Albany Frequent Council passes ‘good cause’ eviction legislation

ALBANY – The Albany Prevalent Council voted 9 to two Monday night to approve a measure that results in the state’s initial “good cause” eviction law.

The law, heralded by tenant advocacy groups, entitles tenants to a renewed lease, defense in opposition to massive lease raises when renewing their leases, and eviction except landlords can meet up with a person of 10 probable problems.

The regulation is the last piece of a housing legislation package deal launched previously this yr created to enhance the city’s housing stock and the city’s capability to battle blight.

Councilman Alfredo Balarin, who sponsored the monthly bill, tried out to assuage the problems of some of the landlords gathered to enjoy the vote.

“If you put out a crystal clear lease…this monthly bill is just not going to harm you,” he reported. “Holding anyone accountable for how they deal with their property and how they address their tenant basically advantages all of us.”

Landlords are envisioned to launch a authorized obstacle versus the legislation.

The legislation does not implement to owner-occupied houses with four models or a lot less. Over 60 % of the city’s inhabitants live in rental homes.

Councilmen Jack Flynn and Joseph Igoe voted versus the monthly bill. Council customers Judy Doesschate, Tom Hoey and Mike O’Brien voted “existing” (which is a non-vote) because of to problems about amendments that nevertheless need to be designed to the monthly bill.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said the regulation place the town in a better position to assure secure and quality housing in the town.

“Since getting mayor, my administration has committed alone to enhancing good quality of existence, attracting expense and combating blight,” she stated in a assertion. “This historic, transformative laws will make it possible for us to increase our efforts to do just that.”

Dozens of people crammed the Prevalent Council chambers Monday evening for the very first time in a lot more than 12 months, speaking for and from the bill.

Various landlords criticized the bill, with their key annoyance currently being a cap on hire will increase and provision that would mechanically renew a lease for tenants who have been existing with the lease and whose leases experienced ended.

Conor Gillis, a govt affairs agent for the Higher Cash Association of Realtors, questioned the need to have for the laws, which arrives following the condition handed the Housing Balance and Tenant Defense Act in 2019. That law delivers strengthened tenant protections.

“If New York already has some of the strongest tenant protections in the nation, why does it have to have a lot more polices?” he questioned the council.

Other people argued the laws would dampen a landlord’s incentive to make investments in their attributes or invite new financial investment into the city’s housing sector. They also argued the laws infringed upon their potential to enter into and conclude contracts.

Proponents, which include quite a few scaled-down landlords, stated the legislation is not lease management, nevertheless it does require landlords to justify any lease boost by advancements or repairs, and caps any increases at 5 p.c.

Quite a few speakers shared stories about rising up in substandard housing and that the reason their households never complained was for the reason that they feared becoming evicted.

Among the the attainable situations for a choose to signal off on an eviction recognize are failure to pay rent, a sizeable lease violation, unreasonable refusal to make it possible for a landlord obtain to the device, illegal use of a assets, persistent nuisance exercise, legal activity on the assets and a assets sale that calls for the house to be unoccupied when it is transferred to the new proprietor.

The law also involves a housing courtroom judge to get a tenant’s capacity to fork out into thought when looking at an eviction about failure to fork out lease.

There is very similar legislation pending in the point out legislature. That monthly bill would close no-fault evictions, and call for landlords to justify rent improves previously mentioned 1.5 per cent of the purchaser value index.

The other primary sections of the housing laws the council earlier passed tightened the needs of the city’s rental registry and permitted the metropolis to instantly mend housing when a landlord fails to do so and then bill the landlord for the cost.