ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Tenants and activists showed up in numbers at the Appellate Court in Albany on Friday to observe oral arguments regarding the city’s good cause eviction law. They said that several cities in the region—including Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Newburgh—followed our lead in protecting its tenants, and that Albany should keep that same energy.

According to United Tenants of Albany, good cause eviction shields renters from retaliation, discrimination, and rent hikes. They said that without the measures, “no-cause” eviction destabilizes the community, promotes unfair evictions, and leaves elderly people on a fixed income out in the cold.

According to the American Community Survey, Albany rents rose by 30% from 2011 to 2022. And from July to September 2022, Albany landlords filed over 740 eviction cases, the tenants’ union said.

“The “Good Cause Eviction” law in Albany gives tenants the right to renew their lease unless the Landlord has a valid reason not to, and it protects tenants from extreme rent hikes that would undermine that right,” said Nic Rangel, Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society for Northeastern NY. “These protections help keep families in place longer and improve court efficiency.”

The law was passed in 2022 before a State Supreme Court Judge overturned it. Following a lawsuit from the city, a stay is now in place, keeping good cause eviction measures in place as the case proceeds through the courts.

Advocates for the measure said they wanted to send a message to the community and to the court system. They want to make it clear that they are carefully watching, and that they “will not tolerate activist judges striking down crucial, democratically passed protections for Albany.”

The “core team” of United Tenants of Albany after the hearing