Published on June 28, 2010 | by LawNews

‘Poor Tax’ Argument Developed by Law Reform Advocacy Clinic Students Continues to Bear Fruit

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, the Appellate Division First Department affirmed an earlier decision, which ruled in favor of City Council and advocates for New York’s lower-paying tenants, stating that the rent increase was a “poor tax.”

Professor Stefan Krieger reports that the ruling in the original 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 this case – which was newly developed by our students – is having a big effect” said Krieger.

New York City’s Law Department now plans to ask the state’s highest court to review it. Should the ruling stand, approximately 300,000 rent-stabilized tenants could receive rebates and small reductions in their rent.

For more details, read previous stories in the New York Daily News,New York Times, and Blogstra.

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