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PODCAST: Breaking Down The Bitter Divide Over Good Cause Eviction In New York

Bisnow's audio series, Bisnow Reports, examines every facet of the international commercial real estate industry — from the murky future of retail and office to real estate’s reckoning with diversity to the effects of climate change on the built world, and so much more. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, or scroll down to listen in your browser.

Residential rents jumped again in New York, as the market begins to stabilize in the wake of the pandemic.

New York landlords have worried for years about the so-called Good Cause eviction bill. 

The proposed legislation would give free-market tenants the right to renewals and would prevent landlords from making “unreasonable” rent increases — defined as the higher of 3% a year or one and a half times the annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index — except in the case of a major repair.

In this year's legislative session, momentum is building to pass the bill after multiple previous attempts have come up short.

“The public health crisis we've just suffered, people really understand the need to keep people in their homes,” Judith Goldiner, the attorney-in-charge of the Legal Aid Society's Civil Law Reform Unit, said on this week's episode of the Bisnow Reports podcast. "We don't need to magnify the homeless crisis that we're seeing right now and this is one way to help people stay stably housed.”

Goldiner believes myths about the legislation have been exploited by its opponents. But Rosenberg & Estis attorney Alexander Lycoyannis, who represents landlords in litigation, argued the measure amounts to a “draconian rent control" system that is, in effect, a reversal of the concept of property ownership. 

“It's just part of a larger anti-owner atmosphere that's currently prevailing in the legislature," Lycoyannis said on the podcast.