Local Rent Guidelines Board Order Stayed Pending Outcome of Landlords' Challenge to Kingston's Adoption of ETPA

LVT Number: #32372

A group of landlords, whose buildings were made subject to rent stabilization under the ETPA by the City of Kingston's new law in August 2022, sued the city, the city's Common Council, the city's new Rent Guidelines Board, and the DHCR, seeking revocation of the law based on claims that the vacancy study upon which the city based the law was flawed and based on inaccurate data.

After commencing the lawsuit, landlords asked the court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the respondents with respect to implementation of the ETPA within the City of Kingston. The court initially denied any temporary relief, finding that there was no harm to the landlords while the case was pending. But shortly thereafter, the new Kingston Rent Guidelines Board set guidelines for rent increases and ordered reduction of recently increased rents. Landlords then returned to court with their request for a TRO.

The court now ruled for landlords and held that, while the case that challenged the law was pending: (a) the rent guideline lease adjustment and fair market rent appeal guideline orders adopted on Nov. 9, 2022, by the Kingston Rent Guidelines Board were stayed and enjoined; (b) the DHCR was enjoined from giving the Rent Guidelines Board orders any effect; (c) the affected landlords subject to the ETPA in Kingston weren't required to give tenants new or renewal leases; (d) the DHCR was enjoined from processing and determining any fair market rent appeals or any application that a lease was not properly renewed; (e) all tenants subject to the ETPA in Kingston had the right to continue in occupancy as month-to-month tenants, even with expired leases or lack of new leases; (f) the legal rent that may be charged to affected tenants subject to the ETPA was the rent charged and paid on the first rent payment date on or after the date when Kingston declared an emergency under the ETPA; and that (g) all other provisions of the ETPA remained in effect.

Hudson Valley Property Owners Association Inc. v. The City of Kingston New York: Index No. EF2022-2130 (Sup. Ct. Ulster; 12/2/22; Gandin, J)[2-pg. document]