With New York’s rent regulations set to expire in mid-June, much attention is currently focused on the package of nine bills introduced in the state Legislature to achieve “universal rent control.” Launched amid a barrage of hostile rhetoric directed against landlords and real estate developers, state legislators and progressive activists are asserting that all nine must pass to truly protect tenants.

While New York City has had rent controls since 1943, the current regulatory system was largely established by the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974. Known as “rent stabilization,” it allows New York City and Nassau, Westchester and Rockland counties to regulate apartment rents in buildings with six or more units built before 1974 when the rental vacancy rate falls below 5%. In New York City, the Rent Guidelines Board establishes permitted rent increases, which generally track with inflation, upon the renewal of a lease.

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