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Are rent-stabilized and rent-controlled units the same?

A recent media primer on the central ins-and-outs of rent-stabilized and rent-controlled New York City apartments notes the existence of "unsuspecting renters" across the city.

And that means this: Complexity often attaches to the metro housing market, resulting in instances in which a prospective or actual tenant is not even sure how his or her dwelling is classified by housing officials.

And that uncertainty is far from uncommon. "New York's rental market is complicated," states the above overview, and it is hardly a rarity for renters to not be precisely sure what type of dwelling they're living in and what they should properly be paying in monthly rent.

This much is sure, though: rent-controlled apartments and rent-stabilized dwellings are not the same thing. They have different guidelines/standards and different mechanisms for determining the timing and amount of rent increases.

In a nutshell, the former are far rarer across the city, and actually dwindling steadily in number. According to a Housing Preservation and Development survey, rent-controlled stock has fallen sharply from about two million apartments in the 1950s to only about 27,000 today.

Conversely, there are reportedly more than one million rent-stabilized dwellings across NYC currently, which comprises an estimated 50 percent of all metro apartments.

Getting the keys to a rent-controlled dwelling is appreciably harder than is securing a rent-stabilized apartment. Rent-stabilized apartments are also dwindling and can be very difficult to obtain, depending on the borough. Unless an individual has a firmly established family connection and satisfies additional criteria, states the above-cited article, "it's basically impossible."

That is far from true with a rent-stabilized unit. Those dot the city across all boroughs, although they, too, come with their own singular complications regarding bumped-up rents stemming from landlords' renovations, so-called preferential rent that can sharply spike upward upon lease renewal and other factors.

Many questions and concerns can logically arise for a prospective tenant or current lessee concerning rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments. They can be directed to an experienced NYC tenants'-rights attorney who routinely advocates for and promotes the interests of city renters.