Most Common Rent Regulation Issues for Owners
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Overview

Owners of rent regulated tenants must follow the rules and regulations of State law, which  is intended to protect tenants in privately-owned buildings from illegal rent increases and allow owners to maintain their buildings and realize a reasonable profit.

In this section you can find assistance with:

  • Accessing rent increases
  • Access to Rent Registration Forms and Building Wide Rent Rolls
  • Information on Lawful charges for Air Conditioners and Appliances
  • Maintaining Services
  • Additional Resources

Access to Rent Increases

Owners of rent regulated buildings can obtain rent increases through a number of lawful mechanisms.

For rent stabilized apartments, the most common is the issuance of a one or two year lease renewal at the lawful guideline rates in effect at the time the lease renewal is to commence. The lease renewal must be offered on an Office of Rent Administration (ORA) form RTP-8 and be on the same terms and conditions as stipulated in the tenant's Vacancy(initial) lease. Vacancy leases are not promulgated by ORA and can be offered on a standard industry form. State law provides for a vacancy rent increase that cannot exceed 20% per calendar year. See guidelines for a full listing of lease increase rates currently in effect. Other increases are allowed pursuant to Individual Apartment Improvements which are described in Fact Sheet 12.

For rent control apartments, the most common tool is the MBR application. This application can be filed once every two years and if an MBR Order of Eligibility is granted by ORA, owners can collect a rent increase of up to 7 ½ % a year. Other increases are allowed pursuant to Individual Apartment Improvements. Fuel cost surcharges are also obtainable on an annual basis, by filing form Ra 33.10.

Owners of buildings containing rent stabilized and /or rent control apartments can also obtain rent increases for the installation of building wide major capital improvements (MCI) such as boilers, windows, roofs, rewiring, etc. See Operational Bulletin #2016-1: Individual Apartment Improvements for detailed information . An MCI application needs to be submitted to ORA along with contracts, proof of payment and municipal approvals. After serving the tenants with a summary of the application and reviewing all of the evidence submitted, ORA can issue an Order granting an MCI Rent increase in whole or in part.

Access to Rent Registration Forms and Building Wide Rent Rolls

Owners of buildings (See: Rent Regulated Building Search) containing rent stabilized apartments are required to file an initial apartment registration and subsequent annual apartment registrations for each apartment with ORA and are also required to serve a copy of the completed form on the tenant in occupancy. Those owners who file registrations online also receive the benefit of being able to print a certified building wide rent roll from their office and save the time and expense of going to an ORA office to obtain one.

Information on Lawful charges for Air Conditioners and Appliances

ORA also establishes lawful charges for the use and installation of air conditioners and surcharges for tenant installed washing machines, dryers and dishwashers.

Maintaining Services

Owners are required to provide required or essential services, and make necessary repairs in individual apartments and common areas/ building-wide . Examples of such services are heat/hot water, sanitary common areas (halls, lobby), and operating door locks. Tenants can file applications for rent reductions based on decreased services and ORA can issue orders directing the restoration of services with a related rent reduction and rent freeze. In these situations, ORA requires owners to file applications for rent restoration so that ORA can inspect the conditions and if corrected, issue an order that restores the rent and lifts the rent freeze.

Additional Resources

NYC Department of Buildings:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/home/home.shtml

NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development:
http://home2.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/home/home.shtml

NYC Rent Guidelines Board:
https://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentguidelinesboard/index.page