Apartments Niagara has 800 residential units in Western New York.

Owner Jeff Williams said apartment businesses are among the biggest investors in Upstate communities.

"In our portfolio alone we paid $600,000 in property taxes, local property taxes. It's an enormous amount of money of investment in the local community," he said.

But Williams said New York state law is making it increasingly more difficult to operate these businesses.

"Our margins are exceptionally small where many of us are running on 3 to 4 percent and when you're running on margins that small you have to be very careful with everything you do and anything that happens can really affect that balance," he said.

A group of Western New York owners, representing roughly 10,000 units, are forming a coalition to lobby state lawmakers. At the top of their concern list is a bill that would restrict their ability to raise rents and evict tenants.

"Every property is a community and it’s a balance and when there's one disruptive resident in those communities, it can create a ripple effect across the entire community," Williams said.

Many members of the Western New York coalition are also part of a broader group, formed last year, called Under One Roof. That coalition shares the same concerns about this year's proposals but is also asking the Legislature to reconsider pieces of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act it passed last year.

"We have proposed text for some revisions which we feel won't hurt any of the tenants that got protections last June but will protect those that were not supposed to be harmed by that law," coalition leader and Rochester attorney Jaime Michelle Cain said.

She said, for instance, a rule banning double security deposits is shutting people with poor credit and fixed incomes out of housing.

"We are a group that wants landlords to be accountable. We want to provide the best product we can do and the group that we represent wants to do their job."

The coalitions said they want to work cooperatively with tenant groups so everybody is happy, but Williams said if landlords have to start scaling back, Upstate cities will be the big losers.

"Those rebirths will stall because multi-family housing really is the beginning of rebirths in almost every city," he said.