Statement of New York State Senator Duane
Re: New York State Court of Appeals Ruling in Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties

October 22, 2009

In fighting on behalf of tenants, I have long argued that under New York State law, landlords who receive New York City tax abatements for renovations must extend rent stabilization protections to their tenants during the abatement period.

I am gratified that the New York State Court of Appeals, in upholding the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division ruling in Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties, L.P., has affirmed it.

This monumental legal victory affects not only Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village but also thousands of other buildings that receive City tax abatements. No longer will landlords be able to deregulate apartments while receiving J-51 tax benefits from the City of New York.

It was the New York State Legislature's intent -- and is only fair -- that in exchange for the generous tax benefits that landlords receive from the City, tenants be granted the basic rights and protections afforded by rent stabilization.

I want to thank and congratulate the plaintiffs in this case, the wonderful Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, their attorney Alexander Schmidt, and all the elected officials, tenant advocates and others who have worked so hard during this long process.

This is a huge victory not just for these tenants, but for tenants all over the city, and I look forward to working with everyone as we begin to realize the ramifications of this just decision.

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