New state law gives opportunity to protect renters from unreasonable rent increase

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– The new law the Governor signed last month is designed to protect tenants from unreasonable rent increases, force landlords to maintain their property, and gives Upstate cities and towns the opportunity to opt into the new law to protect their residents.

The Buffalo Common Council is studying the issue to see what effect opting in might have on the city’s housing market.

Homebuilders have objected to some of the provisions, saying they might have to pull their business out of the city, and landlords have said it could reduce the availability of affordable housing.

But Masten Councilman Ulysees Wingo said to opt in the city’s vacancy rate would have to be 5% or less and the rent controls would only apply to apartment buildings with 6 or more units.

“The impact will be minimal for the new builders, and they have to understand that. They have to understand that this is geared for buildings built before 1974. So we are trying to make sure that those folks who are currently paying rent, they don’t get their rent charged, or increased, at an exponential rate,” Wingo said.

Wingo told us, they are waiting to get a true reading on the city’s vacancy rate, which is at about 5%.

The worry is that some landlords would pull out of the city due to the new regulations.

Wingo has submitted a resolution to consider rent stabilization to the Common Council, but it has been sent to committee for review.

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