About Rent Regulation And The Rent Guidelines Board
There are many types of housing in New York City, but apartments that are rent regulated have specific guidelines about how much rent can be charged. There are two types of apartments that fall under regulation, which are rent controlled and rent stabilized.
If you live in a rent controlled apartment, that means that your building was built before February 1, 1947 and you have lived in your apartment since July 1, 1971, or that you took over the apartment lease from a family member who did. The Maximum Base Rent (MBR) system was the way that landlords could apply to increase the rent for rent controlled tenants, but now, rent increases are based on the NYC Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) decisions. Landlords have to apply for the increase, which is an average of the last five increases for one year leases, or 7.5%, whichever is less.
Rent stabilized apartments are much more common than rent controlled ones. These apartments can be found in buildings that are privately owned, have six or more apartments, and were built and occupied before 1974. However, some buildings which were built after 1974 are categorized as rent stabilized due to tax exemptions that the landlord may have applied for. More exceptions like this are listed in the RGB Building List resource. Rent increases for rent stabilized tenants are based on the RGB as well, when the nine members of the board vote each June on the percent that landlords can raise the rent for one year and two year leases.
You may also want to read up on preferential rent. You may have been charged rent that is lower than the legally outlined rate, and the landlord may be trying to get the rent back up to the highest possible legal limit. You still have rights in this scenario too.