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Court Upholds Eviction Protection Law in NYC

(CN) - An appeals court upheld a New York City housing law that protects tenants from being forced out of their apartments after a group of landlords claimed the city council overstepped its authority when it passed the law.

Prometheus Realty and three other landowners sued the city to overturn Local Law No. 7, which took effect in March 2008. They were joined by the Rent Stabilization Association of NYC, a nonprofit group that represents 25,000 landlords.

They argued that only the state Legislature, not the city, had the constitutional authority to pass laws that give more authority to the New York City Civil Court Housing Part.

The trial court dismissed the landlords' claim, and the 1st Department Appellate Division in Manhattan affirmed, writing that the city already handles other housing matters.

"By authorizing the Housing Part to enforce local as well as state laws, including, but not limited to, the multiple-dwelling law and the housing maintenance code ... the Legislature was granting broad authority in regard to the enforcement of 'housing standards,'" Justice David Saxe wrote. "Although the Civil Court Act does not include a definition of the term 'housing standards,' in our view, the creation of remedies for harassment of tenants by landlords is a matter that falls squarely within the concept of housing standards."

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