Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Daily News Sides with Landlord Against Rent Regulation

Landlord James Harmon wants the Supreme Court to take his appeal and overturn rent regulation in New York.  Having inherited half of an apartment building from his parents, he bought out his brother's share so he could be the sole landlord. Now he's objecting to the rent regulated tenants who occupy a few of the units in his building.  
  1. Those tenants are entitled to lease renewals (as long as they meet their obligations as tenants), 
  2. Family members who live with them for at least 2 years before the original tenants vacate are entitled to get the apartment in their own name, and 
  3. Because regulated tenants are entitled to renewal leases at a rate fixed by the Rent Guidelines Board, they also have the right to complain without fear of being evicted.
But Harmon complains that he is not getting market rent and that New York has no business regulating rents - presumably unlike restaurants and supermarkets, insurance, clean water, utilities, and other essential services.

With  a declared housing emergency in NYC, with a vacancy rate in all rental apartments of 3.12%, we need rent regulation to level the playing field between landlords and tenants - whose median income is around $36,000 a year!

But the NY Daily News agrees with Harmon and wants the Court to take the case, and "review" rent regulation. 
Tell the NY Daily News that NYC needs rent regulation - and Harmon should stop trying to undo decades of precedent that acknowledge government's need to regulate for the public good.