Court Ruling Based on Theory Developed by Law Reform Advocacy Clinic

In 2008, New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board allowed landlords of rent-subsidized apartments to raise rents by 4.5 percent for one-year leases, and 8.5 percent for two-year leases. Last week, Justice Emily Jane Goodman of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, ruled in favor of City Council and advocates for New York’s lower-paying tenants, ruling that the rent increase was a “poor tax”. Should the ruling stand — the city plans to appeal it — some 300,000 rent-stabilized tenants could receive rebates and small reductions in their rent.

Professor Stefan Krieger reports that “the ruling in that case was based directly on a Second Department decision in a Law Reform Advocacy Clinic case, NY Tenants & Neighbors Coalition v. Nassau County Rent Guidelines Board, 53 A.D.3d 550; 861 N.Y.S.2d 766 (2d Dept. 2008). The theory in our case was a new one and was developed by our students.”

The case is further discussed in the New York Times article, “Ruling Could Mean Lower Rents for 300,000.”