To the editor:
(re: “Preferential rents not preferred,” Oct. 26)
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is to be congratulated for his clear explanation of some of the hidden risks to rent-stabilized tenants lurking in “preferential rents” increasingly offered by landlords in the Bronx.
As his piece pointed out, prior to 2003, state laws protected tenants who entered into rent-regulated leases with preferential rents.
Landlords who agreed to a preferential rent could only charge the non-preferential, rent-stabilized maximum when a tenant moved out.
Tenants had the right to renew their leases with the preferred rent as the base rent and the increases were subject to the same percentages that applied to other rent-stabilized tenants.
In other words, tenants had predictability and were not subject to extreme increases in their rent.
Mr. Dinowitz writes about his chamber, the New York State Assembly, passing legislation year after year aimed at restoring the pre-2003 tenant protections.
He further explains that these Assembly bills never become law because they are repeatedly “blocked by upstate Republicans in the state senate.”
Assemblyman Dinowitz is only partially correct when he blames Republicans who control the senate for blocking pro-tenant legislation.
Blame for the repeated failure of vital tenant protections also goes to our local state senator, Jeff Klein, who leads the so-called Independent Democratic Conference.
Klein continues to participate in a governing coalition with the pro-Trump Republicans in the senate, empowering the GOP to block the pro-tenant bills passed in the Assembly.
It is well documented that Sen. Klein is one of the top recipients of landlord and real estate contributions in the senate. While Sen. Klein denies these donations impacts how he votes, landlords are certainly happy with the results.