What is a rent regulated apartment?
There are two kinds of rent regulated apartments. Rent Control is the older of the two and generally applies to buildings constructed before February 1947. The majority of rent regulated apartments are covered by the Rent Stabilization system. Rent stabilization generally covers buildings built after 1947 and before 1974, and apartments removed from Rent Control. Outside New York City rent stabilization is also known as ETPA for Emergency Tenant Protection Act.
In order for an apartment to be under Rent Control, the tenant must generally have been living there continuously since before July 1, 1971. When a rent controlled apartment is vacated, it either becomes rent stabilized (where the building contains at least six units) or completely removed from regulation.
Rent Control regulation allows rents to be increased based on Maximum Base Rent biennial applications filed by the owner.
Rent Stabilization regulation allows local Rent Guidelines Boards to set maximum rates for rent increases once a year which are effective for leases beginning on or after October 1st of each year. A Fact Sheet with more information is available.
Rents for both Rent Controlled and Rent Stabilized apartments may be increased if the owner completes a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) and the improvement meets a list of criteria to qualify as a MCI.
Like rent control, rent stabilization provides a number of protections to tenants. For instance, guidelines are available governing the eviction of tenants in rent regulated apartments and information is available if you feel that you are being harassed by your landlord.
DHCR's Office of Rent Administration
Information on Rent Regulations, including downloadable forms and Fact Sheets.