Thursday, June 24, 2010

Court Rules Rent Hikes are Illegal, Refunds Possible for Tenants by Adam Lisberg - NY Daily News

Mayor Bloomberg's handpicked board loses in Court. The Rent Guidelines Board consists of nine members, all of whom are appointed by the Mayor.

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Minimum rent hikes for 300,000 rent-stabilized New Yorkers are illegal, an appeals court ruled Tuesday, raising the prospect of $100 million in refunds.

The court agreed with a January ruling that the Rent Guidelines Board was wrong to impose increases of up to $85 on tenants paying low rents in 2008 and 2009.

"The creation of this 'poor tax' was a direct attack by the Rent Guidelines Board on low-income tenants," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

The Law Department plans to ask the state's highest court to review the ruling. The Rent Guidelines Board is scheduled to set new rent increases tomorrow, but it is unclear whether they will set a minimum.