The “Good Cause” Eviction Bill has been brought back before the legislature, due to be discussed and perhaps voted upon within the next month.
The bill is identical in both houses, and requires landlords to have a “good cause” for eviction, and is cause for concern for landlords throughout the state, but championed by tenants who don’t want to move so that landlords can sell their properties, or evict them to refurbish and rent at higher rate. It would also prohibit rent increases of more than 3 per cent per year.
Tenants champion the bill, especially those on fixed incomes, some of whom have seen their rents increasing as much as ten per cent since pandemic rental laws kept rents from increasing for two years, and so landlords are increasing rents “ in one jump” to cover inflationary costs after not being allowed to raise rents for two years. It would also prevent evictions if tenants report any code violations or landlords evicting on a whim if they find tenant behavior unacceptable during their tenancy, but not necessarily breaking lease rules.
Landlords, on the other hand, find the bill unfair, seeing it as government meddling in the way they do business, and not taking into consideration that many landlord costs have gone up much more than 3%, particularly if they include such things as heat, electric, or garbage pick up in their bills, have roofing or carpentry done (which has increased far more than 3% in price) or do significant maintenance and upgrades on their property….all those things have gone up more than 3%, especially in a year of reassessment, when taxes go up more than 3% too.
David Lane, President of the Finger Lakes Landlord Association commented, “I paid $15,000 more this year than last for natural gas; that’s about $35 an apartment, but if I raise the rent by $35, that’s more like 5% than 3 %., and that’s only the increased cost of the gas, not other maintenance, which is also increased in cost. Lane said a bill like this could cause more shortage of housing as those wanting to build new units will simply move to places where such strict regulations are not coming into play, where landlords can choose their own rental rates and increases, and can evict if they want to sell the properties or significantly upgrade and charge a higher rate to cover the cost of the upgrades.