It is important to note that these FAQs are not intended as a substitute for the definitions, interpretations, etc., contained in the respective rent regulatory statutes, codes, and regulations themselves, or any administrative or court decision construing such statutes, codes, and regulations, or any order of the New York City or County Rent Guidelines Boards.
How does a rent stabilized apartment become deregulated through a vacancy?

There are a couple of situations in which a rent stabilized apartment may be subject to deregulation upon vacancy:

  • Apartments under rent stabilization because the owner receives J-51 or 421-a tax benefits may become deregulated upon vacancy (or sooner if the owner follows the appropriate notice requirements). See our Tax Abatements & Exemptions FAQ for further information. 
  • An apartment which was occupied by a stabilized tenant during the conversion to a co-op may become deregulated upon vacancy. See our Co-op/Condo FAQ for further details.  
  • The most common source of deregulation was for many years through high rent vacancy deregulation. However, with passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, effective June 14, 2019, it is no longer permitted.

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Can an occupied apartment experience deregulation?

Under certain circumstances, apartments in 421-a buildings may become deregulated at the end of the last lease commencing during the period of the tax abatement. For more information about these programs, see the Tax Abatements & Exemptions FAQ.

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How are rent controlled apartments decontrolled?

All rent controlled apartments are subject to decontrol upon vacancy unless the outgoing rent controlled tenant was forced out through harassment. However, many decontrolled apartments will fall under rent stabilization. If the apartment is in a building with six or more units, the landlord can initially charge whatever the market will bear, subject to the tenant’s right to file what is known as a “Fair Market Rent Appeal.” However, if the apartment is in a building with fewer than six units, the apartment will most likely no longer be under any rent regulation. For more information, see HCR Fact Sheet #6: Fair Market Rent Appeals.

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Can an apartment undergo high-rent or high-income deregulation?

With passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, effective June 14, 2019, high-rent and high-income deregulation is no longer permitted. For more information, contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the state agency which administers the rent laws.

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My new apartment appears to have been deregulated. How do I know for sure that it was properly deregulated and that I am paying the correct rent?

Under local law, the landlord may be required to provide you with a notice of deregulation, including the amount of the last regulated rent and a copy of rent registration filed with NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR). If you did not receive such a notice, contact HCR. You may want to request a rent history from HCR to determine if the current rent is lawful. For more information, also see the answer to the previous question.

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Can the landlord deregulate the building by not offering or signing leases?

No. Rent Stabilization offers tenants two major protections.

  • First, increases in rent are regulated.
  • Second, tenants have a right to renew their leases.

In general, a landlord must offer all stabilized tenants renewal leases. They cannot simply deregulate a building.

However, if a building is newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated and takes advantage of either the 421-a or J-51 tax abatement and exemption programs, the building may only be regulated for the period of the tax abatement. At the end of the abatement period, the apartments in the building are deregulated (as leases expire) if the landlord follows the proper procedures, which includes informing tenants of the period of the tax abatement and including a notice in their leases and each renewal that at the expiration of the period the units will be deregulated. For more information, see the Tax Abatements & Exemptions FAQ.

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