Landlords file suit over new tenant protection agency

From left: Governor Andrew Cuomo and Ellen with a crowd of protesters

From left: Governor Andrew Cuomo and Ellen Davidson speaking before a crowd of protesters

A group of landlords have brought a case to the Brooklyn courts that challenges the legitimacy of recent changes to rent regulations.

Two building owners and three landlord groups filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court in Brooklyn that accuses the city of installing a regulatory agency to investigate landlords without mandating that agents follow any standards, procedures or appeals process. The agency, known as the Tenant Protection Unit, was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The unit is in charge of conducting regular audits of individual rent increase. It also has the power to subpoena and investigate landlords, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The agency has been given the responsibility for enforcing the rent laws,” said Ellen Davidson, a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society, to the Journal. “If enforcing the law has the effect of frightening landlords — that says something about their practices.”

The plaintiffs, which also include the Community Housing Improvement Program and the Small Property Owners of New York, claim new regulations violate the statute of limitations on rent increase challenges, as well. [WSJ]Angela Hunt


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