What Are Your Rights: Good Cause Eviction Bill In The Works

Recorded on March 20, 2024

As lawmakers negotiate a housing deal under the New York State budget, one hot topic that comes to the forefront is a so-called Good Cause Eviction bill. Managing partner Paul Harding from the law firm of Harding Mazzotti, LLP is on CBS6 to break it all down for us.

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Announcer: The following segment is sponsored by Harding Mazzotti.

Interviewer: As lawmakers negotiate a housing deal under the New York State budget, one hot topic that comes to the forefront is so-called good cause eviction. It’s a bill and managing partner Paul Harding from Harding Mazzotti is here to break it all down for us.

Paul: I’ll do my best.

Interviewer: Yeah, exactly. What is good cause eviction?

Paul: Well, you know, regular eviction we know that the landlord has the ability after your lease is up to say you’re not gonna be here anymore, I want to rent to my cousin Sally, I just want to keep it open, I want to move in myself. And this is an attempt to give renters who have maybe made that their home more rights. So, it says landlord you can only evict for certain things. Didn’t pay rent, you committed a crime while you were in the place. Otherwise you get to stay and part of the the bill talks about only the ability for the landlord to raise the rent maybe 1-3%.

Interviewer: Okay. So, what are the benefits then for the tenants?

Paul: Yeah, the tenants, you know, they’re gonna get a bit of the ability to kind of shift the power to say I want to stay, I’ve done my role, you now have to keep me. Even though we may have had a little differences along the way or maybe you want to do some other things, you might want to renovate, increase rent, I’m staying and there’s nothing you can do about it. You know, not those words but that sentiment.

Interviewer: Yeah. And then what are the rights of the landlord.

Paul: Landlords are going, hey, in case you forgot, I own this place, and I rent, and I manage it, and I run it, and I do all this stuff. I should be able to make all those hard decisions like who I want in there, right? So, their rights are gonna be limited. They’re not gonna be able to have people leave for the reasons that I said, and they’re not gonna be able to say, look, I want to renovate the whole thing and make a bunch more money. Oops, not as long as that tenant wants to stay. So, they’re feeling very constrained.

Interviewer: Yeah. Why was this bill proposed in the first place?

Paul: Other states have done it and, you know, when you see a lot of homelessness or just people who just can’t track, can’t get to a place where they want to be, maybe the school district, because the rents have exceeded, it’s basically an attempt to get people to have housing fairly priced and to give stability to families?

Interviewer: So then what are the arguments against the bill? Because there are people arguing against it.

Paul: The argument against the bill is that it’s too much too fast, let’s do something, but the way this bill is written you’re gonna get no one’s gonna want to be a landlord, no one’s gonna own property, no one’s gonna want to rent to anybody under this and therefore there’s gonna be less housing available. I don’t know if that’s gonna play out, but they’re saying you’re taking all the advantage because prices might go up for electricity by 10% and I’m paying electric but I can only raise rent three. That kind of thing.

Interviewer: Yeah, that makes sense. So, how likely is this to actually pass?

Paul: In this present form I don’t think so. I don’t think right now that in this present form, but that what they do is they get together, they negotiate, they take away some of the stuff that’s a little bit straining, but I think something will pass if not this year, next. We have to do something, we have to create more housing, there are lots of those pockets where there’s no place for people to go where they need to be.

Interviewer: Yeah, it’s a big issue.

Paul: It is.

Interviewer: Thank you so much for talking to us about it.

Paul: Absolutely.

Interviewer: And for more information covered in our weekly “What Are Your Rights?” segments or to send us a story idea, head to our website cbs6albany.com

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