Nearly six months after Gov. Cuomo signed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act. Landlords, including here in Buffalo, say they are now dealing with adverse results of the new bill.
"A small business owner, a person that owns one or two places, if they have a tenant that they can't get out for six months that cuts their profitability in half," said Vincent Rondinelli.
Rondinelli is a real estate broker and property owner in Buffalo. He's referring to the new eviction rules which state a tenant must be given at minimum two weeks notice. Previously, a tenant could be kicked out within 72 hours.
"My experience is that it’s closer to six to eight months to get people out for nonpayment," added Rondinelli.
According to Neighborhood Legal Services, far less of these cases are going to housing court and the new bill has improved instability in lower income communities.
Much of the reforms brought on by the bill, Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen agrees with, especially when it comes to targeting slumlord practices.
"I have seen some improvements in that when we bring certain things to landlords’ attention, they are much quicker to resolve those issues because they know that we will make it as public as possible," said Pridgen. "We will utilize the powers of the common council."
Rondinelli says the new bill has negatively impacted the housing industry by restricting landlords in background checks.
"If somebody has a prior eviction you can't use that against them," added Rondinelli.
According to Housing Justice For All, New York state evictions have dropped by 20 percent since the new law was passed. According to Pridgen, if Buffalo's housing market and affordable housing options are going to improve it all must happen with balance.
"I think that there is a message out there that the City of Buffalo is not going to tolerate bad landlords, but bad landlords shouldn’t have to tolerate bad tenants," said Pridgen.