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Inside New York's Landmark Deal to Protect Renters

The state will boast the “strongest tenant protections in history.” But critics in the real estate industry warn that the bill could backfire.
Tenant power, flexing in New York.
Tenant power, flexing in New York.Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Democrats in New York’s state legislature reached a deal on Tuesday that will significantly expand and strengthen rent regulations and tenant protections, laws that are due to expire at the end of this week. Both legislative chambers will vote on the new package before it makes its way to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk.

Supporters hail these renter-friendly reforms as “universal rent control,” which will dramatically increase both the depth and reach of tenant protections in towns and cities across the state. The new law would see rent stabilization expand to counties well beyond New York City, put a statewide cap on broker fees and security deposits (at one month’s rent), and grant tenants new protections against eviction. The most significant—and hotly contested—policies will close loopholes that allow landlords to lift housing units out of rent-control restrictions.