According to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, landlords may or may not be able to raise the rent in buildings with J-51 benefits. It depends on whether rent stabilization applied to the building before it received the J-51 benefits. If so, the benefits expiring do not change the rent regulation status.
However, for buildings that became stabilized because of the benefits, their expiration may mean that landlords can increase the rent. In these buildings, the landlord may deregulate apartments if he or she provided a notice in the original lease and with each renewal that notes that the apartment is subject to deregulation when the tax benefits expire. The notice must also give the estimated date of the benefits’ expiration. As attorney Sam Himmelstein explains, in these cases, “The landlord is free to raise your rent or decline the lease.”
When these notices have not been provided to tenants, the apartment remains rent stabilized and the tenant has the right to renew the lease under these terms.
What you should know if your landlord is illegally raising your rent
If your building should still be rent-stabilized or you did not receive proper notice of the J-51 benefits’ expiration, your landlord must adhere to the rent regulation laws. It is not unusual, however, for landlords and building owners to attempt to raise rents when they should not.
Discussing your case with a tenants’ rights lawyer can help you understand your rights. If you pursue the case in court, you want an attorney representing your interests.