Sen. Gianaris Introduces Legislation to Protect Tenants

FILE - New York Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria, in the Senate Chamber at the state Capitol in Albany. Photo: (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

WOODSIDE, N.Y. – Senator Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Brian Barnwell introduced legislation ending Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) and instituting new protections for tenants.

“Too many tenants are priced out of their homes because of MCIs whose only improvement seems to be the landlord’s bottom line,” saidSenator Michael Gianaris. “All New Yorkers deserve high quality, affordable homes and our proposal brings us closer to that goal by ensuring repairs are made without burdening tenants with unreasonable costs.”

“The Major Capital Improvement program is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in rent increases on rent regulated tenants. It is unacceptable that we maintain a program pushing middle to low income New Yorkers out of their homes while allowing landlords to continue to make monstrous profits,” said Assembly Member Brian Barnwell. “Under our legislation, landlords will not be able to increase tenants’ rents due to repairs/improvements the landlord should already have made.”

The Gianaris and Barnwell legislation prohibits rent increases due to MCIs, saving residents thousands of dollars and preventing them from being priced out of their homes. Instead, building owners would be eligible for a tax credit offered to offset the cost of those improvements.

MCIs were first instituted in the 1970s, allowing landlords to permanently increase rents in order to pass the cost of building improvements to tenants.

The legislation has been introduced in both the Senate (S9154) and Assembly (A11312).