Tenants Have New Rights!

NYS passed Good Cause Eviction Protections against rent hikes and unfair evictions in April 2024. If you are eligible for Good Cause, you now have a right to remain in your home as long as you pay rent and follow your lease.

Albany Becomes First City To Opt Into Good Cause Eviction 

Albany Becomes First City Outside Of NYC To Opt Into Good Cause Eviction; Kingston and Ithaca To Soon Follow

Albany’s Expansive Good Cause Law Sets A Standard For Other Upstate Cities

ALBANY – Albany Common Council voted to opt into Good Cause Eviction this evening, following passage of a state law authorizing the policy in April. Good Cause Eviction will protect tenants from rent hikes and unfair evictions and guarantee lease renewals to tenants in good standing. 14 Common Councilmembers voted yes and one voted present.

Albany was the first city in New York to pass local Good Cause Eviction protections in 2021, but a state Supreme Court ruled that only the state could pass the measure. In April, the State passed a version of Good Cause Eviction that required localities outside of New York City to opt into the law, but offered greater flexibility for localities to tweak some of the many exemptions added to the law by Governor Hochul and the state legislature. 

The City of Albany’s new Good Cause law covers more tenants than the version the legislature passed for NYC – setting a standard for other upstate cities planning on opting into the protections. Ithaca and Kingston are likely to opt in in the coming months. Specifically, Albany’s Good Cause improves upon the portfolio size exemption and high-rent exemptions introduced by the legislature. 

It will apply to all tenants who rent from landlords who own more than one unit in the State of New York, so long as they are living in homes that are built before 2009, rent for less than 345% of the Fair Market Rent ($3,902 for a 1-bedroom), and are not owner-occupied.

Over the past decade, Albany has seen record rent hikes, with rents rising by 30% from 2011 to 2022 according to the American Community Survey. The lack of basic tenant protections have had dire consequences for Albany tenants: in the case of the apartment complex Capitol Crossings, formerly known as Bleecker Terrace, more than a third of the tenants have been forced to leave over the past year due to rent hikes, non-renewals, and evictions after a New Jersey landlord bought their building — all of which would have been prevented by Good Cause Eviction. The tenants are low-income, with many families and seniors who had lived in the complex for decades.

Albany Common Council Member Alfredo Balarin, who introduced the opt-in resolution, said: “Good Cause is good public policy, period. As both a property owner and Common Council Member in Albany, I have long understood that Good Cause stabilizes neighborhoods and ensures healthy and affordable communities for everyone. As a longtime supporter of Good Cause, I am proud to see Albany be the first city to opt into local Good Cause since the 2024 state budget made it possible.” 

“We are proud to be the first City in NYS to pass Good Cause Eviction in 2021, and the first City to opt-in to Good Cause Eviction in 2024. New York State should have protected every tenant in the state with Good Cause Eviction, but instead they left millions out by forcing upstate cities to opt in. Albany tenants and our elected officials stepped up where our state failed to ensure nearly every Albany tenant has these basic protections. We hope other upstate municipalities will soon follow our example,” said United Tenants of Albany Executive Director Canyon Ryan. “When tenants have protections from egregious rent hikes and arbitrary evictions, they are more likely to raise concerns and demand fair treatment from their landlord. This is a protection that is actualized by tenants in the home, not lawyers in the courts. It is one of few protections that gives tenants the ability to stand up to their landlord and for their rights.”

“Albany has set the standard for cities seeking to curb rising displacement and price-gouging in their communities. Localities across New York State should follow suit and adopt the strongest possible version of Good Cause to ensure no tenant has to worry about keeping a roof over their head,” said Cea Weaver, Coalition Director of Housing Justice for All. “No matter where we live or the size of our landlord’s portfolio, we all deserve a safe, stable and affordable home. Albany is just the beginning – tenants across New York State are committed to bringing Good Cause Eviction and rent stabilization to every city, town, and village in the state.”

“Albany is the first city in the state to opt into Good Cause Eviction, but it will not be the last,” said Citizen Action Executive Director Rosemary Rivera. Citizen Action is working with tenants and progressive elected officials across all of New York State to ensure that every renter in every municipality can benefit from this common sense, transformative legislation.”  

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