On March 2, 2023, the Appellate Division, Third Department upheld a lower court’s ruling that the City of Albany’s good cause eviction law is null and void. See Pusatere v. City of Albany, — N.Y.S.3d —- (2023); 2023 WL 2315533.
This lawsuit challenged a law passed by the Common Council of the City of Albany (“Local Law F”) requiring landlords to provide good cause before they could evict a tenant. For example, if the lease term was up, a landlord could not evict a tenant without providing additional “good cause” to the court.
The Plaintiffs in this action sought a ruling that Local Law F was preempted; that it conflicted with various laws, including Real Property Law Article 7 and Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Article 7; that it was an invalid exercise of the City’s authority; that it was a taking in violation of their constitutional rights; a violation of the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
In June 2022, Albany County Supreme Court held that most of Local Law F was barred by conflict preemption because they required a landlord to prove the additional element of “good cause” prior to evicting a tenant, restricted landlords’ access to the courts, limited the eviction remedy provided in the RPAPL, and interfered with their right to increase rent and terminate month-to-month tenancies upon 30 days’ notice. As a result of the direct conflicts between the Local Law F and the relevant state laws, Local Law F was nullified.
The Appellate Division, Third Department agreed with the lower court’s determination and held that Local Law F was preempted by state law, except for a minor provision that required the registration of properties prior to eviction proceedings (which was excepted because the previously conflicting RPAPL provision was modified during the pendency of the appeal).
This decision constitutes a rare win for landlords and developers in New York and particularly the City of Albany which has been openly hostile to landlords and developers in an effort to address the City of Albany’s housing shortage.
The Wagoner Firm represents landlords and developers throughout New York on a host of issues and will continue to advocate for them and follow along as the landscape evolves. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have related to your real estate needs.