In NYC, Rent Stabilized apartments are those apartments in buildings of six or more units which were built before 1974. Some buildings with three or more apartments constructed or extensively renovated since 1974 with special tax benefits may also be subject to Rent Stabilization. Generally, these buildings are stabilized only while the tax benefits continue.
Outside NYC, Rent Stabilization applies to non-rent-controlled apartments in buildings of six or more units built before January 1, 1974. Some municipalities limit ETPA to buildings of a specific size, but never fewer than six units. Stabilization also applies to formerly Rent Controlled apartments located in ETPA localities where the unit was vacated on or after June 30, 1971.
The local Rent Guidelines Boards in NYC and in Nassau, Westchester, and Rockland counties set maximum rates for rent increases once a year which are effective for leases beginning on or after October 1st of each year.
The Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1993 (RRRA/93) (and in New York City, Local Law No. 4 of 1994) provide for the deregulation of apartments with legal rents of $2,000 or more that became vacant on or after July 7, 1993 (or after April 1, 1994 in NYC).
Both the RRRA/93 and Local Law No. 4 in NYC further provide for deregulation of high rent apartments occupied by high income tenants with an income in excess of $250,000.
Like Rent Control, Stabilization provides other protections to tenants besides limitations on rents. Tenants are entitled to receive required services and to have their leases renewed, and may not be evicted except on grounds allowed by law. Leases must be entered into and renewed for one or two year terms, at the tenant's choice.
If the tenant's rights are violated, DHCR may reduce rents and impose civil penalties on the Landlord. Rents may be reduced if services are not maintained. In cases of overcharges, DHCR may assess penalties of interest or, in the case of willful overcharges, treble (triple) damages, payable to the tenant.
The Omnibus Housing Act required Landlords to initially register with DHCR the rent and services for all Rent Stabilized apartments in 1984. Landlords were required to serve a copy of the Rent Registration upon tenants, who had 90 days to file a challenge. For apartments becoming subject to Rent Stabilization after 1984, Landlords must initially register all apartments within 90 days after they become subject to Rent Stabilization. Tenants may file a challenge to the initial registration concerning the rent of formerly Rent Controlled apartments which become subject to Rent Stabilization for the first time. This challenge is known as a "Fair Market Rent Appeal."
Landlords are also required to register annually or they may be denied rent increases. Landlords must provide tenants with a copy of the Annual Registration. These copies should be sent to the tenants by Certificate of Mailing.
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