100,000+ Apartments Status in Question

The Appellate Division, First Department, refused to hear reargument of Altman v. 285 West 4th St. LLC on Tuesday, threatening the deregulated status of more than 100,000 apartments. The Court decided in April that high rent apartments could only be deregulated if the legal rent were above the $2,000 or $2,500 threshold (depending on year) before the prior tenant vacated. Vacancy and improvement increases after vacancy could not be counted, they said, despite clear authority in the Rent Stabilization Law and Code. Meanwhile, as more than 300 members at yesterday’s CHIP Seminar on Decoding the Rent Act of 2015 heard, the new law has conflicting provisions on whether post-vacancy increases can be counted for deregulation, and the threshold was raised to $2700. Altman now goes back to the lower courts for a decision on damages before it can be appealed again.

Deadlines for decisions by the Landmarks Preservation Commission may be imposed under legislation proposed at a City Council hearing Wednesday. Council members noted that 26 items proposed for landmarking had been in limbo since 1966. The LPC said it needed at least three years to consider a landmark district.

Building owners have until next Thursday, September 17th, to register cooling towers following the Legionnaire’s disease outbreak this summer. The City is expected to crack down on non-filers.

HUD issued proposed 2016 Fair Market Rents, Tuesday, that would raise the FMR for a one bedroom apartment in New York City 7.4 percent from $1,249 to $1,342. Other size apartments would have at least a 4.9 percent hike…quite a different calculus than our City Rent Guidelines Board. HUD is continuing to experiment in some cities with varying FMRs by zip code, but is still proposing one set for all New York City in 2016.

According to press reports, the New York City Housing Authority is adding Wyckoff Gardens in Brooklyn and Holmes Towers in Manhattan to the list of projects where infill space will be offered to private developers for market and affordable housing. There are currently RFPs out for three other public housing sites.

Show Me the Money — CHIP is co-sponsoring a reception and workshop with Original Energy at Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue, September 17th, from 3 to 6 p.m. to inform building owners about the full range of funding sources available for energy-related capital improvements to individual apartment units or buildings. The workshop will review the details of available programs, discuss whether there are any strings attached to the funding, and provide some instruction on the application process. Much of the available funding is generated through tax dollars and utility surcharges – come learn how to get your money back through these programs. RSVP today to rsvp@chipnyc.org

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