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.
Is there a difference between rent control and rent stabilization?

Yes. This question is answered in our Rent Control FAQ.

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What is rent stabilization?

New York City has a system of rent regulations known as “rent stabilization.” The system was enacted in 1969 when rents were rising sharply in many post-war buildings. The system has been extended and amended frequently, and now about one million apartments in the City are covered by rent stabilization. Rent stabilized tenants are protected from sharp increases in rent and have the right to renew their leases. The history of rent stabilization can be found in extensive detail in An Introduction to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board and the Rent Stabilization System.

The NYC Rent Guidelines Board sets the allowable rental adjustments for rent stabilized renewal leases each year. You can read how the RGB determines the guidelines.

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Can my landlord evict me and use my stabilized apartment for their family?

One of the advantages of being a rent stabilized tenant is the statutory right to renew your lease. This right holds with few exceptions, and eviction for owner occupancy by the landlord or a family member is one of the exceptions.

However, with passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, owners choosing to reside in a building they own may now only occupy one rent regulated unit for themselves or their family members. Residents who have been in place for 15 years or are elderly or disabled have additional protections pursuant to changes in the owner occupancy provisions.

According to Fact Sheet #10 – Eviction from an Apartment Based on Owner Occupancy:

For rent stabilized apartments and rent controlled apartments both inside and outside of New York City, only one of the individual owners of a building can take possession of only one dwelling unit for personal or immediate family use and occupancy, even if the building has joint or multiple ownership. An owner must establish an immediate and compelling need for the apartment for use as his or her primary residence or as a primary residence for his or her immediate family.

In NYC, an owner may refuse to renew a rent stabilized tenant’s lease because the owner has an immediate and compelling need to possess the apartment for use as his or her primary residence or as a primary residence for his or her immediate family. Under the Rent Stabilization Law, an owner may begin an eviction proceeding when the current lease expires, but only after the tenant is given written notice that the lease will not be renewed. This notice must be served at least 90 and not more than 150 days before the current lease term expires.

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What happens when the rent for my stabilized apartment rises above a certain level?

With passage of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, effective June 14, 2019, apartments remain stabilized, regardless of the rent to any amount. Further information can be found in our Deregulation FAQ.

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How do I find out if my apartment is stabilized?

Contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the agency which administers the rent laws, and ask them if it is, or should be rent stabilized.

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Can the management company sell my stabilized apartment?

When a rent stabilized building is converted to a co-op or condo, renters in place at the time of the conversion are usually allowed to remain under a non-eviction plan. They also have the right to renew their leases, and cannot be kicked out. However, once the rent stabilized tenant moves out, the apartment can either a) be sold; or b) be rented without the protections of rent stabilization. If you were in the building before it was converted to a co-op or condominium, you have the right to remain. However, if you moved in after the building was converted, the apartment is no longer rent stabilized and the management company is not obligated to renew your lease. For more info, contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the agency that enforces the rent laws.

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Similar buildings in my neighborhood are stabilized. Why isn’t mine?

The story of the rent laws, and why some buildings and apartments are stabilized and some are not, is described in Fact Sheet #1: Rent Stabilization and Rent Control.  In general, if your building has six or more units and is not a condo or co-op, contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the agency which administers the rent laws, and ask them if your apartment is (or should be) rent stabilized.

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Should my landlord inform me that my unit is stabilized?

First, note that although a building may contain rent stabilized units, not all units in the building are necessarily rent stabilized. You should contact NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), the agency which administers the rent laws, to find out if your apartment is rent stabilized.

If your apartment is indeed stabilized, your landlord is supposed to attach to your lease the Rent Stabilization “Lease Rider.” The rider informs you of your rights and responsibilities as a rent stabilized tenant, and includes the prior rent for the apartment, as well as the reasons the rent was increased. You can contact HCR and file a complaint if your landlord did not provide the Rider. For more information, see HCR Fact Sheet #2: Rent Stabilization Lease Rider.

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