New York Judge Hands Landlords Big Legal Win
Per Lucas Willard of WAMC Northeast Public Radio, a New York State Supreme Court Judge has struck down Albany's "good cause" eviction law, handing New York landlords a massive win.
The "good cause" eviction law would have made it exceptionally more difficult for landlords to evict tenants. The law also would have prevented landlords from raising rents by more than 5% per year.
In the decision, Judge Christina Ryba deemed the necessity of good cause and grounds for removal of tenants in local law F to be in direct violation of New York State law. The grounds for removal of the tenants section stated in part that tenants could be evicted for not paying rent, "provided, however, that the rent due and owing, or any part thereof, did not result from a rent increase or pattern of rent increases..."
While this left the door open for landlords to pursue eviction if a tenant stopped paying rent, it didn't allow them much room to rent their apartment at the best rate the market allowed for. Because as written, even if a tenant consented to a rent increase, the Court would be the judge of whether that rent increase, among a number of other factors, was fair and eviction proceedings could move forward.
Judge Ryba also determined that since the law was not related to the emergency rent control laws put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was not subject to the emergency powers granted during the pandemic to prevent evictions. And without coverage under those emergency rent control measures, the good cause eviction law was found to create an unfair impediment to landlords operating in a free market and looking to the courts to evict tenants.