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.
Does your rent stabilized apartment have to be your primary residence?

To be entitled to rent protection, a rent stabilized apartment has to be your primary residence. The Rent Stabilization Code section 2520.11(k) excludes from protection “housing accommodations which are not occupied by the tenant, not including subtenants or occupants, as his or her primary residence as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.”

You can own property elsewhere as long as you can prove that the apartment is your primary residence.

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What constitutes “primary residence”?

While non-primary residence issues are exclusively determined by the courts, the rent stabilization code mentions several factors to be taken into consideration when making a determination. These factors include but are not limited to the addresses on tax returns, motor vehicle registrations, driver licenses, voting addresses, and occupancy of a housing accommodation of less than 183 days.

“Primary residence” is explained in HCR’s FAQ’s on Leases. For further information, you can contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the state agency which administers the rent laws.

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What kind of notice should I receive if the landlord wants to evict me for non-primary residence?

If the landlord seeks to terminate your tenancy on non-primary residence grounds, they are required to provide two advance notices: The landlord must give between 90 and 150 days’ notice prior to the expiration of your lease of his/her intention to refuse to renew your lease and 30 days’ notice of termination. These notices may be combined in one notice. Should you refuse to vacate, the landlord will then serve a holdover petition with a notice of petition. This latter document is usually served at least 5 and no more than 12 days before a court appearance is required. More information about “holdover proceedings” can be found on our Legal Assistance page

If you have any other questions you may wish to contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the state agency which administers the rent laws.

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