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New York rent reform will impact landlords

Affordable housing is a hot-button issue these days. Prospective renters have long been concerned with housing costs and the state of New York is listening. As many current laws come up for renewal in Summer 2019, significant changes could be on the way. Governor Andrew Cuomo has favored rent reform.

Among the issues in the rent reform debate is preferential rent.

What is preferential rent?

Preferential rent is one law that could find itself modified or repealed. The legal maximum rent increase for one-year leases is 1.5 percent and 2.5 percent for two-year leases. Landlords can legally raise rent above those percentages to meet the legal limit if they choose. These rent increases are not applicable if a tenant renews their lease after renting below the legal maximum.

Reforming preferential rent may affect landlords

The current legislation expires on October 1, 2019, making this a high-priority issue for the state, renters and landlords. Limiting what a landlord can raise rent up to could make attracting and retaining renters more difficult if they must choose between offering lower rent or keeping their building up to date.

The law requires landlords to keep their buildings up to code. Maintaining a proper building, of course, ensures the safety and functionality of the building for its tenants. Rent dollars contribute to the maintenance of these buildings and sometimes raising rent costs is the only way to keep a building current.

Rent reform, particularly preferential rent could have a significant impact on New York landlords everywhere. Paying rent is not a task anyone looks forward to, but preferential rent is perfectly legal. Limiting the amount by which landlords could have a significant impact on their business and the homes of their tenants.

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