Court Strikes HSTPA's Retroactive Application in Overcharge Cases

On April 2, 2020, New York’s highest court issued an important set of decisions in four consolidated cases concerning rent overcharge of rent-stabilized tenants. Here, in Regina Metropolitan Co., LLC v. DHCR et seq., the Court of Appeals had been asked to decide the proper method for calculating the recoverable rent overcharge for NYC apartments that were improperly removed from rent stabilization during receipt of J-51 tax benefits. This issue had come up repeatedly since the Court’s 2009 Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties ruling. In many cases following Roberts, the DHCR and court decisions had been both conflicting and confusing as to how overcharges should be calculated. And, by the time the four cases in question reached the Court of Appeals, additional questions were presented concerning the effect of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA) on any further rulings.