Recently The New York Times reported that rents will rise for at least 3.25% for 2 million New Yorkers. While NYC has some laws that help protect New Yorkers against some rent increases, by and large landlords still have a lot of latitude to make changes.
When it’s legal to raise rents, and by how much, does depend on what type of apartment you have and the status of your lease.
Rent Stabilized Apartments
If you live in a rent stabilized apartment, the highest amount a landlord can increase your rent is the average of the 5 most recent Rent Guidelines Board annual rent increases, or 7.5%, whichever is smaller.
Your landlord may also make rent increases for Major Capital Improvements (MCIs). This is capped at 2% and retroactive raises are not allowed. They cannot be added to your rent if there are any hazardous or immediately hazardous violations are present in the building. Individual Apartment Approvals (IAIs) are capped at a rent raise of $89.29 if the unit has fewer than 35 units and at $83.33 if the unit has more than 35 units.
If your apartment is rent stabilized what the previous tenant paid mattered. That data should be in your stabilization “Lease Rider.” This should tell you whether the rent you’re about to pay for the unit you’re about to move into is legal. If it isn’t, it is possible to file an overcharge complaint with NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).
If your apartment is either rent stabilized nor rent controlled, your landlord may raise their rents as much as they want whenever your lease is up for renewal. They may not change the rent during the lease period. In addition, they must give you advance, written notice before raising your rent by 5% or more.
If they decide not to renew your lease (perhaps for the express purpose of raising rents by a considerable margin) they must provide you with advance written notice of 30 days if you’ve lived there less than one year, 60 days if you’ve lived there less than 2 years, and 90 days if you’ve lived there more than 2 years.
There are a few other scenarios it’s important to know about.
- Preferential rents—landlords may not increase your original preferential rent higher than stated by the guidelines.
- Landlords may not use vacancy bonuses.
- Landlords may not deregulate apartments in most cases.
Facing an illegal rent increase?
Our law office can help. We help tenants protect their rights from powerful landlords who behave badly.
Contact us today to schedule a case review, and to find out how we can help you.
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