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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.

Two Decades Later, Democrats Say Giuliani Was Wrong About Rent Limits

Since 1995, developers in lower Manhattan have relied on a letter written by former Mayor Giuliani to justify receiving tax breaks without rent restrictions. Former lawmakers who wrote and voted for the law say the practice violates the intent and clear meaning of the statute.

How Rudy Giuliani Helped Landlords Get a Tax Break With No Strings Attached

New York's Legislature wanted to give tax breaks in Lower Manhattan in exchange for limits on rent increases. The mayor and the real estate lobby had another idea.

Brooklyn Officials Ask State to Investigate Rent Overcharges

A request to the Tenant Protection Unit cites ProPublica’s reporting on a tax-subsidized building owned by Two Trees Management.

3 Things Mayor de Blasio and AG Schneiderman Didn’t Say About Housing Enforcement

New York leaders have been quick to celebrate enforcement achievements to protect rent-stabilized units but haven’t put them in context.

Rent Limits Just a Fiction for Thousands of NYC Tenants, Records Disclose

Among other facts, newly released housing documents reveal that 239,000 regulated apartments have “preferential” rent, meaning landlords may be able to boost rents by more than what the city allows.

Is Your Doorman Getting Underpaid? Here’s How to Find Out.

Workers at big NYC apartment buildings that get a tax subsidy are supposed to be paid a prevailing wage set by the city comptroller. But they don’t always know it – and that can cost them.

NYC's Prevailing Wage Apartment Buildings

New York City biggest housing subsidy shells out $1.1 billion a year in property tax breaks to apartment and condo building owners. In return, they’re supposed to pay doormen, janitors and other service workers the “prevailing wage.” City officials provided this list of prevailing wage buildings after a public records request from ProPublica.

NYC Housing Official Pans Rent Reforms As ‘Waste’

City Council members want a new system and fines to be sure that landlords are complying with rent limits at up to 200,000 unregistered apartments.

NYC May Actually Crack Down on Developers Who Cheat Taxpayers and Renters

The head of the city’s housing department has laid out steps to boost oversight of tax breaks for developers and other programs overseen by the agency.

Renter Beware: Ten Ways Unscrupulous Landlords Cheat NYC Tenants

Here are the top 10 ways unscrupulous landlords take advantage of tenants, and what you can do about it.

NY Lawmakers Want Stiffer Penalties for Landlords Who Ignore Rent Limits

A bill introduced in response to ProPublica’s reporting would make landlords liable for up to 10 times the amount of overcharges imposed on tenants in rent-stabilized apartments.

NY State Data Indicates Even More Landlords Duck Rent Limits

As many as 200,000 New York City apartments could be missing from rent regulation as required by law, according to figures released by the state’s housing agency.

NYC Lets Luxury Building Owners Stiff Workers and Still Get a Tax Break

City regulators haven’t enforced a 2007 law that requires doormen, janitors and other service workers at taxpayer-subsidized apartment buildings to be paid wages comparable to union rates.

NYC Bill Targets Landlords Who Get Tax Breaks, Duck Rent Limits

City Council members propose inventory system and fines for landlords after ProPublica reports that 50,000 apartments aren’t registered for rent regulation as required.

Tenants Take the Hit as New York Fails to Police Huge Housing Tax Break

Top developer Two Trees Management overcharged renters for years – but still cashed in on $10 million in tax cuts the city never officially approved.

Landlords to Pay $5 Million for Dodging Rent Laws

State, city officials target buildings receiving lucrative property tax breaks in return for limiting rents.

Landlords Fail To List 50,000 N.Y.C. Apartments for Rent Limits

Owners are getting $100 million in property tax breaks while violating the law requiring them to officially register, and city and state officials are unable to explain why.

Are You Paying Too Much Rent? What You Need to Know About Rent Limits

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are moving into newer rent-stabilized apartments. Many are paying ‘preferential’ rents that tenant advocates say invite abuse by landlords.

N.Y.C. Landlords Flout Rent Limits — But Still Rake In Lucrative Tax Breaks

Help ProPublica and WNYC investigate how renters are being exploited under a housing program that will save developers $1 billion in property taxes this year.

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