR — You are incorrect. The only way a landlord can deregulate an apartment is if BOTH the legally regulated rent reaches $2,000 AND the tenant earns over $175,000 per year. So if someone got an apartment thirty years ago at $300 per month rent and right now the legally regulated rent is $1,200 per month, the landlord cannot deregulate the apartment no matter how much the tenant earns.

      • Mark

        You can earn less than 175 per year and be a millionaire. Assets, savings, investments etc. can make a person a millionaire.

    • layla

      Yeah. You are SO exaggerating. But I do understand why you, as a market renter, would feel jealous of somebody who’s rent is a lil cheaper than yours. But if Rent Stabilization were to end, your market rent wouldn’t get any cheaper. Landlords try and tell market renters that their rents are so high because of Rent Stabillized tenants. It’s bull and propaganda. They charge high rent because they are greedy and can get away with it. It’s all about the profit in a city scarce housing supply.

      • Osama cares

        Not so true about supply. just check Craigslist and look at the glut of apts. If you charge more than the neighborhood rate, tenants go elsewhere.

  • Goblin

    Why even bother owning property in NYC when you have these bloodsucking tenants that pay $300.00 or less a month in rent and laws that protect them. These people have no idea what it costs to run and maintain a building.

    • FL

      I agree with you Goblin. What they pay don’t even cover the water bill of their apartment that landlords are paying. $ 120.00 a month gotta be a joke. This rent controlled regulation is either making them rich or landlords poor. No wonder lots of homeowners are defaulting.

      • MOSSAD

        JEWOBLITERATED: Is your mother a skank?

      • MOSSAD

        J.O.: that’s just a rhetorical question!!! No need to respond!!!!!!!

  • Dale Auburn

    The current rent regulations were originally enacted in 1943 as a TEMPORARY “emergency” measure to prevent inflation in the booming wartime economy. It was a Federal program until 1950 and a state program after that.

    Are we really supposed to believe that the “emergency” from 1943 still hasn’t ended after all these years?

  • NYC Renters Alliance for Housing Choice

    What about the Market Rate Renters?

    We need vacancy decontrol — every apartment ‘lost’ to rent control has been ‘found’ by a happy renter who could actually rent it without talking to his cousin’s wife’s super.

    Rent control is a politician’s protection racket — there’s no reason someone making over $175k needs it.
    Join our fight for Housing Equality — / nycrenters

    • MOSSAD

      NYC Renters Alliance for Housing Choice is obviously nothing but a front group for landlords and their shills.

  • nykat

    I have a really hard time understanding “rent control”. If I pay 2,000,000 for a two family home, and want to rent it out WHY on earth would I do so for less than my monthly expenses on said property?
    Since rent control started cost of living has gone way up- wages paid to contractors, housekeeping and materials have also gone up. how can a landlord even break even if people are paying almost nothing for an apartment that would go for over 2,000 a month?
    I understand that people would have to move, but thats life, even landlords deserve to net a little profit for their investments!

    • layla

      Rent Stabilization doesn’t cover two-family homes. Only buildings with 6 or more units, built before 1974. And the fact that a building is rent stabilized is considered in the purchase price.

  • Thousand_per_month

    Most people who had rent-control are dead. Rent-stabilized tenants are also mostly over 60, and born in the apartment they occupy. As soon as a rent-stabilized tenant reaches 65, on a fixed income, eviction becomes more & more probable. Meanwhile, Mayor Codfish, himself from Boston which has NO laws for tenants, doesn’t care. The city is for billionaires, in his opinion.

  • Catherine Pape

    Cuomo has totally dropped the ball on this issue. He was barely talking about rent control until now – he was obsessed with pensions, same-sex marriage…He showed no initiative or leadership on this issue. Next time he runs, I’ll stay home.

    • RichieT

      It’s becoming a major problem in this country. My sister didn’t vote in the last presidential elections because she didn’t like either person running. When she started to bitc@#*** about Obama, I told her to shut up. She didn’t vote, she’s got no right to complain. VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Kenny Schaeffer

    Gov. Cuomo has issued a statement that even if the laws expire tonight, they will be renewed within a few days with no major disruption. But they need to be strengthened. Under existing law, if an apartment is emptied, no matter what the rent had been, it is taken out of rent stabilization if the new tenant is charged $2,000/month or more. This is happening in every borough, and has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of affordable apartments since 1997, when the laws were weakened by vacancy de-stabilization. This has nothing to do with the tenant’s income, that is a different provision which affects much fewer units. The median income of the 1,000,000 working families in rent regulated apartments is $38,000/year.

    • DeShean

      You’re wrong – there are just about as many regulated units today as there were in 1997. It’s a fact.

      • layla

        That’s not a fact. YOU are wrong.. The city has lost about 300,000 apartments to vacancy decontrol since 1997.

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