Friday, December 23, 2022

116,000 rent-stabilized units have vanished since 2019

How did 116,000 rent-stabilized units vanish?

Deregulation severely limited by 2019 law, but may have happened anyway

New York /
December 23, 2022 10:17 AM


There were 858,000 rent-regulated units registered with the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal as of November, down from 974,000 when the seminal Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act was passed in 2019, The City reported.

The drop came despite the law being designed to prevent landlords from deregulating vacant apartments after rents reached $2,774 a month — a common occurrence previously.

“There’s no reasonable explanation for why that should be happening within the law,” Edward Josephson, an attorney with the Legal Aid Society, told the publication.

One possibility is that landlords stopped re-renting unprofitable units as they became vacant because the 2019 law forbid substantial rent increases to pay for renovations and also cut off paths to deregulation.

....Witnick [Real Estate] declined to comment for the story. Across the landlord’s 36 Brooklyn and Manhattan buildings, 226 rent stabilized units — about 40% of its portfolio — have been deregulated since 2007, the publication noted.


Taking all those possibilities into consideration, however, still leaves tens of thousands of units missing since 2019. It may be that landlords simply aren’t reporting rent-regulated units. The City noted that landlords can register rent-stabilized apartments years late. But that was also true before the 2019 law passed.

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