Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C.

What are New York City rent control guidelines?

As someone who lives in New York City (NYC), you probably know that rent isn't cheap. This is one of the reasons why there's the NYC Rent Guidelines Board in place. This agency oversees the city's rent control and stabilization programs.

A 2017 study revealed that there were only 22,000 rent-controlled apartments in the entire city that year. There were nearly a million rent-stabilized units at that same time.

Tenants that are most likely to be subject to rent control are those who live in buildings constructed before February 1, 1947. Residents who have maintained continuous occupancy of their units since before July 1, 1971, may qualify for rent control. Tenants who took up continuous occupancy on June 30, 1971, moving forward may only qualify for rent stabilization.

The Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 resulted in an update in the method used to determine how rent changes should be made.

Rent control payments now fall under the Maximum Base Rent (MBR) system. Each apartment has its base rent that may be increased every two years to allot for operational costs.

Certain owners may be able to have the lesser of their less five-year rent values taken and have 7.5% added to it annually to progressively move them toward MBR. Tenants may contest this though, especially if they believe that the owner's expenses are minimal or that there are unaddressed violations with the property.

The children of a person who lived in a rent-controlled unit may continue living in it at the same rates after their parent's passing or departure provided they lived with that parent during the two years before the parent vacated the unit. This timeline may be reduced to a single year if the new tenant is either disabled or a senior citizen.

If a tenant voluntarily moved out of their rent-controlled unit, then the landlord reserves the right to decontrol the unit. They can convert it into a rent-stabilized one once this happens.

Rate control and rate stabilization are two distinct concepts. A landlord/tenant matters attorney can help you sort out the difference between the two and advise you on how to best protect your rights or interests here in New York.

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