New York Lawmakers Reach Deal to Strengthen Rent Protections – NY1

The New York State Senate and Assembly have reached a deal to greatly expand tenant protections.

The omnibus rent bill will be introduced and voted on before rent regulations expire on Saturday.

The deal was reached between Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Governor Cuomo said he would not negotiate with either house.

“There is no negotiation. I will sign whatever bill the Assembly passes. I will sign whatever bill the Senate passes. I will sign whatever bill the two houses together pass,” said Cuomo.

The new rent protections will limit the amount property owners could increase rent for major capital improvements to 3%.

The previous proposal would have eliminated those increases altogether.

The bill will also allow upstate counties and municipalities to opt into provisions of what is known as the “Good Cause” rent bill. Good cause sets limits on rent increases in non-regulated apartments statewide.

Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins was asked whether she wanted Cuomo to participate in their negotiations.

“You know, I don’t wish. I work with what I have. And we have a great partnership with the Assembly so we are doing our work,” said Steward-Cousins.

There are a number of other unresolved issues still up for debate before the legislative session ends next week, including marijuana legalization and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.

Cuomo says he believes lawmakers should face democratic primaries in their districts if they don’t get them done.

“I believe they should all be primaried because that is the failure of a basic progressive agenda. There was no reason not to pass any of those things,” Cuomo said.

Stewart-cousins shrugged off Cuomo’s comments.

“I just take it as the governor talking,” Steward-Cousins said.

The changes to the rent laws would be permanent. That is a big departure from previous years when the rent laws were extended for just three to four years at a time, and included what is known as a sunset provision.