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The Rent Racket

How landlords sidestep tenant protections in New York City.

ProPublica is exploring New York City’s broken rent stabilization system, the tax breaks that underpin it, the regulators who look the other way and the tenants who suffer as a result.

It’s Legal: Some New York Landlords Can Take Tax Breaks Then Raise Rents Without Limit

Last year, a ProPublica investigation uncovered how Rudy Giuliani, together with upstate Republicans and the real-estate industry, maneuvered behind the scenes in 1995 to exempt downtown Manhattan apartments from rent stabilization rules.

Many ‘Rent-Stabilized’ NYC Apartments Are Not Really Stabilized. See Where They Are.

The units are supposed to be protected from steep rent hikes. But thanks to a loophole, owners can seek big rent increases anyway. Our analysis shows some of the city’s poorest areas are most at risk.

Preferential Rents in NYC

Newly released data shows ZIP codes where rents could suddenly jump for rent-stabilized apartments.

New York Landlords Exploit Loophole to Hike Rents Despite Freeze

Thanks to a 2003 state law, owners of rent-stabilized apartments can arbitrarily boost rents to a legal maximum that they set themselves. The tactic fosters gentrification, eviction and homelessness.

Gov. Cuomo's New Affordable Housing Proposal Would Make Some Rents Less Affordable

The governor’s initiative would water down a longstanding requirement that developers who receive a $1.4 billion-a-year tax break must cap rent increases in new apartment buildings.

Why Developers of Manhattan Luxury Towers Give Millions to Upstate Candidates

A first-of-its-kind analysis shows just how tactical the real-estate industry is about bankrolling state legislators who will protect its $1.4 billion tax break and weaken rent laws.

New York City and State Step Up Enforcement of Wage Rules For Luxury Building Workers

Regulators have sent letters to property owners asking them to certify compliance with a 2007 law mandating higher pay to workers in taxpayer-subsidized apartment buildings.

Cuomo Said He’d Return 50,000 Apartments to Rent Regulation. He Didn’t Come Close.

A state effort to get landlords to comply voluntarily with a 2009 court ruling in favor of tenants appears to have fallen far short of its goal, newly available records show.

Tracking Evictions and Rent Stabilization in NYC

We’ve mapped more than 450,000 New York City eviction cases filed between January 2013 and June 2015. Look up your building to see its recent eviction cases and whether it may be rent-stabilized.

The Fateful Vote That Made New York City Rents So High

A 1994 City Council vote enabling landlords to dodge limits on rent increases has had a profound impact on the lives of New Yorkers.

De Blasio Says ‘Enough is Enough’: Landlords Getting Big Tax Break Must Cap Rent Hikes

The mayor’s statement, publicizing a crackdown on owners of more than 3,000 rental buildings, is his sharpest critique yet of enforcement lapses benefiting scofflaw property owners.

NYC To Put 3,000 Landlords On Notice: Comply With Law or Lose Tax Benefits

Reversing years of lax scrutiny, officials are seeking to enforce rent protections tied to the city’s single biggest housing subsidy.

NYC Lawmakers Push For Audits of Landlords Who Pocket $1.4 Billion Tax Break

Legislation introduced in City Council on Wednesday would require the city’s housing arm to audit 20 percent of buildings receiving the benefit. Violators would have to return the money.

Thousands of NYC Landlords Who Ignored Rent Caps Got Tax Breaks They Didn’t Qualify For

A new ProPublica analysis shows that two-thirds of more than 6,000 rental properties receiving tax benefits from the city’s 421-a program don’t have approved applications on file and most haven’t registered apartments for rent stabilization as required by law. That allows owners to raise rents as much as they want.

If You Live In These Tax-Subsidized Buildings, You Are Entitled to a Rent Freeze

Search for your building to see if your landlord has been approved for the program and registered your building for rent stabilization, as required by law. If not, you may be paying more than you should.

Dozens of New York Officials Support Tenants’ Lawsuit Over Rent Stabilization

Tenants have sued a Lower Manhattan developer, saying their leases should have been rent-stabilized in exchange for the tax breaks their landlord received. State and local officials have now filed a brief supporting the tenants, whose case could affect thousands of rental units.

What’s The Rent? NYC Housing Officials Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is flouting a rent-reporting requirement for apartments built under the city’s single biggest housing tax break. Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t seem to mind.

This Is What New York’s ‘Voluntary Compliance’ For Landlords Looks Like

Tenants overcharged by landlords who received property tax breaks shouldn’t expect much help from state regulators. Many are opting to go to court and, so far, they are winning big.

New York Isn’t Telling Tenants They May Be Protected From Big Rent Hikes

Due to an error by state officials, rent limits on tens of thousands of New York City apartments were improperly removed. Now, 20 years later, the state is relying on landlords to fix that problem. What could go wrong?

Meet the NYC Tax Break That Could Save You From Eviction Or A Big Rent Hike

A property tax benefit known as J-51 can mean the difference between a rent freeze and a sharp increase. Here is how to find out if your building qualifies.

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