Should A Landlord Be Allowed To Repeatedly Offer Buyout Offers To Resistant Tenants?

When it comes to courtship, sometimes asking more than once is just too much. That’s why a proposed law in New York City would make it illegal for landlords to offer a tenant a buyout after they’ve already been told that the renter doesn’t want any such deal. But a group representing the landlords says tenants might change their minds down the line.

A bill introduced to the City Council would put restrictions on landlords trying to get rent-stabilized tenants out so they can raise the rent higher than they’re currently able to under rules set by the Rent Guidelines Board, reports Gothamist.

A vacant apartment in NYC can have its rent increased more than one occupied by a rent-stabilized tenant — who gets the option to renew their lease at a lower rate of increase ever year. Offering tenants a buyout is an easy way for landlords to get those apartments empty — and thus, make more money off them.

This bill would prevent repeated buyout offers after a tenant indicates verbally or in writing that they’re not interested in a deal. But a spokesman for The Rent Stabilization Association says that proffering such deals is a form of free speech. And besides, what if someone changes their mind later on?

“I think there’s a real issue here in terms of First Amendment, free speech rights,” he told Gothamist. “If someone says, on January 1st, ‘Don’t bother me. I don’t want to be bought out,’ I don’t think there’s any harm in an owner three months or six months later saying, ‘By the way, have you changed your mind?'” he said. “Is that harassment?”

Proposed Law Would Ban Landlords From Repeatedly Offering Buyouts [Gothamist]