New York City landlords want the courts to intervene on the rent freeze on rent stabilized units that takes effect for second straight year. According to the Courthouse News Service, four landlords, Benson Realty LLC, Danielle Realty LLC, Milagros Huertas and Marilyn Percy, and the Rent Stabilization Association, a trade group that represents 25,00 landlords across New York City, filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court seeking to overturn an order adopted by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board that freezes rent increases at 0 percent for one-year leases and 2 percent for two-year leases. This is the second year in a row that the freeze has been ordered.
The petition claims that the Order in question is “arbitrary and capricious,” as well as “constitutionally dubious” and asks the Court to annul the Order in question, declaring it unconstitutional under the 5th and 14th Amendments, alleging violations of the separation-of-powers doctrine and the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. It also seeks to compel the NYC Rent Guidelines Board to draft a new version of the Order in accordance with Section 26-510 of the NYC Rent Stabilization law.
The petitioners claim that the law, which governs how rent stabilization is determined, states that the board must calculate increases “on the basis of cost increases experienced in the past year, its forecasts of increases over the next year, its determination of the relevant operating maintenance cost-to-rent ratios, and other relevant information concerning the state of the real estate industry” – not based upon affordability to tenants.
The landlords contend that any trouble tenants face in paying “reasonable rents is a problem caused by society at large, and must be borne by the public as a whole, not by a group of owners who are charging reasonable rents.”