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.

New York Tenants Have New Protections From Unfair Evictions & Rent Hikes

New York State passed Good Cause Eviction Protections (§213- 2(a) of Article 6-A of NYS Real Property Law) in April 2024, after years of organizing by tenants across the state. If you are eligible for Good Cause Eviction Protections, you now have a right to remain in your home as long as you pay rent and follow your lease.

  • Protection against evictions for no reason
  • Guaranteed lease renewals *or* ability to stay in your home month to month without a lease
  • Ability to challenge rent hikes that are more than 10% or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) + 5%, whichever is lower (8.82% in NYC as of May 2024). 
  • Landlords can only increase rent once a year

NYC tenants who¹:

  • Live in a building built before 2009
  • Pay less than 245% of Fair Market Rent (~$6000/month for a one bedroom)
  • Rent from a landlord who owns more than 10 housing units total
  • Do not live in an owner-occupied building with fewer than 11 units
  • Do not live in a co-op or condo
  • Do not rent their home as part of an employment agreement
  • Do not live in manufactured housing
  • Are not rent stabilized or living in subsidized or public housing²

All other cities, towns, and villages in the state will have to opt in to the law. Reach out to info@housingjusticeforall.org to get connected to local opt-in campaigns in your area!

  1. For a best guess if you’re covered by Good Cause, look up your address on Open Igloo (though it is not 100% accurate). You can also look up what other buildings your landlord owns on Who Owns What.
  2. Rent stabilized, subsidized housing, and public housing tenants as well as manufactured homeowners already have rent regulation and eviction protections. 

Under Good Cause, landlords covered by the law are required to demonstrate they have a “Good Cause” (such as not paying rent or violating the lease, full list on page 2) in order to evict or non-renew a tenant. Tenants can also force landlords to justify rent increases above 10% or the rate of inflation plus 5%, whichever is lower. 

Good Cause is most effective when tenants enforce their rights together as a group. If you’re facing a rent hike, unfair eviction, or non-renewal, chances are your neighbors are too. Talk to your neighbors and negotiate with your landlord together. When tenants work together, we have more power.

What can I do if my landlord refuses to renew my lease or tries to evict me for no reason?

If your landlord refuses to renew your lease, tells you that you have to leave for no reason, or tries to evict you for no reason, stay in your home! Tell your landlord you have a right to stay unless your landlord has a “Good Cause” to evict you. If your landlord then tries to formally evict you in court, you can raise a Good Cause defense and require your landlord to demonstrate they have a “Good Cause” to evict you.

What can I do if my landlord tries to raise rent more than CPI+5% or 10%?

Your landlord must give you written notice if they are going to raise your rent more than 5% (30 days notice if you’ve lived there less than 1 year, 60 days if you’ve lived there 1-2 years, and 90 days notice if you’ve lived there longer than 2 years). If your landlord tries to raise rent without proper notice, inform them they are violating Real Property Law L Section 226-C. Do not pay any rent increase until they give proper written notice.

If your landlord gave proper written notice, invoke your Good Cause rights and tell your landlord it is an unreasonable rent increase and that a judge could force your landlord to justify it based on increased costs.  If you’re in New York City, you can look up the dollar amount for how much your rent can go up here.

If your landlord still tries to push through the rent increase, you can withhold rent and only pay your old rent plus 5% + the rate of inflation or 10%, whichever is lower. To be safe, set aside the extra rent and put it in a separate escrow account until your negotiations with your landlord have totally resolved.

Your landlord may then try to evict you for non-payment of rent. In eviction court, you can raise a Good Cause defense. Your landlord would then have to demonstrate to the judge that they raised the rent because of increased costs (taxes, maintenance costs, etc.). If the landlord is unable to justify the increase, then you should win your case and not have to pay the full rent increase.

It’s up to us to make sure tenants know our rights

Sign up to knock doors with us to talk to your neighbors about their new rights or get connected to a local campaign to opt into Good Cause in your town.

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