If you are new to New York, you could find that it takes time to adjust to things like the noise, the subway system and how expensive it can be. It can also be a challenge to adjust to the rules and details about the different types of apartments.
New York City has various types of housing, including rent-controlled, rent-stabilized and unregulated apartments. Below, we explain these types of housing and why you need to know the differences.
The NYC Rent Guidelines Board notes that fewer than 30,000 apartments in the city are rent-controlled. These are apartments that have been rented continuously by the same person or a qualified family member since July 1, 1971 or before.
A rent-controlled apartment limits price increases in rent, which means many tenants are paying far less for these apartments than others. In fact, the median rent in rent-controlled apartments is just $1,039. Because of this, they are highly coveted apartments.
These apartments lose this status when they become vacant, making them increasingly difficult to find.
About half the rental apartments in NYC are rent-stabilized, which means the government regulates the rents and rent increases. For an apartment to be rent-stabilized, it must be in a building built before 1974 and have at least six other units.
Landlords can increase rent in these apartments by a certain amount if they make individual apartment improvements (IAI), or major capital improvements (MCI) that affect the entire building.
Less than a million apartments for rent are unregulated. This means owners can charge the market rate for rent.
Unregulated apartments can be easier to find, but they are often more expensive and do not have the same protections for tenants.
Why the differences matter
The different housing types affect rent calculation and increases, lease renewal options, as well as the rights afforded to tenants. Knowing these differences is crucial.
Too often, dishonest landlords will try to take advantage of unsuspecting tenants. Some will neglect to tell the tenant about rent-stabilization; others may increase rent without justification; still others may unlawfully raise rent so high to harass a tenant.
As such, educating yourself on the types of housing in New York City can help you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.