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Disclaimer: By providing answers to frequently asked questions, the staff of the Rent Guidelines Board attempts to clarify the often complex programs and regulations governing landlord tenant relations in NYC. However, the information provided herein does not represent official policies or opinions of the City of New York or the Rent Guidelines Board nor should this information be used to substitute for advice of legal counsel.

Im not sure my apt. is stabilized - how much can my rent be raised?

To find out for sure, call the NY State Division of Housing and Community Renewal at (718) 739-6400 or (212) 961-8930. Ask them if the apartment is or should be rent stabilized, and if it is, ask for a "rent history." Also, if the apartment is rent stabilized ask your landlord to provide a copy of the rent stabilization "lease rider."

If the apartment is rent stabilized, see the answer to the next question.

If you are rent stabilized, your rent can only be increased in accordance with the rent guidelines issued by the Rent Guidelines Board or on a specific ground set forth in the Rent Stabilization Code. The most common grounds for rent increases outside of the annual guidelines are major capital improvement increases, individual apartment increases, increases resulting from high income deregulation (in which case the apartment is no longer stabilized), and increases permitted because of owner hardship. To see how much the rent may increase based on our rent guidelines, refer to our most recent Apartment Order. Rent increases based on other factors, like apartment improvements, can be found in this fact sheet.

I know that the rent stabilization law has been extended. When is it next coming up for renewal?

Rent laws were most recently renewed on June 24, 2011 by the Rent Act of 2011. That law is effective through June 15, 2015.

How do I find out if my building has rent regulated apartments?

On this web site, we maintain a list of stabilized buildings. However, our list is not comprehensive, so its best to check with DHCR at (718) 739-6400.

Are there any restrictions on rent increases in my unregulated apartment?

No. The owner of an unregulated apartment may charge what the market will bear. Of course, it is always worthwhile to check to see if the apartment was, if previously regulated, lawfully deregulated. For example, if the apartment rents for over $2,500 and the prior tenant paid $800, the increase may only be justified by legal adjustments, such as the vacancy allowance and individual apartment improvement increases. To determine if the increase to a deregulated level was lawful, contact the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal at (718) 739-6400, and ask for a rent history.

Where can one go to get information on the availability of rent stabilized apartments?

We have a list of rent stabilized properties, but it is not comprehensive. We do not have information on apartment availability, nor do we have ownership information. You will have to contact the building owner or managing agent yourself to check on the availability of a particular apartment. The name and contact information of the owner or managing agent is frequently posted in the lobby of a building. You can also obtain owner information by visiting HPD Online or the NYC Dept. of Finance City Register Information page.

No. According to the NY state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), the state agency that administers the rent laws, cash, money orders, personal checks and cashiers checks are all valid ways to pay your rent, but your landlord cannot demand a specific form of payment unless the tenant agrees to it in a stipulation in Housing Court.

I have a stabilized apartment in Rockland County - are renewal amounts different here from NYC?

Under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA), each New York County with rent stabilized housing has its respective Rent Guidelines Board. We suggest you call the the NY State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR, 866-275-3427 or your local County Rent Office), the state agency which administers the rent laws, to find out the most recent guidelines for your county.

How do I find out what the previous tenant paid to check if MY rent is correct?

First, you should make sure that the APARTMENT is indeed rent stabilized. In some cases (e.g., rent over $2,500, or if the building is a co-op), the building may contain rent stabilized units, but not ALL of the apartments in the building may be stabilized. Verify with the landlord that the unit is rent stabilized. We have a list of rent stabilized properties, but it is not comprehensive.