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County, Partners Inform Landlords on Impact of New State Tenant Protection Laws

Published: 9/20/2019

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, (845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today welcomed more than 100 property owners and managers, as well as non-profit advocates and public officials, to discuss various tenant-related laws enacted earlier this year by the New York State Legislature. 

The workshop was a partnership between Dutchess County Government, the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Hudson River Housing, City of Poughkeepsie Office of Section 8 Housing, Pathstone and Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, which hosted the event. Among others taking part in the panel discussion was local real estate attorney Vincent Catalano.

County Executive Molinaro said, “In our pursuit of more affordable housing throughout Dutchess County, we will continue to fight to end source-of-income discrimination. It’s also important to educate both property owners and tenants about their respective rights before entering into a lease agreement. I thank the Department of Planning and Development and our community partners for collaborating on this important discussion that will help many in our county.”

Source-of-income legislation makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person in housing based on lawful sources of income, such as child support, alimony, Social Security, public assistance and housing assistance, such as Section 8. 

Subsequently, as part of its budget process, New York State adopted additional tenant protections under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019. The major features of this law that affect Dutchess County are:


  • The ability of local municipalities to opt-in to rent stabilization if they have a documented vacancy rate of less than 5 percent;
  • A limit on security deposits equal to one month’s rent
  • A $20 limit on application fees (including background and credit checks)
  • New landlord obligations regarding rent receipts, late fees, rent demands and acceptances
  • Illegal or criminal landlord actions
  • Changes to housing court timeframes

Soon after these laws were passed, the Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development received inquiries from local residents, asking about the laws’ local impact. In response, the Department of Planning and Development reached out to other partners in the community to discuss a coordinated approach to educating the public, resulting in today’s workshop.

Today’s training focused on property owners and managers, and additional trainings are expected to be held throughout the County, based on interest.

In addition to educating people about the realities of the new tenant protections, local agencies provided information about the various housing assistance programs in our community. A panel of local landlords who successfully house residents using public assistance and housing assistance programs, discussed their experiences.

Justin Haines, Supervising Attorney for Legal Services of the Hudson Valley, said, “Legal Services of the Hudson Valley is honored to partner with the County and our community partners to educate the community on lawful source-of-income discrimination and the many new obligations imposed on landlords by the new rent laws. Judging by the high response to this first event, the community is eager to understand these new laws and the ways they have drastically changed the landlord-tenant relationship and expanded the timelines of cases in housing court.”

“All New Yorkers deserve access to safe, affordable housing,” Attorney General Letitia James said. “Towards that end, it’s essential that tenants and landlords know their rights and responsibilities under the law. We are grateful to our many partners working alongside us to bring this information to communities across the state.”

Landlords and tenants interested in future trainings should send an e-mail to to be added to the e-mail list.