Guide to finding a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC

If you’re in the midst of an ongoing search for an affordable place to live, you’ve probably encountered terms such as “rent-stabilized”, “rent-controlled” or even “rent-regulated”. On top of that, you have probably wondered what these terms mean… With our help, you’ll in no time get to know the history of rent regulation. You’ll learn the difference between rent stabilization and rent control and what separates the two. Lastly, we’ll introduce you to the changes New York City has undergone in recent times. So without further ado, let’s delve into finding a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC you’ll be moving in no time with the help of furniture movers New York. But first…

Rent Regulation – History

Rent regulation has its start in the 1940s, namely when President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Emergency Price Control Act. Its purpose was to put an end to greedy landlords and the practice of imposing intolerable land fees upon tenants. Needless to say, these laws have changed over the years. Nowadays, local and state governments oversee them, rather than the federal government. Despite the impermanent and unstable nature of these laws, the housing advocates with the goal of ensuring an affordable and fair rental market still support rent regulation.

NYC downtown is full of rent-stabilized apartments
Finding a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC can be hard among millions of people

Rent-controlled apartment in NYC and what does it mean

Simply said, rent regulation is there to protect tenants from sky-high increases in rent. On the upside, the fees for moving service NYC are generally favorable. In New York state, rent regulation entails two separate functions: rent stabilization and rent control.

Rent-controlled unit entails the following: the only way a rent-controlled unit can change hands is through successors or family members. When the tenant dies, only then is a successor entitled to a tenancy, given that he had lived with the tenant for at least two years beforehand.

Rent-Stabilized apartment – what is it?

Rent–stabilized apartment pertains to the buildings built prior to 1974. Rent stabilized apartments are mainly rented by tenants who lived in the buildings prior to 1974, also known as the “conversion period”. Buildings built after 1974 are rent-stabilized thanks to certain tax abatements.

Rent Increases in rent-controlled units

It is imperative for every rent-controlled apartment in NYC to have a maximum base rent. It increases every two years to factor in the landlord’s costs. In addition to that, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHC determines a maximum collectible rent for rent-controlled apartments and maximum base rent. In order to qualify for the increase of the rent, a landlord must prove there are no outstanding violations on the building as well as that he’s capable of providing essential services to the tenants.

We’re all acquainted with the heights that rent bills can reach. That’s why it’s preferable to consult moving services such as local movers New York for fees before moving.

Besides that, some of the reasons rent-controlled units see an increase in rents includes the cost of fuel, building services, or changes in the building’s infrastructure.

Rent Increases in Rent-Stabilized Units

The entire process regarding the rent increases in rent-stabilized units differs quite a lot as tenants in rent-stabilized units differ in their rights from those in market-rate apartments. For instance, the landlord can raise the rent only by a certain percentage when renewing a lease because rent increases are set each year by the Rent Guidelines Board.

An additional plus for the rent-stabilized tenants comes in the shape of the right to a lease renewal and protection against arbitrary evictions.

What’s New for Rent-Stabilized and Rent-Controlled Apartments

If we look at the history of rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments, a rent-stabilized unit could become a market-rate unit once the deregulation threshold was exceeded by its legal rent. Another way meant tenant vacating the apartment (High Rent Vacancy Deregulation) or the landlord demonstrating that tenant’s income has surpassed $200,000 for two consecutive years (Luxury Deregulation).

However, in 2019 things changed. Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) revoked both High Rent Vacancy Deregulation and Luxury Deregulation. The new law meant the modified use of preferential rents. Before that, tenants in rent-stabilized apartments would pay preferential rent, meaning a rent lower than the sum that a landlord could charge. However, landlords were able to eliminate these rents upon lease renewal which didn’t turn out preferable for tenants. With HSTPA in action, landlords were no longer free to eliminate the preferential rent on renewal. What’s more, the preferential rent serves as base rent for that tenant until the time they vacate the apartment.

A girl looking at her laptop hoping to find a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC
Finding a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC can be hard if you’re not looking in the right places

Finding a Rent-Stabilized Apartment in NYC

Even though there are thousands of rent-stabilized apartments in New York City, it remains a hustle to find one. Why? It’s simple. Once someone finds one, they’re very unlikely to give up on the same. Be as it may, here are some tips on how to find a rent-stabilized apartment :

  • Get your hands on the list of rent-stabilized buildings. The Rent Guidelines Board possesses a list of all buildings registered with DHCR (Division of Housing and Community Renewal). While it can be time-consuming, it’s a fantastic resource for someone willing to find a rent-stabilized apartment.
  • Search by location. Scavenge a specific neighborhood. It is no secret that some neighborhoods have to offer more rent-stabilized apartments than others. These include Crown Heights, Inwood, and Washington Heights.
  • Search by year. Finding buildings built between 1947 and 1974 is imperative because that means that if the building was built after 1974, then it probably isn’t rent-stabilized.
  • Apartments under $2700. Finding an apartment for $2700 a month means it’s probably rent-stabilized. If it isn’t, the price will be higher, unless it’s new construction.
  • Try the help of Street Easy. Do not forget to use the advanced search filter.

Bonus tip: always seek to know moving fees offered by moving companies such as best moving companies NYC before renting an apartment. That way you’ll know how much money you have left for apartment rent.

A couple looking at the notebook
The key to finding a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC is consulting a moving guide

Benefits of Rent-Stabilized Apartments in NYC

Take a look at the main benefits of finding a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC:

  • As a tenant of a rent-stabilized apartment, you’re also a tenant of a working and updated apartment. However, if the landlord fails to update the apartment, you’re free to file a complaint that’s going to provide you with a rent reduction until the landlord makes the require update.
  • Act of Subletting. Tenants of the rent-stabilized apartments are free to sublet their apartment as long as it’s their primary place of residence.
  • Lease renewal rights: You as a tenant are free to renew your lease every year or every two years.
  • Bankruptcy: Even in the case of bankruptcy, tenants pertain the rights to their rent-stabilized apartments.

With these tips, you’ll be moving into your new rent-stabilized apartment in no time. And that’s not all, it’ll be smooth and easy!