This week, a slim majority of the New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the strengthened rent overcharge lookback in the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) could not be enforced retroactively.
This decision will decimate the ability of tens of thousands of tenants to hold their landlords accountable for past rent overcharges.
State Senator Brad Hoylman, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, released the following statement in response:
“Unscrupulous landlords have been shortchanging tenants in New York City for decades. Their greed has depleted our city’s affordable housing and made it extraordinarily difficult for working- and middle-class New Yorkers to find stable, safe places to live.
“When we passed the HSTPA last year, the State Legislature carefully considered legislative text that would protect affordability and ensure tenants could hold their landlords accountable for misconduct. The Court of Appeals’ ruling will make doing so far more difficult.
“We cannot let this ruling derail the progress the Legislature secured for tenants last year. I fully support a potential U.S. Supreme Court appeal of this ruling, and will work with my colleagues to determine an appropriate legislative response.”