New York's 'Good Cause Eviction' Bill, Explained

Here's a slightly humorous approach to a serious topic: the Good Cause Eviction law making its way through the New York State Legislature.

2 minute read

January 18, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A short, sometimes amusing, video published by the New York Times and written by Jeff Seal, Chris Libbey, and Nick Libbey explains the "Good Cause Eviction" bill (Senate Bill S3082) authored by State Senator Julia Salazar (D) and under consideration by the New York State Legislature.

(Spoiler: the video also features Jeff Seal as a singing, dancing bill, à la Schoolhouse Rock).

The bill has been described as "landlords' worst nightmare" and is based on similar statewide legislation passed in Oregon and California (called "Just Caused Evictions" on the West Coast).

"Under Good Cause Eviction, as long as you're paying your rent and are an otherwise good tenant, a landlord can't evict you," explains Seal, who explains the intentions and the politics of the bill in clear language, but also clearly positions the video on the side of expanded tenants' rights in New York.

Landlords across the state can evict tenants for "basically no reason," according to Judith Goldner, a lawyer at Legal Aid, who is featured in the article, along with the bill's author, State Senator Salzar.

Landlords are still allowed to evict a tenant for a "good reason," like those listed by Goldner in the video: breach of lease, causing a nuisance, failure to pay rent, or if the landlord wants to take over an apartment for themselves or family members.

The video also features numerous anecdotes of tenants who forego basic fixes and other property owner obligations to avoid retaliation in the form of eviction. The bill would protect tenants from eviction if they ask for repairs or form tenant associations. The bill also sets a limit on rent increases—a protection commonly referred to as rent control—by tying rent increases to inflation.

See more on New York's Good Cause Eviction bill in an article published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition in December 2021.

The state of New York is starting to build a recent track record of passing new tenant protections, most prominently with the approval of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which implemented landmark changes to rent control regulations throughout the state.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022 in The New York Times

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