What is rent regulation?
In New York City and its suburban counties, there is a severe housing shortage. Currently, less than three percent of units are vacant and available for rent. Anything less than five percent is considered to be a housing emergency. When there is a housing shortage, it is easy for landlords to charge very high rents and/or retaliate against tenants who complain about conditions issues or organize a tenant association by refusing to renew their leases. Rent regulation was designed to protect tenants from the negative impacts of the housing emergency we face, limiting the amount that rents can be increased and giving tenants the right to a lease renewal.
Rent-regulated housing includes both rent-stabilized and rent-controlled tenants and is the largest source of affordable housing for low income tenants in New York City.
There are approximately 1 million rent stabilized units and 2.5 million rent stabilized tenants in New York. Rents are increased through the Rent Guidelines Board annually, and rent-stabilized tenants have key protections such as regulated rents, guaranteed lease renewal, the right to know your legal rent and to obtain the complete rent history of your apartment from the state housing agency, New York Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the right to complain to HCR if you think you are being overcharged or your rights are being violated, and the right to pass the tenancy of your apartment to a family member if that family member has been living with you for two years (one year if you are a senior or have a disability).
There are approximately 38,000 rent controlled tenants in New York. Rents increase annually up to 7.5% through the Maximum Base Rent System, and rent controlled tenants are also subject to a fuel pass-along that can be upwards of $20-$40 per room annually.
Rent Regulation Fact Sheets:
What All Tenants Should Know about Rent Regulation
What Should I Do if My Landlord is Harassing Me?
What Should I Do If I Get an MCI Increase?
What Should I do if I Get an IAI Increase?
What Should I do if I Am Not Getting Repairs or Services?