Commercial rent stabilization provides an important tool to protect New York City small businesses and nonprofits from predatory rent hikes. Currently, there is no system in place to prohibit a landlord from raising the rent by 500%, or harassing one commercial tenant to end their lease to rent to a higher-paying tenant. Commercial tenants make up our neighborhoods: they are the restaurants, bodegas, laundromats, bookstores, after-schools, venues and all local shops that make each neighborhood distinct and uniquely New York; yet, our current commercial rental market is based on individual profit incentives, not on what is in the best interest of the neighborhood or needed for businesses and residents to thrive. Establishing rent regulation means that the local market and community needs determine rent rates, not the other way around.
Commercial tenants have rights and deserve basic protections to be able to maintain their businesses through fair contracts. A regulated system for commercial spaces would set a reasonable and proportionate rate across the board for rent based on the need.
Learning from Residential Rent Stabilization: Commercial rent stabilization will protect commercial tenants from displacement due to exorbitant rent hikes and unregulated fees. It will provide stability for small businesses and the people who depend on them. This system builds on generations of know-how: 2.5 million New Yorkers already have rent stabilization in their apartments.
One Lease / One Number: Commercial rent stabilization would also ensure that pass-alongs like taxes and utilities are included in the rent, so that businesses can clearly predict the total cost of renting a space over time and are not hit with surprising bills that put their business at risk.
Planning for the Future: Today, businesses have no idea how much their current space will cost once their lease ends; many are operating in spaces where they are month-to-month because renegotiating the rent after a lease expires comes with a huge risk of a rent hike. Many others have closed or moved because landlords demanded high rents when leases ended. Setting guidelines on the rent ensures that small businesses can responsibly plan for the future, knowing how much they’ll need to pay for use of the location their business needs to operate.
Level playing field: By ensuring that covered commercial spaces are regulated the same, regardless of who is renting them, ensures a level playing field for small businesses, rather than allowing chain businesses to out-bid them by agreeing to exorbitant rents.
The #FairRentNYC bill for Commercial Rent Stabilization was originally introduced as Intro 1796 in 2019. Despite 28 co-sponsors, then Speaker Johnson didn't give it a vote. Read HERE about our campaign's history. We are now fighting to pass in 2023 a strengthened version of what is now billed as Intro 93