Column: Reject the Lease for Life bill

It seems that another very serious issue is threatening our community. It is the Just Cause/Good Cause bill, also known as Lease For Life. Basically, it calls for a lease for life for all tenants as long as they pay their rent, aren’t intentionally damaging the property, and aren’t subletting or violating the lease.  Lease For life will also cap your rents. That means every apartment in New York State will be rent controlled, even one-, two- and three-family homes.  Try making repairs on your home with that in effect. And that will trickle down to store owners because if you cannot afford to repair and renovate, they lose as well. That means that even though you pay the taxes and upkeep on your property, you will not have control of it. You will be under the thumb of the state and everyone loses, landlord and tenant alike.

Sounds pretty bad, right? Well, it gets worse. Not only will you lose control of your property, the courts will be closed to landlords. So, you will have no recourse. Right now, there are laws that protect tenants, so there is no need to take control of an owners rights. Tenants cannot be evicted without a court order. This is a property grab and we must do everything we can to stop it.

This law, if passed, will affect every person in our community, whether you are a tenant or a landlord.

Here are some scenarios. Let’s say you own a home and have a tenant and your mother falls ill, so you want her to move into your apartment so you can care for her. Right now, you would ask the tenant to leave so your parent could move in. If this law passes you would not be allowed to do this. It’s your home, you spent your life’s savings on it but you have no control over it. You could try to pay the tenant to leave but who would leave if they had a lease for life with a rent cap? You could try to sell but who would buy with a lifelong tenant with rent control? If you were lucky enough to find a buyer, they might not even be able to get a mortgage in a situation like this.

When property values drop because of Lease For Life, and they will, where will the taxes come from?  You, of course!  After all, tax dollars have to come from somewhere.  This program is a disaster for every person in every community.  We must be educated to save our communities from the hands that seek to destroy us!  We must unite against this.

Here is what you can do. Alessandra Biaggi, our state senator, is a supporter of this bill. You must call her office and tell her not to support the Just Cause/Good Cause Bill, also known as Lease For Life. Assemblyman Michael Benedetto has not as of yet supported this bill, but he must know that we stand united against this bill. Call him and tell him not to support this bill, which will surely destroy our community. Ask Mike to unite with us against Lease For Life.

Contact information:

Alessandra Biaggi: 718-822-2049

Mike Benedetto: 718-892-2235

Our next meeting will be on Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church on Hollywood and Baisley avenues. Please be sure to attend and bring your neighbors with you. If you have not yet paid your dues, please do so today. You can send your $10 check to 1145 Hobart Ave., Bronx NY 10461.

Until then, stay safe and stay involved.

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