Thousands of NYC Tenants Could See Rent Rebates

The ruling could mean an unexpected windfall for tenants living in rent stabilized units and paying less than $1,000 a month

By Melissa Russo
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 11:42 AM EDT
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Thousands of NYC Tenants Could See Rent Rebates

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Lower Manhattan is lit up as night falls September 13, 2009 in New York City.

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Some of the next rent checks in the mail could be headed to tenants instead of landlords.

Thousands of New York City renters could receive rent rebates now that a State Supreme Court Judge has thrown out recent minimum rent increases imposed by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board. 

The ruling could mean an unexpected windfall for tenants who live in rent stabilized units and and pay less than $1,000 a month in rent.

The judge basically found the recent rent increase penalized poorer and lower-paying tenants.  Landlords have long complained that they struggle to make ends meet because rent protections block them from imposing reasonable rent increases on longstanding stabilized tenants.

But Judge Emily Jane Goodman said Monday the rent increases in question "penalized" tenants who had failed to move in a city with virtually no affordable housing.  The increases approved by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board took effect over the past two years.  

Renters paying less than $1,000 a month would be subject to a higher percentage increase than renters paying more than $1,000.
For instance, Landlords charged 8.5% or $85 dollars, whichever amount was greater.
 
The NYC Law Department has announced plans to appeal the ruling, and to stall any refunds/changes until the appeal has been decided. 

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