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New York Rent Control and Rent Stabilization Attorneys Advocate for Tenants

Proven firm represents clients in the five boroughs, Westchester and Nassau

Tenants who live in rent controlled or rent stabilized apartments are frequently targeted by landlords who want to move them out their residence and collect a much higher rent. Approximately 1,000,000 New York City apartments are subject to the complex rules that govern residential rental rates. If you live in one of these apartments and are facing removal or an unlawfully high rent increase to remain in your home, the experienced attorneys at Goldberg & Lindenberg, P.C. can help. Issues associated with rent regulation can be very complicated and contentious. Before you determine what action to take, we can give you the information you need to protect your interests.

Rent control versus rent stabilization

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between rent control and rent stabilization. As rent control is limited to apartments that have been held by the same tenants or their lawful successors since 1971, there are only 22,000 left. When these residences are vacated, they usually fall under the rent stabilization rules, unless the building has five or fewer units. There are more than 900,000 rent stabilized apartments throughout the city. Guidelines of New York’s rent regulation program include:

  • Tenants whose occupancy commenced in a multiple-dwelling building on or before June 30, 1971, are rent controlled tenants.
  • Tenants whose occupancy commenced in buildings with six or more apartments after June 30, 1971, are rent stabilized tenants.
  • In buildings which have been converted to cooperatives or condominium ownership, if the tenant moves in after conversion, regardless of the number of apartments in the building, the residence is not subject to rent regulation.

There are exceptions to these standards, such as buildings which are regulated pursuant to various statutory schemes including, but not limited to, federal regulations, tax abatement plans and New York City Housing Authority rules.

Rights of rent stabilized tenants

If a tenant is protected by rent stabilization, that tenant may not be evicted by their landlord unless a valid reason exists. Additionally, the tenant is entitled to remain in their apartment for as long as the tenant desires. Any annual rent increases are governed by law and are limited to certain low percentages. The New York State Department of Housing and Community Renewal maintains a comprehensive list of rent stabilized properties. Should your home be listed in that registry, we can explain what your rights are and what steps your landlord must take if they want to increase your rent or initiate an eviction proceeding.

How rent is set and adjusted in rent controlled apartments

Each rent-controlled apartment in New York City is assigned a Maximum Base Rent (MBR). Landlords cannot charge tenants more than the maximum rate and the rate of annual increases is limited even if the rent is below the maximum level. Every two years, the MBR can be adjusted to reflect changes in operating costs. However, if you believe that your landlord is not maintaining the building properly, we can advise you on challenging a requested rent hike.

Contact a New York lawyer about your rent control or rent stabilization concern

Goldberg & Lindenberg, P.C. in New York City handles a full range of legal matters relating to rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments. To make an appointment for a free consultation with a qualified attorney, please call 212-921-1600 or contact us online.