“Yesterday, the Council filed a proposed amicus curiae brief with the New York Court of Appeals, asking the Court to affirm a June 2010 ruling that the Rent Guidelines Board cannot authorize a higher rate of rent increase for low income, long-term tenants. In 2008, the Board issued Order No. 40, which set maximum rent increases for stabilized leases renewed between October 2008 and September 2009. However, Order No. 40 also authorized landlords to charge additional rent increases to tenants who have occupied their apartments for at least six years, and who pay $1,000 or less in rent every month. As a result of these additional charges plaintiffs face rent increases of up to 12% – almost 1 ½ times the normal rate authorized by the Board. Two lower courts have invalidated this provision of Order No. 40, finding that it exceeded the Board’s authority under City and State housing laws.
“We hope that the Court of Appeals will uphold those decisions. The outcome of this appeal will affect thousands of rent stabilized tenants – Order No. 40 would have imposed unlawful charges on an estimated 300,000 leases, or 45% of those being renewed. The Court of Appeals’ decision will also apply to a similar provision in Order No. 41, the Board’s 2009 order.”