Living Conditions

Living Conditions and Essential Services

Living Conditions and Essential Services
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OVERVIEW

Under the Rent Regulation law, an owner must provide tenants with required or essential services, and maintain equipment. This includes repairs, heat, hot and cold water, maintenance, painting and janitorial services, elevator service, and ancillary services such as garage and recreational facilities.

This may include services that were provided but not registered by the owner on the Form #RR-1i - Initial Apartment Registration or, the Form #RR-3i - Initial Building Services Registration.

FAQs

  • If a tenant received a service reduction order, how can he or she calculate the reduced rent for a rent stabilized apartment?

    On the effective date specified in the Order, the legal regulated rent is reduced to the level in effect prior to the most recent Rent Guidelines Board increase. For example, if the most recent guideline increase was 2% for a two-year lease and the legal regulated rent was $1020.00 per month under a two-year renewal lease beginning on October 1, 2015, a rent reduction ordered on December 1, 2015 would reduce the rent to $1000 per month. However, where the most recent guideline adjustment/increase was 0% for a one-year lease and the rent remained at $1000 per month under the one-year renewal lease, the Office of Rent Administration (ORA) will not authorize a  rent decrease for the tenant, but will “freeze” the rent at the amount being collected, and no increase will be allowed until a ORA rent restoration order is issued.
    Fact Sheet #14: Rent Reductions for Decreased Services
     
  • What is an owner required to do to obtain access to make necessary repairs?

    The owner needs to submit two copies of letters to the tenant attempting to arrange for access. Each letter must be mailed at least eight days prior to the proposed access date, and must be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested.

     
  • What services are owners required to provide?

    An owner must provide and maintain all services and equipment furnished or required by Rent Control or Rent Stabilization regulations which include repairs, heat and hot water, maintenance, painting and janitorial services. This may include services that were provided but not registered by the owner on the Initial Apartment Registration.
    Fact Sheet #3: Required and Essential Services

     
  • What recourse does a tenant have when an owner is not maintaining services?

    If services are not restored, the tenant may file an Application For A Rent Reduction Based Upon Decreased Service(s) - Individual Apartment (Form #RA-81: Application for Rent Reduction - Individual) and/or Application for Rent reduction based upon Decrease Building-Wide Service(s) (Form #RA-84: Application for Rent Reduction - Building Wide Services).

 

  • What can a tenant do when an owner does not comply with an ORA service reduction order?

    If an owner has failed to restore services and/or correct the conditions specified within 30 days after the issuance date of the order, the tenant may file a Tenant Affirmation of Non-Compliance form to request that a compliance proceeding be initiated.

     
  • How does a tenant reduce the rent for an order finding a decrease in services, when a preferential rent has been paid by the tenant?

    If the tenant's current and prior lease contained a legal rent and also provided for the payment of a preferential rent, the rent is reduced to the prior lease's preferential rent.

    If the tenant's current lease only contains a legal rent, even if the prior lease provided for a preferential rent, the rent is reduced to the prior lease's legal rent.

Fire Damaged/Vacate Order Apartments

Where a tenant must vacate a rent-regulated apartment because of a fire or vacate order issued by a government agency, is the owner entitled to a rent increase where the apartment has been restored and the subject tenant moves back in?

Not where the owner simply restores the apartment to its previous condition. This is true even where the owner has not been fully reimbursed by insurance proceeds. However, where the owner installs new equipment not previously provided in the apartment, such owner can charge an IAI rent increase, but only if the tenant moving back in provides the owner with her written consent to the rent increase. If written consent is not provided, then the rent cannot be increased.

Where the tenant decides not to move back into the apartment, and a new tenant is going to move in, then the owner would be entitled to add the IAI rent increase for any new piece of equipment not previously provided where such prior tenant did not provide written consent. However, this rent increase would only apply to new equipment not previously provided in the apartment, not the cost of restoring the apartment to its previous condition.

Electrical Conversion - From Master to Individual Meters

Please see operational bulletins below for guidance.

Also see: Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA)

Fact Sheets

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    Fact Sheet #3: Required and Essential Services

    An owner must provide and maintain services and equipment furnished or required by Rent Control or Rent Stabilization regulations. Required or essential services include repairs, heat, hot and cold water, maintenance, painting and janitorial services, elevator service and ancillary services such as garage and recreational facilities.

     

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    Fact Sheet #35: Collectibility of Major Capital Improvement

    Rent stabilization codes authorizes tenants to apply to the Office of Rent Administration for a reduction of the legal regulated rent to the level in effect prior to the most recent guidelines adjustment, and provides that such order reducing the rent bars the owner from applying for or collecting any further rent increases until the services are restored.

     

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    Fact Sheet #37: De Minimis Conditions in Building

    Certain conditions complained of as constituting a decrease in a required service may have only a minimal impact on tenants, do not affect the use and enjoyment of the premises, and may exist despite regular maintenance of services. Such conditions are de minimis in nature.

     

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Forms

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    Form #RA-84: Application for Rent Reduction - Building Wide Services

    Use this form to complain about decreased building-wide service(s) which you have not already reported to us.  First, be sure to notify the owner in writing of all the service decreases in this application.  If you do not send a letter to the owner or agent and attach a copy with proof of mailing, the owner will be given additional time to respond to your complaint.

     

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    Form #84.1: Supplemental Signature & Affirmation

    This form is a supplement to the application for a rent reduction based upon decreased building-wide service(s).  If you are joining in this complaint, you must indicate the status of your apartment by checking the appropriate box; either "RS" if your apartment is rent-stabilized, or "RC" if your apartment is rent-controlled.

     

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    Form #HHW-1: Failure to Provide Heat & Hot Water

    New York State Law requires that hot water be provided 365 days per year, 24 hours a day at a minimum of 120 degrees Fahrenheit at the tap. In New York City, if a tub or shower is equipped with an anti-scald valve that prevents the hot water temperature from exceeding 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the minimum hot water temperature for that tub or shower is 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

     

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    Form #RTP-19: Owner's Application to Restore Rent

    An original and one copy of this application and supporting documents must be filed at the Office of Rent Administration noted on the reverse side of this form, together with a complete copy of the rent reduction order or the order directing restoration of service. Owner must list the current tenant in occupancy.

     

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Opinion Letters

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    Opinion Letter #1738: Waiting List for Parking Spaces

    You have requested the Office of Rent Administration's intervention to correct the failure of your Condominium Board to assign parking spaces to eligible rent stabilized tenants. You further explain that condo owners have been offered parking spaces in the order of their application.

     

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    Opinion Letter #9022: Tenant Removal of Appliances

    An owner may not decrease services which were provided or required to be provided on the applicable base date, without the approval of the Office of Rent Administration. Appliances, such as air conditioners, supplied by the owner on the base date are required services.

     

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Policy Statement

Submit Application for Decreased Services

Affected Tenants may submit an online application on the HCR website at:

Online Application for Decreased Services