Rent Control


Rent control applies to residential buildings constructed before February 1, 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency. There are several municipalities that still have rent control in effect. These include New York City, Nassau, and Westchester counties. 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.


Under rent control law, tenants are not obligated to sign renewal leases, as these tenancies are statutory. Rent increases are limited, and services and evictions are regulated.


For a detailed explanation of rent control and rent stabilization, see the Fact Sheet section. For information on how rent reduction orders affect Maximum Base Rent increases, see the Policy Statements section. For an application to challenge a Maximum Base Rent order, see the Forms section. 


For more information on rent stabilization and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, visit our Rent Stabilization and Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA) page.


Rent Stabilization And Emergency Tenant Protection Act

Rent Control Rent Increases

In New York City, rent controlled apartments operate under the Maximum Base Rent (MBR) system. Under this system, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) determines a maximum base rent and a maximum collectible rent for each individual apartment. Adjustments to the maximum base rent are made every two years to reflect changes in operating costs.


Tenants can challenge adjustments to their maximum base rent on the grounds that the building has violations or that the owner’s expenses do not warrant an increase.


Outside of New York City, DHCR determines the maximum allowable rates of rent increases under rent control, subject to the limitations of annual rent guidelines board increases. Owners may apply for these increases periodically.


For more information on the Maximum Base Rent Program, see Fact Sheet #22.


For more information on rent control rent increases outside of New York City, see form R-33.8.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) An apartment subject to rent control is vacated. It is now being rented as rent stabilized for the first time. Can the owner charge the tenant a preferential rent that is less than the Initial rent stabilized rent?

The rent actually charged and paid by the first stabilized tenant is the initial rent stabilized rent. Therefore, in most situations there cannot be an additional preferential rent. Exceptions exist if the subject apartment is subject to a regulatory agreement and the supervising agency establishes a lower rent.


2) I am a rent controlled tenant, and my landlord was granted an MBR order of eligibility. Due to Covid-19 related issues, the landlord served me the RN-26 Notice of Rent Increase late, more than 60 days after the MBR order of eligibility issue date. Am I responsible for the retroactive rent increase amount?

An extension on filing DHCR documents was extended through September 4, 2020 by Advisory Opinion 2020-6. If you are served with the RN-26 form on or prior to September 4,2020 (or a subsequently established extension date), you are responsible for retroactive rent increases in addition to prospective rent increases. Service of the form after the extension expires makes the rent increase collectible prospectively only.


3) Does DHCR have to be served with a copy of a Notice of Eviction for an apartment subject to rent control before the owner can proceed to court?

Except where the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent, the building owner must first give written notice to the tenant and the DHCR District/ Borough Rent Office. Within 48 hours after the Notice of Termination is served on the tenant, an exact copy of the notice and an affidavit of service shall be filed with the District/Borough Rent Office. The 48-hour period does not include any intervening Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

Fact Sheets


    Fact Sheet #1: Rent Stabilization and Rent Control

    This Fact Sheet contains information on the requirements that generally must be met for a building to be considered rent stabilized, or for an apartment to be considered rent controlled. It also contains general information on rent increases, rent overcharges, rent reductions for decreases in services, harassment, and rent registration.




    Fact Sheet #27: Air Conditioners

    This Fact Sheet contains information on the surcharges that owners may charge for the use and or installation of an air conditioner in electrical inclusion buildings. Owners may also be eligible for a rent increase if they purchase and install an air conditioner in a rent control or rent stabilized apartment.




    Fact Sheet #44: Fees

    This Fact Sheet contains information on certain fees that owners may charge tenants that are separate and apart from the rent for the apartment. Fees of any kind cannot become a part of the legal or preferential rent and cannot be added to the rent for the purpose of calculating lease renewal increases.





    2024-25 Maximum Base Rent (MBR) Application

    Owners must file an MBR Application and receive an MBR Order of Eligibility from DHCR, in order to make adjustments to a rent controlled apartment's MBR and MCR. All owners are strongly encouraged to file MBR applications online through the Owner Rent Regulation Application (ORRA) system. Owners of buildings with no violations on record with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) are required to file an MBR Application online. To log in to ORRA, visit our Owner Rent Regulation Applications page.




    2024-25 Maximum Base Rent (MBR) Binder

    A signed and completed copy of a notice and its appropriate attachment(s), if any, must be served on the tenant of the subject apartment. Detailed instructions on when and how to use the notices and attachments are included within each form. Owners must file the MBR Master Building Rent Schedule and if appropriate, Attachment RMBR-ATT, with DHCR within 60 days of the issuance of an MBR Order of Eligibility. 



Policy Statements