Frequently Asked Questions

Does Good Cause Eviction (S305/A4454) have anything to do with evictions?

  • Not at all. It’s a deceptive name designed to generate support. Good Cause Eviction eliminates the right of an owner to lease an apartment for a specified time. A tenant upon occupation of an apartment is entitled to occupy that apartment for life. 
  • Not only are you not allowed to take back your property after your legal agreement ends, but you are required by law to continue renting to the same person, until they decide to leave.

So is my private property even mine anymore?

  • Not really because the renter has more rights than the owner. The owner has all the responsibilities for maintenance and ownership with no ability to control the property once it is rented. 
  • This bill transfers ownership rights to tenants without corresponding obligations. The tenant has ownership rights in an apartment until death without paying for the increased property rights.

Would S305/A4454 help generate more affordable housing?

  • Quite the opposite. Affordable housing development would become extremely limited.
  • Within a building, market rate apartments subsidize the cost of building and maintaining the affordable housing. If implemented there will no longer be market rate housing in New York State. 
  • More importantly, builders have stated consistently that they will likely no longer build rental housing in New York State.

Will S305/A4454 generate more available rental apartments or increase the quality of apartments?

  • Absolutely not: it will dramatically exacerbate the housing crisis because builders have said they will no longer build rental housing in New York.
  • Moreover a person can be a tenant in multiple rentals. Good Cause Eviction doesn’t only apply to primary residence. It applies to ALL residences. 
  • The quality of housing will go down because there is less income available for regular maintenance and upgrades. These are real issues, just ask anyone who owns a rental unit.

Wait a tenant keep a rental as a second home? 

Yes. Good Cause Eviction is not limited to a primary residence, nor is it limited to a single residence.  A tenant need not live in the apartment full-time to be able to claim it for life and may actually be able to claim rights to multiple properties.

What will happen to the value of Real Estate?

  • S305 will devastate the value of real estate:
  • Government regulation limiting the movement of renters will force value down immediately.
    • The problem is that the current owner bought when the values were high, instantly driving properties underwater and into bankruptcy. So the property owner now loses money if and when they sell.
    • It could also cause a mortgage crisis for lenders who make large loans for multifamily homes.
  • Communities of color, often first-generation owners, who commonly use real estate to generate income and build wealth will be left devastated.

This is just for New York City right?

  • No, this policy affects nearly all rental properties in New York State.

Why is S305/A4454 bad for NYC or any city in New York?

  • Supply will drop: Finding an apartment in NYC especially is already egregiously difficult. This will make it even worse.  As there is no turn over in apartments naturally then there is no room for people to come and go. 
  • How will a family needing a larger apartment for their children find a rental home in New York City? 
  • How will immigrant families find a home to come to New York?
  • The quality of the rental apartments will drop as maintenance and upgrades are delayed because income has been reduced.

Aren’t small owners exempted from S305/A4454?

No. If you rent out a single-family home the renter will be entitled to a lease for life. Only 2- and 3-family homes are exempted when the owner lives on the premises.  

Does S305/A4454 affect condos, coops, and vacation properties?

Yes it does. The same rules apply if you sublet your condo, coop, or even a vacation rental. You cannot reclaim your property unless you or an immediate family member plan to live there.

What if someone is living in my condo/coop/or investment rentals and I want to sell it?

You have to sell it with the tenant in place. You are not allowed to reclaim the unit, even if you are selling it. 

Can I increase the rent to any amount when the person moves out?

No. You are limited to the legally prescribed limits of 3% or 1.5% CPI, forever. 

Will S305/A4454 affect businesses?

Yes in two significant ways:

  • Small businesses in construction, renovation, modernization, etc will dramatically lose work. As rents stagnate, there is less money available to maintain and upgrade apartments. That results in lost jobs.
  • Big business is going to find it difficult to attract/recruit employees to work in New York City if the cost of housing is extremely high. They will simply move their businesses to other cities or suburbs. Their exiting work force may begin to flee New York as housing costs reach a crisis level.

How does S305/A4454 affect the Suburbs, Exurbs and rural communities across the state?

  • These communities have even less housing supply than the cities.  So their housing crisis will become a full blown disaster to the point of virtually no available rental housing.
  • Furthermore, it’ll drive up property taxes. That’s because when property is devalued (see above) the owner pays less taxes. But the cost of everything is always going up. Which means government will find a way to charge property owners increased fees, surcharges, property taxes, parking meters and anything else the government can use to generate income.

How does S305/A4454 affect student housing?

  • Absolutely, especially in small towns and big cities. S305/A4454 would be a disaster for college and university recruitment and put New York at a severe disadvantage.
    • If students are able to lock in a low rent for off campus housing, they would have no incentive to move after they graduate. Leaving no place for incoming students to find housing.

Don’t other states and cities have Good Cause Eviction

  • Other states have rules and laws called Good Cause Eviction or Just Cause Eviction that differ significantly from the bill proposed in New York. In New York S305/A4454 is different because:
    • It dramatically expands the definition of tenant.
    • Renters could sue owners even if owners limit rent increases to new legal limit of 3%.
    • Regulates apartments already under rent regulations.
    • Severely limits an owners ability to reclaim their unit
    • There’s no real path to enforce the payment of rent because of overwhelmed courts and the due process afforded the renter. 
  • Other municipalities that passed “Just Cause” laws ensure that they put in place strong pro-development measures.

Other Municipalities 

  • St. Paul, Minnesota
    • Closest comparison to the New York State bill is St. Paul’s rent-control ordinance.
    • Since passage of the measure, building permits were down over 80%; investors are pausing development on projects; and builders are opting to leave St. Paul.
    • Meanwhile, overall construction is up across the river in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where there are no Good Cause laws.