Rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments are highly coveted in New York City. The website Curbed New York breaks down the differences between the two and what you need to know to snag one.
Rent-controlled apartments are the hidden treasure of the New York City real estate world. Hidden because they are extremely difficult to find. In the 1950s, 2 million of the city’s apartments were rent-controlled; now, that number is around 27,000 (according to a 2014 HPD survey). A treasure because if you’re lucky enough to live in one, now only may you be set for life, your family members may be as well.
Rent control happens when a tenant has been living continuously in their apartment since July 1, 1971 in a building constructed before 1947. Do you have a relative that occupies a rent controlled apartment, and are you also living there? When a tenant in a rent-stabilized or rent-controlled apartment dies or moves, certain family members (including “non-traditional” family members, like unmarried couples) who have been living in the apartment have the right, under certain conditions, to take over the tenancy. Roommates not in a family relationship with the prime tenant do not have succession rights, nor do sub-letters or family members not living in the unit.
Now, nothing in New York is completely free, so even rent controlled apartments are subject to loop holes that allow landlords to increase the rent overtime. Rent-controlled units may be subject to rent increases of 7.5 percent each year based on the landlords strict adherence to the rules of the “maximum base rent” system (MBR), fuel pass-along charges or major capital improvement pass-alongs. However tenants are allowed to appeal the rent increases. Landlords who did not file the MBR paperwork in time or own buildings with any rent impairing violations outstanding can have their MBR paperwork denied.
In a follow up post we’ll cover the more common and still coveted rent-stabilized apartment. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more and possibly score yourself a regulated apartment in the most expensive real estate market in the world, contact us today.