Renters Seek Changes to MCI Law

Under state laws, owners of rent-controlled buildings can apply for rent increases to offset the cost of major capital improvements on a per-room basis. Recently, a group of more than 100 renters rallied outside the DHCR offices on Union Hall Street. Several tenants accused the DHCR of being a rubber stamp for owners, alleging that the agency has signed off on improvements that were not necessary.

Acknowledging that the regulations are written into state law, the organizers want the law rewritten. State Senator Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria) has been working with the group in recent months and said a bill introduced by Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) would do just that. Among its provisions is one that would remove increases once a given capital improvement is paid for.