New York's Rent Laws
Should the State Government Regulate Rents in New York?

As the school year draws to a close, so does the existing rent laws in New York. The state government; the governor, state senate and assembly will decide whether or not to continue regulating rental apartments and to what degree they will be regulated.

Rent Regulation effects millions of New Yorkers with the majority of rental apartments governed by the state's Rent Stabilization Act, limiting rent increases to 2% for one year and 4% for two year leases. The same law also defines the rights for both landlords and tenants.


Step One

Use the resources below to answer the following questions:

  1. What does New York State's Rent Stablization Act do for tenants and owners?

  2. What is the name of the government appointed board that provides information and recommendations to the State Legislature about rent laws?

  3. What is DHCR? What does it do?

  4. Which branches of government can renew or adjust the New York State's Rent Stablization Act?

  5. What changes do tenants and owners want to make to the Rent Stablization Act this year? Explain the conflicts that exist between the groups of people involved in this issue.

Step Two

Write a letter to State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

Your letter must:

  1. Identify yourself as either a tenant or an owner

  2. State the issue(s) you are writting about; in this case, the expiring Rent Stablization Act.

  3. Identify and EXPLAIN FULLY your opinion. (Please make use of the facts you have uncovered about this issue). Remember you are writing this letter to convince someoen to take your position on a very importmant matter!


Process (What to think about while doing this assignment)
  Which branches of governement do people interact with to affect government policy, regualtions and law?  

New York Rent Laws

Current tenant charges/rent increases

Frequently Asked Questions about Rent Stablized Leases

Enforcement proceedures for Rent Stablized Leaseholders

New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)

New York State Attorney General's Tenant's Rights Guide

  Websites of the different groups involved in the current crisis

Online resource for tenants

About Rent Guidelines Board

Rent Stabilization Association - Landlord advocacy group

Tenants & Neighbors - A Tenant Advocacy group

  Resources describing the current rent law crisis

Ken's Rent Law Fact Sheet

City Limits magazine article on current crisis

Gotham Gazette Article

City Limits editorial criticizing New York Post editorials

Rent Stablization Association article on owners' cost

Rent Stablization Association study of the propsoed rent increases


Information about State Senator Joseph Bruno

Senator Joseph Bruno's Home Page

Senator Bruno's position on rent laws in 1997

Senator Bruno's position on the current rent law crisis

Evaluation (How you will be graded on this assignment)
  State Standards 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4, National Standards II, III and V according to the New York State Department of Education standards of Public Policy and Political Participation  
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