We typically think of rent controls being imposed for residential leases. Housing affordability is a real issue. Access to housing is considered by many to be a basic human right. Landlord tenant laws all over North America have been enacted to protect both the rights of landlords and tenants. 

The latest twist being pushed in City Council in NYC is a proposal for commercial rent control. This would give small business tenants the right to demand a 10 year lease.

Commercial rent control ended in NYC in1963 when a state law mandating it expired.

Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, who is sponsoring the new version of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, claimed his bill is “not commercial rent control,” adding it “is about immigrant rights … and improving the small business climate in New York City.”

The Mayor is opposed to the bill. But Mayor de Blasio suggested a few months ago that the city is considering a “storefront registry” and a “vacancy tax” that would penalize landlords who leave stores empty for lengthy periods.