End Retaliatory Evictions! Pass Good Cause Eviction in Syracuse

Syracuse Common Council

What is it?

Good Cause Eviction is a STOP! Coalition campaign/ordinance that has been brought to the Syracuse Common Council by councilor-at-large Michael Greene. It would protect tenants from no-fault evictions, give tenants the right to renew their lease and protect tenants from unconscionable rent hikes.

Why do we need it?

Through canvassing more than 1,500 homes since March 2021, we’ve learned that tenants across Syracuse experience persistent substandard and unsafe living conditions, from lead exposure to a lack of heat and electricity. However, when tenants attempt to address these problems by seeking repairs or contacting code enforcement, they are often evicted as a result.

The white paper Evicting Syracuse During COVID - A Good Cause Eviction Ordinance Is Common Sense, outlines the overlap between code violations and eviction proceedings in Syracuse. From the data presented, it is clear that measures that empower tenants relative to landlords – i.e. those that protect the tenant’s right to renew leases, report and mitigate code violations, and that incentivize landlords to maintain the properties to which they hold title – are likely to alleviate neighborhood-level concerns.

How would Good Cause Eviction help?

By protecting tenants from no-fault evictions, Good Cause Eviction would empower tenants to organize and demand better, safer living conditions without worrying that they’ll be forced out of their homes as a result. Additionally, under the Syracuse ordinance, landlords

  • Cannot evict without presenting the Rental Registry Certificate or Certificate of Compliance

  • Cannot evict based on non-payment of a rent increase of more than 5%

  • Cannot evict if there are open code violations at any of their properties

  • Cannot evict if there is a history of intimidation

Sponsored by

To: Syracuse Common Council
From: [Your Name]

Dear Syracuse Common Council

Syracuse is made up of 60% renters and lots of single-family and two-family homeowners who want stable and safe housing. Right now, large, corporate landlords are driving eviction cases through Syracuse City court from the same neighborhoods that are struggling with issues like exposure to Lead Paint and poor housing conditions. No one should be scared to report their housing conditions to Codes Enforcement or face retaliation from absent landlords.

We need a Good Cause Eviction ordinance to help families stay in their homes and address poor housing conditions in a humane way. Good Cause Eviction would reinforce compliance with the Rental Registry, help tenants address unconscionable rent increases, address open code violations and not penalize local landlords for the behavior of business landlords with histories of intimidation.

As a community member and constituent, I ask you to pass Good Cause Eviction here in Syracuse and help make our city safe and stable for us and our neighbors.