The plight of renters, especially rent-regulated ones, has long been part of New York City lore — steep rent hikes, shoddy maintenance, fear of being blacklisted and evicted, and a general sense of powerlessness against a faceless landlord.

But come next week, a lot could change.

The state Senate and Assembly’s landmark deal on New York’s rent regulations, which will go before a final vote on Friday, is expected to introduce a new normal for the 2.4 million tenants in the city’s rent-regulated system: After decades of living under landlord-friendly rules like vacancy decontrol and renovation increases, the city’s rent-regulated tenants are poised to become newly empowered, armed with more financial security due to the elimination of sharp rent hikes and increased accountability for landlords.

“It’s a real sea change,” said Emily Goldstein, the director of organizing and advocacy at Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development, a nonprofit that promotes affordable housing.

But while the new rules may seem dramatically different, they actually represent a reversion to what the city's rent-regulated system looked like more than 30 years ago.

"It’s a reality that some renters never knew," said Samuel Stein, a former tenant activist and author of the book "Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State." "It’s a huge difference for us, but it’s worth noting that this is a rollback."

Nonetheless, as Goldstein pointed out, “It’s going to be a period of people re-learning what their rights are.”

That includes landlords, who are grappling with how the new regulations will affect their bottom line.

Victor Sozio, the co-founder of Ariel Property Advisors, a real estate brokerage and advisory company, said he spent the day fielding phone calls from worried landlords and investors. Among its services, Sozio's firm assesses the value of multi-family rent-regulated properties for investors.

"I was half-psychiatrist today," he said.

The new rent laws effectively upend the business model for many landlords, including big players like Blackstone and A&E, who have factored in the use of measures like vacancy decontrol and renovation increases. But all landlords, from mom-and-pop to private equity, are facing diminished returns and incentives to invest in buildings, according to Sozio.

"A lot of ownership groups will have to buckle up for a lot longer than expected and operate more efficiently," he said.

Tenant advocates, however, argued that cooling off the market and driving out speculative investors is exactly what the new rent regulations intended.

"You need landlords, not gamblers masquerading as landlords," said Aaron Carr, the founder of Housing Rights Initiative, a tenant watchdog group.

By all accounts, there is a lot to understand, for both sides. One day after the deal was reached and explained in broad strokes by lawmakers, housing and real estate experts were still digesting the details and language of the 74-page bill.

Some, like Oksana Mironova, a housing policy analyst with Community Service Society of New York, had legitimate questions and concerns, foremost of which was how all of the new rules will be enforced.

"This is an amazing, huge win for tenants," she said. "But nonetheless, implementation is key."

That will likely be a key discussion in the coming months. "More funding is important. More political will is important," Carr said.

Listen to Elizabeth Kim discuss the deal on WNYC:

Along those lines, similar with the city's right-to-cousel law, which gave low-income tenants facing eviction the right to a free attorney, expect tenant organizers to start lobbying the city for funding to help raise awareness among renters.

With that said, here are some key takeaways from the bill that tenants should know right away.

The lease renewal process for tenants on preferential rent will be a whole lot less stressful.

Roughly one-quarter — 266,000 — of the city’s one million rent-regulated units receive preferential rent, which means a rent lower than what is legally permitted and which is typically used in low-income or newly gentrifying neighborhoods. Under current law, landlords who grant tenants preferential rents have been able to raise rents to the maximum allowable amount during lease renewals. In practice, this has meant that preferential rent tenants have faced the possibility of large and unexpected rent hikes during lease renewals.

Going forward, preferential rents will become the base rent for the entire occupancy of the tenant, meaning landlords can only raise the rent according to amounts determined by the Rent Guidelines Board, the agency that sets the increases for rent-stabilized units.

“It allows you to plan your life,” Mironova said.

That boiler update or kitchen renovation your landlord elected to perform is no longer going to cost you a fortune.

Renovation increases in the form of major capital improvements (MCIs) and individual apartment improvements (IAIs) were a closely watched proposal during the rent reform negotiations. Tenant advocates cited these measures, which allowed landlords to use renovation spending to exact permanent rent increases on tenants, as loopholes that invited fraud and tools of displacement. Landlords, on the other hand, said they encouraged investment and maintenance in older housing stock.

Currently, landlords who performed MCIs are entitled to raise rents by as much as 6% a year. But according to the bill, they will now be only be able to raise rents by 2% a year to help pay for those renovations. On top of that, those increases can only be for 30 years.

Similarly, the proposed law caps spending on IAIs by limiting the renovation amount to a maximum of $15,000 per unit, every 15 years. As an example, under the present rules, a landlord of a building with less than 35 units could apply for as much as $40,000 on IAIs and pass 1/40th of the costs to renters through a permanent monthly increase. Now, the same landlord can only apply for $15,000 and can pass along only 1/168th of the costs.

New York City tenants may never again have to hear the words "vacancy decontrol" and "vacancy bonus" again.

These two provisions don't affect current tenants while they are living in rent-regulated units, but rather, future tenants. The elimination of vacancy decontrol, which enables landlords to deregulate apartments once the rents reach a certain threshold, currently of $2,774, was largely expected. After all, the provision has been blamed for the deregulation of more than 155,000 units.

However, the nixing of the vacancy bonus, which allowed landlords to impose a 20 percent large rent hike after tenants moved out, surprised some in the real estate industry. "A lot of people thought the vacancy bonus was just going to be modified," Sozio said.

Same with another measure known as "high-income deregulation," which allows a landlord to deregulate a rent-stabilized unit if the tenant makes more than $200,000 a year for two straight years.

Worried that your building is looking to turn into a coop or condo? The conversion process is going to be a lot harder.

Over the decades, coop and condo conversions have been a common investor strategy in the city's rent-regulated market and, as a resulted, contributed to the loss of rent-regulated units. Currently, 15% of apartments have to be sold (to either residents or outside investors) in order for a building to convert to a coop or condo. But now, the new law sets a much higher bar: 51% of tenants who live in the building must agree to buy units for a conversion to happen.

Suspect your landlord is overcharging you? Now, you can request a full rent history and hold him accountable over a longer period.

Previously, rent-regulated tenants had what was known as a four-year "look back" rule, where they could hold a landlord accountable for overcharges for four years. Now a tenant who suspects fraud can request a full rental bill history and can make the state investigate and penalize landlords for overcharges made over the last six years.

Guess what? The new rent laws won't expire, meaning they're permanent, well, sorta.

Under the new bill, the rent laws will no longer sunset, meaning that they will no longer come up for renewal every four years.

While that may seem like good news, Stein argued that the expiration of rent laws had been a motivating force for tenant advocates, galvanizing them during one intense period of lobbying. Now, as tenant groups look toward the future and the passage of the "good cause" eviction plan, which didn't make into into the current bill and would expand eviction protections to market-rate tenants in certain cases, they will have to forge ahead without the pressure of a deadline.

"It's new terrain to be pushing for new rent reform without expiration," he said.

But while the new rent laws may not expire, they can still be repealed or amended. Given the outrage and deep pockets of the real estate industry, you can probably bet that they'll come up with a game plan to change the rules once again.

UPDATE: The post has been updated with a new description of Samuel Stein and revised description of Ariel Property.