FAQ's - Rent Stabilization and Rent Control
1) What is the difference between Rent Control and Rent Stabilization?
In New York City, Rent Control tenants are generally in buildings built before February 1, 1947, where the tenant is in continuous occupancy prior to July 1, 1971. Tenants who took occupancy after June 30, 1971, in buildings of six or more units built before January 1, 1974, are generally Rent Stabilized. See Fact Sheet #1.
2) If a tenant is renting an apartment in a building that is a co-op, is he or she rent regulated?
In New York City, a rent regulated tenant in occupancy before the conversion to cooperative ownership under a non-eviction plan remains regulated as long as he or she continues in occupancy as a non-purchasing tenant.
3) How do I know if my apartment is Rent Regulated?
In NYC, a Rent Regulated apartment may be Rent Controlled or Rent Stabilized (see question 1). Generally, an apartment occupied by a tenant continuously prior to July 1, 1971 in a building built before February 1, 1947 would come under Rent Control.
A Rent Stabilized apartment would generally be located in a building constructed prior to January 1, 1974 having 6 or more housing units. See Fact Sheet #1.
4) Is the owner of rent stabilized apartments required to register the rents?
Yes, the owner must register rents of rent stabilized units with DHCR on an annual basis. See Rent Registration.
5) Are there any requirements for gaining access to registered rental information?
Yes, (See Records Access) proof of identity and/or authorization for Rent Registration needs to be given to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal when access to registered rental information is requested. The proof of identification is as follows:
- Owners must submit proof of ownership (copy of deed or contract of sale and/or a tax bill).
- Prospective buyers must submit (a) proof of ownership as above, (b) a detailed letter from the owner identifying prospective buyer and authorizing the review of requested records.
- Tenants must submit proof of identity and proof of occupancy: (a) For Rent Stabilized Apartment(s)- copy of lease, rent receipt or bill. (b) For Rent Controlled Apartment(s)- copy of utility bill, rent receipt or rent bill.
- Representatives must submit (a) authorization from parties represented; or (b) Power of attorney; and (c) additional verification as requested above.
6) I live in a building that I believe receives either 421-g or 423 tax abatements. Is my apartment subject to rent stabilization?
In general, apartments in these buildings (except co-op/condos) are subject to rent stabilization during the tax benefit period. There may be certain exceptions that apply. Any tenant who believes their rights under rent stabilization are being violated or prematurely terminated can file appropriate complaints of rent overcharge, lease violation and reduction in services, so that DHCR can formally review the matter.
7) Who is responsible for paying a 421a tax benefit - 2.2% surcharge and how is it calculated?
The 2.2% surcharge is collectible primarily from tenants in market rate units in buildings that receive 421-a (subdivision 1-15) tax benefits. It is not collectible from tenants in market rate or income restricted units in buildings that receive 421-a (subdivision 16) tax benefits (Affordable New York Housing Program Benefits).
The 2.2% surcharge is not part of the legal rent and cannot be compounded by Rent Guidelines Board increases for one and two-year leases or by any other lawful rent increases including, but not limited to Major Capital Improvement (MCI) or Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) rent increases. The 2.2% surcharge can only be charged once a year regardless of how many leases have been executed in any given year and the collection of the 2.2% surcharge also is not affected by a DHCR order reducing rent for decreased services.
The 2.2% surcharge is only collectible if the applicable lease includes a rider that is signed by the tenant, notifying the tenant of the owner’s right to collect the 2.2% surcharge and the approximate date of expiration of the 421-a Benefits. If the owner does not include the rider in a tenant’s vacancy (first) lease, DHCR will allow owners to add it to such tenant’s renewal lease and collect the 2.2% surcharge that could have been charged, prospectively only, plus any future lawful annual surcharges. A subsequent tenant who moves into an apartment during the phase-out of such building’s 421-a Benefits, provided that he or she receives the rider, can be prospectively charged the surcharge amount that had been or could have been charged to the prior tenant, plus any future lawful annual surcharge increases
The 2.2% surcharge (a) can be increased annually during the phase-out period of the tax abatement up until the date upon which the 421-a Benefits expire, (b) is calculated for each year as a percentage of the legal rent that is in effect on the date that such phase-out begins and (c) can never exceed 19.8% of the legal rent that is in effect on the date that such phase-out begins.
The total surcharge assessed upon the expiration of the 421-a Benefits is a fixed final surcharge that may continue to be charged in each year thereafter. However, no additional 2.2% increases can be added to the final surcharge after the 421-a tax benefits expire. The collection of the final surcharge terminates when the tenant who is in occupancy on the date the 421-a benefits expire vacates the apartment.