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AN UPDATE ON KINGSTON'S RENT REDUCTION

On November 9, the Kingston Rent Guidelines Board voted 6-3 for a 15% rent reduction for all tenants in buildings of 6 or more units built before 1974. The Board also ruled that tenants whose rent has increased more than 15% since January 1, 2019 can be reimbursed for the rent they were overcharged by filing a Fair Market Rent Appeal.

The 15% reduction and 3-year lookback period was carefully deliberated by the Board after hearing data about Kingston’s rising rents, as well as testimony from over 70 tenants and their supporters. Only six landlords testified in opposition. Despite having representation on the Board and ample opportunity to testify, landlords knew they couldn’t win through the democratic process. Instead, they’re using their vast financial resources to subvert the will of the many in court.

As of November 18, a state judge has temporarily blocked implementation of rent reduction. Rent is still frozen for all tenants covered by ETPA. 

IMPORTANT: Tenants who wish to file a Fair Market Rent Appeal still should, but they have LESS THAN 90 DAYS to do so. 

SUBMITTING A FAIR MARKET RENT APPEAL

You should file a Fair Market Rent Appeal if your rent increased more than 15% since January 1, 2019.

Your landlord is required to send you a RR-1 form by certified mail that declares your “base rent”. You have 90 days from the postmark date of that form to file a Fair Market Rent Appeal.

 

YOUR RIGHTS AS A TENANT

While we wait for a final ruling in the lawsuit, you still have rights as a tenant protected by the Emergency Tenant Protection Act.

Person holding sign that says `keep families in their homes`

RENTS ARE FROZEN

Your landlord cannot increase your rent until a final decision has been made. DO NOT sign a new lease that increases your rent.

IF YOUR LEASE IS ENDING

If your lease is ending before the final ruling can be made, you are entitled to a month to month lease at your current rent.

Person holds a sign that says `Unjust Evictions = Death`

YOU CANNOT BE EVICTED FOR NO REASON

You are protected from evictions without a “good cause”. However, you can still be evicted if you don’t pay rent, you violate the terms of the lease, you break the law, or you cause a nuisance that disturbs the landlord or other tenants.

 

IF YOUR LANDLORD TRIES TO EVICT YOU

The only way to legally remove someone from a property in New York state is through a court order.

It is illegal for your landlord to lock you out, shut off your utilities, or physically intimidate you to get you to leave.

If your landlord is threatening you with eviction, but does not have a court order, DO NOT LEAVE.