Rent control limits the rent an owner may charge for an apartment and restricts the right of the owner to evict tenants. The rent control program applies to residential buildings constructed before February 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency. Rent control is still in effect in New York City and parts of Albany, Erie, Nassau, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Westchester counties.
In order for an apartment to be under rent control, the tenant or the tenant’s lawful successor (such as a family member, spouse, or adult lifetime partner) must have been living there continuously since before July 1, 1971. When a rent-controlled apartment is vacated in New York City or most other localities, it becomes rent-stabilized or completely removed from regulation. In New York City, each rent-controlled apartment has a maximum base rent that is adjusted every two years to reflect changes in operating costs. Tenants may challenge increases if the rent being charged by the landlord exceeds the legal regulated rent, the building has housing code violations, the owner’s expenses do not warrant an increase or the owner is not maintaining essential services.
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