Bill nixes vacancy decontrol, limits owner occupancy


State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (at microphone) on Monday celebrated the 92-to-54 passage of the Assembly version of a bill to extend and strengthen state rent regulations. At Silver’s side, from left, were Assemblymembers Brian Kavanagh, David Weprin, Linda Rosenthal, Vito Lopez, chairperson of the Assembly Housing Committee, and Rhoda Jacobs. The legislation extends rent regulations to June 15, 2016, and repeals the law that prohibits the city from strengthening rent regulations. The bill also repeals vacancy decontrol, which currently allows landlords to remove units from regulation when they become vacant if the monthly rent is above $2,000. The Assembly bill also limits owners’ ability to take over regulated apartments for personal use to one unit. It also bars owners’ personal-use takeover of units occupied by long-term tenants or senior citizens. The state Senate has not yet voted on the bill, and is expected to try to weaken it in its own version of the legislation