What is Rent Stabilization?

By: Undisputed Legal/Eviction Service Department

In New York City, apartments are generally under rent stabilization if they are: 

  • In buildings of six or more units built between February 1, 1947, and December 31, 1973; 
  • In buildings built before February 1, 1947, with tenants who moved in after June 30, 1971; 
  • In buildings with three or more apartments constructed or extensively renovated on or after January 1, 1974, unique tax benefits.
    Outside New York City, rent-stabilized apartments are generally found in buildings with six or more apartments that were built before January 1, 1974.
    Local Rent Guidelines Boards in New York City, Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties set maximum rates for rent increases once a year, which is useful for one or two-year leases beginning on or after October 1 each year. Tenants in rent-stabilized apartments must require essential services and lease renewals on the same terms and conditions as the original lease. They may not be evicted except on grounds allowed by law.

Deregulating Apartments: Apartments may become deregulated when the legal, regulated rent in a newly vacant apartment has already reached the Deregulation Rent Threshold (DRT). The DRT is set by law and is the maximum allowable rent for regulated apartments ($2,700 as of January 1, 2016). The DRT amount may increase or decrease each January 1st by the Rent Guidelines Board percentage for a one-year lease renewal increase. Once the apartment’s legal, regulated rent exceeds the DRT, the apartment becomes deregulated upon vacancy.
An occupied apartment may also be deregulated when its legal, regulated rent reaches the DRT amount. The apartment’s occupants have a total annual income of over $200,000 per year in each of the two years preceding the deregulation. Total annual income is the sum of all persons’ annual payments (other than subtenants) who occupy the apartment as their primary residence on a non-temporary basis. A tenant in a unit that becomes deregulated may be offered a rent at the prevailing market rate.

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