control and rent stabilization are the two types of rent regulation in New York State. If an apartment is not subject to these
regulations, it is considered “unregulated.”
An individual tenant's rights will depend in part upon which regulations apply,
although some apartments may fall under more than one category. While tenants in rent regulated or federally subsidized apartments
have special rights, many of the procedural rules relevant to unregulated apartments also apply to regulated apartments. To
inquire whether or not an apartment is regulated, contact the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).
Rent control limits the rent an
owner may charge for an apartment and restricts the right of the owner to evict tenants. The rent control program applies
to residential buildings constructed before February, 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar
rental housing emergency. Rent control is still in effect in New York City and parts of Albany, Erie, Nassau, Rensselaer,
Schenectady, and Westchester counties.
In order for an apartment to be under rent control the tenant must have been living there continuously since
before July 1, 1971. When a rent controlled apartment is vacated in New York City or most other localities, it becomes rent
stabilized or completely removed from regulation.
In New York City, each rent controlled apartment has a maximum base rent that is adjusted every
two years to reflect changes in operating costs. Tenants may challenge increases if the rent being charged by the landlord
exceeds the legal regulated rent, the building has housing code violations, the owner’s expenses do not warrant an increase,
or the owner is not maintaining essential services.
Generally, in New York City, apartments
are under rent stabilization if they are in buildings of six or more units built between February 1, 1947 and December 31,
1973. Tenants in buildings built before February 1, 1947, who moved in after June 30, 1971, are also covered by rent stabilization.
A third category of rent stabilized apartments covers buildings with three or more apartments constructed or extensively renovated
on or after January 1, 1974 with special tax benefits. Outside New York City, rent stabilized apartments are generally found
in buildings with six or more apartments that were built before January 1, 1974.
Local Rent Guidelines Boards in New York City, Nassau, Rockland
and Westchester counties set maximum rates for rent increases once a year which are effective for one or two year leases beginning
on or after October 1each year. Tenants in rent stabilized apartments are entitled to receive required essential services
and to have their leases renewed, and may not be evicted except on grounds allowed by law.
Any apartment with a monthly rent of $2,500
or more per month becomes deregulated when it becomes vacant. Occupied apartments may be deregulated when the legal regulated
rent for the apartment reaches $2,500 or more and the apartment’s occupants have a total annual income in excess of
$200,000 per year in each of the two years preceding the deregulation. Total annual income is the sum of the annual incomes
of all persons (other than subtenants) who occupy the apartment as their primary residence on a non-temporary basis. A tenant
in a unit that becomes deregulated in this manner may be offered a rent at the prevailing market rate.
Mitchell-Lama housing program provides rental and cooperative housing for middle-income tenants. For both state-sponsored
and city-sponsored Mitchell-Lama developments, tenants must meet eligibility requirements including income, family size, and
apartment size. Additionally, each development sets its own restrictions.
Public housing is a federally funded program in which state-chartered public
housing authorities develop and manage public housing developments. Public housing in New York is subject to federal, state,
and local laws and regulations. Tenants in public housing are entitled to an administrative grievance process administered
by the local housing authority before they may be evicted.
The Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments program is a rent subsidy program that
assists eligible low-income families in obtaining housing. Families receive a rental subsidy, known as a housing assistance
payment, equal to the difference between their share of the rent and the rent charged by the owner. Eligible families and
individuals are subject to statutory income limits.
rights, duties and responsibilities of Manufactured Home Parks' owners and tenants are governed by Real Property Law §233,
popularly known as the "Manufactured Home Owners Bill of Rights". The DHCR has the authority to enforce compliance
with this law.
rights, duties and responsibilities of New York City loft owners and tenants are governed by Multiple Dwelling Law, Article
7-C. The New York City Loft Board has the authority to enforce this law.
The rights, duties and responsibilities of New York City residential hotel owners
and tenants are governed by the rent stabilization law. The DHCR has the authority to enforce compliance with this law.