THE “UNIQUE OR PECULIAR” COURT CASE AFFECTS US ALL.
What is “unique or peculiar”?
Between 1971 and 1974, whenever a rent regulated apartment became vacant, it went to full market rate. That resulted in a serious shortage of affordable housing, and the state legislature responded with the 1974 Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA). The ETPA put all apartments in big buildings built before 1974 into rent stabilization, and the starting “rent stabilized rent” was whatever tenants were paying before the law went into effect. This is important to us because when our buildings were taken out of Mitchell-Lama, we went into rent stabilization under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act.
But in some cases, the last rent the tenant was paying was silly: an owner charged his daughter $2 a month, or the super paid $0 in rent. When that apartment became regulated, they needed a way to figure out a reasonable rent. So the ETPA provides that under such “unique or peculiar circumstances” either the tenant or the owner could go to the state’s housing agency and ask the agency to set the rent.
Click on "read more" below for how this affects tenants in pre-1974 buildings taken out of Mitchell-Lama. And Click for a flyer-version of this text that you can download and print.