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March 24, 2015- The local advertising flier called the Broadsheet (BS) posted a story today about affordable housing. It quoted CB1 member Tom Goodkind, “The majority of condo units in northern Battery Park City are used for investment purposes, and are not being used as residences by their owners. Tenants who rent apartments in condominium buildings have no affordability protections whatsoever. Rent stabilization doesn’t exist in condos, and those residents have none of the other rights that tenants in rental buildings have.”.
However, Mr. Goodkind knows better and the BS article contained a major error. Mr. Goodkind knows that all of the “condo” buildings in BPC have accepted the restrictions of the 421a tax break law, which designates them as “rent-stabilized“.
We spoke with Mr. Goodkind at the CB1 tonight and told him about the comments made to this post. He replied, “That’s all on Matt (Fenton). I did not write it. I just showed him the data.“.
Very few people know that the buildings using 421a are deemed rent-stabilized because the real estate companies want this to be a secret. The billionaire developers have been reaping the rewards from 421a for decades while not supplying the rent-stabilization and affordable housing that comes with the deal. They have their cake and are eating it too.
If any apartment rent lease is created by any owner who fails to mention the rent-stabilization status of the building, then that lease is invalid. It does matter whether the lease contract is with an individual apartment owner or the entire building. The 421a status must be listed, according to New York real estate lawyer Kevin McConnell.
Rent stabilization status not only protects the renters from high rent hikes, it also confers a variety of other protections. Most importantly, a renter cannot be evicted without good reason, such as non-payment, if they live in a rent stabilized building.
Sadly, few of the former tenants in North BPC knew this last year as they allowed themselves to be intimidated by their landlords and evicted.