NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tenants and housing advocates are holding a protest outside the governor’s office in New York City over the overnight expiration of the state rent control law.

The rent regulations covering more than 2 million New York City tenants officially expired at midnight. Despite dire warnings, state lawmakers failed to agree on an extension.

Negotiations continue over renewing the law, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio both vowing to go after landlords who might try to exploit the law’s expiration.

“Any landlord that tries to take advantage of this situation we will go after,” de Blasio said. “You have everything from the opportunity to get them fined to even the potential of criminal charges.”

On Tuesday, the mayor urged lawmakers in Albany to break the stalemate.

“It’s time for action,” de Blasio said. “I have over 2 million constituents who right now are wondering what’s going to happen to their apartments. I feel very passionately about this, my job is to protect the interest of my fellow New Yorkers and we need action.”

The regulations dictate rent increases and eviction policies, but de Blasio reminded renters Tuesday that despite the expiration, they’re still protected and should call 311 if they’re being harassed by unscrupulous landlords.

Mitchell Posilkin of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords, told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams, “There is no chaos and there is no confusion. Everyone’s leases continue in full force and effect, and every tenants’ rights under state and local laws continue. They remain protected and nothing has changed, or will change.”

Delsenia Glover, whose group Alliance for Tenant Power will be among the many at Tuesday’s rally, blames Cuomo for the situation.

“This is ridiculous, he’s known for four years that we were coming to this moment and he did nothing to prepare for it, he did nothing to ensure that the rent laws would not only be renewed but they will be strengthened,” she told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.

Lawmakers are set to adjourn their session Wednesday, but Cuomo has promised to call them back over the issue and said any rent increases outside the guidelines eventually passed would be invalidated, CBS2 reported.

The rent laws have expired in the past and were renewed retroactively.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 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.)


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