In New York City there are over a million apartments subject to rent stabilization laws. Over the past few weeks landlords and tenants of these units have been following developments in Albany and in the city, as the State Legislature and the city's Rent Guidelines Board have grappled with issues related to the renewal of those regulations and the annual vote on rent increases.
Late last month the legislature renewed the law for four more years and increased, from $2,500 to $2,700, the threshold of monthly rent at which a unit can be deregulated and converted to market rate rents. Legislators also enacted a provision that the monthly threshold can increase when monthly increases are enacted by the Rent Guidelines Board.
The Rent Guidelines Board then voted 7-2 to freeze rent increases on one-year leases for the first time in the 46-year history of the Board. The Board also enacted a two percent increase in rents on two-year leases, the lowest increase ever. The increase applies to leases entered into on or after October 1 of this year and remains in effect until September 30 of next year.
Advocates for tenants had argued the freeze was necessary because tenants' incomes have not kept pace with rising housing costs. Landlords argued the freeze would make it more difficult for them to keep residential property in good repair.
New York City rent regulations are a complex, changing and often confusing area of the law. Tenants in rent-regulated apartments have important rights under the law. Landlords of these units must be careful not to violate the law when evicting tenants or deregulating a unit. Tenants with questions about their rights and landlords who seek to deregulate an apartment or evict a tenant can benefit from consulting a law firm that is knowledgeable about all aspects of New York rent stabilization law.
Source: New York Times, "New York City Board Votes to Freeze Regulated Rents on One-Year Leases," Mireya Navarro, June 29, 2015