- New York City rent regulations help keep housing unit rental prices stable.new apartment building image by green308 from Fotolia.com
New York is the nation's most populous city, and has both rent control laws and rent stabilization programs to help stabilize housing unit rental prices. Rent control was administered by the federal government until 1984, when the state government took control. Today, city agencies and the state government administer rent laws and regulations.
- About 50 percent of the apartments in New York City (NYC) are rent-controlled or rent-stabilized. To be eligible for rent control, a tenant must have lived in the apartment continuously since 1971. The rent for rent-controlled apartments is based on the maximum base rate (MBR), which calculates a sum based on the costs of building maintenance.
Rent stabilization, on the other hand, sets maximum rates for annual rental increases. To be eligible for rent stabilization, the unit must rent for less than $2,000 a month and must have been built before 1974. The New York City Rent Guidelines Board determines the amount, if any, that rent-stabilized apartment rents can increase each year.
- Subsidized housing is public housing, commonly referred to as "Section 8" housing or Michell-Lama housing in NYC. These apartment have subsidized rents for low-income families. These apartments are managed by the New York City Housing Authority, and tenants must qualify to live in public housing. Qualified persons who live in private housing may be eligible to receive vouchers for assistance with rents through the housing authority program. Prospective tenants usually have to wait years before a vacancy opens up.
Unregulated "Market-Rate" Apartments
- Market-rate apartments are apartments that either have never been subject to rent control or rent stabilization, or have been deregulated. For example, rent-controlled apartments are deregulated when they become vacant, and rent-stabilized apartments are deregulated if the last rent paid was greater than $2,000 a month. Additionally, any apartment built after 1974 or with a market rental rate of $2,000 a month or greater is also unregulated.