Rent loophole causing financial chaos for NYC residents

Posted: Updated:
PELHAM PARKWAY -

A rent-stabilized apartment is a New York City dream -- until rent is hiked anyway.

Ernie Figueroa, a 10-year tenant in his building, lives in an apartment with preferential rent. It is a loophole in state laws that say rent can be raised any amount as long as it does not exceed the legal regulated rent.

"You want to know why crime is so high? It's because people are going crazy because of financial stress, and this is caused by a loophole in our state rent laws," says Figueroa.

Figueroa says he pays $1,100 per month for his one-bedroom apartment. His new lease says the legal rent is $2,543 a month.

News 12 spoke to management for the building, which said the numbers Figueroa is claiming were a lie. When asked to check what the actual numbers were, management said there were too many leases on their desk and they were unable to check themselves.

There are motions to outlaw the legal rent hike. Figueroa hopes the new Democratic majority in Albany will help him out.

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