New Albany housing legislation brings more protection to renters

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Renters in Albany will now have more protection against evictions. Mayor Kathy Sheehan signed a new historic housing legislation into law.

Mayor Sheehan was joined by elected officials, city staff, and fair housing advocates on Friday morning to sign historic fair housing legislation – Local Laws F, G, and H of 2021.

She says these changes will improve the relationship between a landlord and tenant by mandating landlords educate tenants on their rights and responsibilities.

This legislation empowers the City to step into the shoes of a property owner to make necessary repairs and charge the property owner, rather than deem a building unsafe and unfit – working to decrease the number of vacant, abandoned, and sometimes demolished, buildings.

“We are working together with our tenants to protect them and with our landlords to ensure they have access to the millions of dollars of resources that are available to make them whole,” said she.  

The law addresses unsafe homes and how landlords would now be responsible for the necessary repairs. This applies even if the city has to go in and fix the repairs for them.

Albany Councilman Owusu Anane says it gives landlords more power to evict certain tenants.

“For example, if the tenants are breaking the law, or breaking their lease, this gives you clear guidelines to evict someone. It also gives protection for the tenants which is needed over the years,” said Anane.

The laws will empower the City’s Buildings & Regulatory Compliance Department to proactively address building emergencies, modernize the City’s Rental Dwelling Registry, and create the first Good Cause Eviction Law in New York State.

“What the city of Albany has done is they are getting in the middle of your contract between you and your customer which is your tenant,” said Deborah Pusatere. 

However one landlord believes this will affect her livelihood. Deborah Pusatere is the President of the New York Capital Region Apartment Association. She is also an Albany landlord who owns many properties throughout the redline areas in the city.

Pusatere believes these laws are unfair to all landlords good and bad.

“There are bad landlords, and there are good landlords in New York. We have bad tenants and good tenants. But this is how I make a living, and I am not going to let them take my business away from me,” said she.  

With a storm of evictions expected in the city when the rent moratorium expires in September, Mayor Sheehan stresses that there is money out there.

“We want to ensure landlords and tenants the access to the millions of dollars that are available,”  said she.  

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