On April 20, 2024, New York state enacted one of the most consequential pieces of housing legislation in decades, one important element of which is the Good Cause Eviction law (GCE). GCE, versions of which had been debated in New York for several years, is a new rent-control system applicable to many formerly free-market rental housing accommodations in New York. While GCE initially applies only in New York City, local governments throughout New York state may opt into the law’s provisions.

Since GCE’s enactment, significant debate and discussion has ensued about the meanings and implications of various provisions of the law. Unfortunately, many important practical questions remain unresolved and are unlikely to be answered without years of litigation and appeals—to the detriment of the real estate industry and the certainty and stability it craves. Further complicating matters is the fact that GCE has no legislative history to guide the judiciary and the bar in interpreting its provisions.