Rent Laws and Rent Guidelines Board

We got a rent freeze!

In a historic decision, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a rent freeze for one-year leases and a two percent increase for two-year leases. This is the first time in the RGB’s 46 year history rent-stabilized rents have been frozen. New York City has faced unreasonably high rent increases for far too long, but yesterday, tenants conquered. After the huge disappointment in Albany, we proved we are not powerless — we still have control over what happens to the tenants in our city.

For rent-stabilized leases which begin 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016: 0% for 1 yr, 2% for 2 yr leases. (If your lease renews before 10/1/2015, the previous percentages are in effect: 1% for 1 yr, 2.75% for 2 yrs.) Read More

Rent Laws expired — your rights and what you can do

Your rights:

No matter what happens this week, you are protected until the end of your lease. Our colleague Ilana Maier at the Metropolitan Council on Housing says in today’s New York Times that “The fear is not that tenants will immediately lose their legal rights,” she said. “They won’t. The danger is that landlords will take advantage of the confusion and anxiety around the expiration of the rent laws to further harass rent-regulated tenants.”

For more information about your rights in case of expiration, see the Public Advocate’s information sheet here: http://bit.ly/rentlawsrights

CALL GOVERNOR CUOMO TODAY

Only days after thousands of tenants took over Albany on Tuesday for stronger rent laws, and after seven activists were arrested Thursday morning while blocking the entrance to Governor Cuomo’s NYC office, Andrew Cuomo is back to playing games. A week ago he called for stronger rent laws and an end to deregulation. Now he says the best he can do is renew them in their current weakened form. A straight extender of the rent laws as is would be a disaster, resulting in a steady loss every year of rent-protected apartments in NYC and the three suburban counties, and an ultimate end of the program.

Tell Governor Cuomo: Tenants Are Watching & We Will Remember.
CALL:  (518) 474-8390, press 3

Sample Script for Gov:  “Hello, my name is ____________ and I’m a tenant.  I’m calling to tell the Governor to strengthen the rent laws & end deregulation.  Renewing the rent laws is not enough – the Gov. must strengthen the rent laws & end deregulation. If he does not do this I will never vote for him again.”

The more calls he gets on this issue the better! Get your friends and neighbors to call!

If you have any questions, you can contact the Cooper Square Committee
at (212) 228-8210 or csc@coopersquare.org.

 

2014 RGB Vote

1% and 2.75%

More details here.

Despite a massive turnout of tenants at last night’s Rent Guidelines Board vote, and calls for a rent freeze, the RGB voted for a 1% increase on one-year leases, and 2.75% for two-year leases. While it’s disappointing that the RGB didn’t vote for a rent freeze, the 1% increase for a one-year lease is the lowest ever in the 45 year history of the RGB. The tenants’ movement can take credit for making that happen. Now let’s focus on strengthening the NY State rent laws when they come up for renewal in June of next year. Let’s stay mobilized!

~ Steve Herrick, Executive Director

Manhattan/Bronx Town Hall on Thursday, June 7, 2012

6:30-8:30pm at the Hartley House,
Stop landlords from getting J-51 renewal unless tenants get stronger protection!
Reduce preferential rent increases
Limit Major Capital Improvement increases to costs
End MBR increases for rent-controlled tenants
Reform the Rent Guidelines Board!

Come tell your story as a tenant.
Cooper Square Committee is a co-sponsor, and a member of the R3 Campaign.

2012 RGB Public Hearings

NOW IS THE TIME TO PROTEST HIGHER RENTS!

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has proposed a rent increase
of up to 4% per year and landlords are demanding even
higher “supplemental” increases. Turn-out for the hearings is
critical!
The RGB has voted for excessive rent increases unaffordable to
tenants (the 99%) throughout NYC–despite reports that document
that most landlords (the 1%) are doing quite well. Do you struggle
to get basic repairs? Is your landlord deregulating apartments to
charge “market” rents? Demand an end to unfair rent hikes.

Read More

Talking Points for the RGB

Rent Guidelines Board Public Hearings

Tenant Talking Points

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED RANGE OF RENT ADJUSTMENTS

At the RGB Preliminary Vote, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for rent increases ranging from 3%-5.75% for one year renewal leases commencing October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 and from 6%-9% for two year renewal leases commencing October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. In addition, the Board voted on a 1% fuel surcharge for buildings heated by fuel oil and a sublet allowance of 10%.

 

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

 

1. YOU

• Introduce yourself and provide personal details. We want to show the RGB how diverse rent stabilized tenants are. Make sure to include that you are a vital member of New York City and the ways you contribute to your community.

• Include information about the economic hardship you may be facing. For example, include if you live on a fixed income, if you lost your job, if you are supporting your kids or other members of your household, or if you are working a few jobs to support yourself.

• If you are a member of Tenants & Neighbors, please mention this to the RGB members.

 

 

2. YOUR HOUSING

• Tenancy: How long have you lived in your apartment?

o Are there many tenants in your building paying market rent OR is there a commercial unit in your building (a local business or non-profit renting space)?

 If so, emphasize that your landlord has other sources of income than the rent from rent stabilized units. Recommend that the Board pass the proviso presented by the tenant representatives where tenants should receive a 0% increase if they live in a building where less than 80% of units are occupied by rent stabilized or rent controlled units.

o Is there much turnover in your building?

 If so, emphasize that your landlord receives large rent increases each time there is a vacancy.

• Heating: Is your building heated with fuel oil? Is your building heated inefficiently? (Do you have to open a window in the winter? Is your apartment weatherized?)

 If so, recommend that the Board abolish the proposed fuel surcharge. Emphasize that you are bearing the cost of your owner’s decision to heat the building inefficiently and waste expensive oil.

• Services: What is the quality of services in your building?

o Does management make repairs? Are there days that you have gone without heat and hot water? Does your building have many code violations? Do you call 311 to report code violations?

 If so, recommend that buildings with high code violations should not receive rent increases for quality of services that does not meet habitability standards.

• Rent:

o Preferential Rent: Do you receive a preferential rent? If so, are you worried that when you sign your next lease renewal that your rent will be raised to the registered rent?

o Permanent Rent Increases: Have you received MCI (Major Capital Improvements) for building structural improvements or 1/40th rent increases for apartment renovations? How do these permanent rent increases impact your ability to pay each month’s rent?

 If you have had a MCI or 1/40th increase, emphasize that owners are reimbursed more than the cost of the improvement because these rent increases are permanent. Emphasize that the RGB should take into account that owners have other mechanisms for raising rent beyond RGB adjustments and therefore should pass the lowest possible rent increase.

o Illegal Overcharges: Do you believe that your rent has been illegally overcharged?

o SCRIE/DRIE: Do you qualify for these programs? If not, why? Are you just above the income threshold ($29,000 for SCRIE or $19,284 for an individual under DRIE)?

o Casado: Were you affected by the supplemental rent increase?

 If so, please speak concretely about how you were affected. Are you now paying more than 30% of your income towards rent? If so, please tell the RGB.

• Predatory Equity Questions:

o Is your owner a predatory equity landlord who has intentionally overpaid for your building, intending to displace tenants and destabilize units?

 

 

3. YOUR OWNER

A. Owners should bear their fair share of economic burden because their profits are increasing. The average net operating income (NOI) for owners throughout the city increased by 5.8% and increased 22.2% for all areas excluding Core Manhattan, according to RGB statistics. This figure is the income owners receive after they have paid off expenses.

By Borough:

• Brooklyn: In my borough, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in Brooklyn increased by 22.3% according to the latest RGB statistics.

• Queens: In my borough, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in Queens increased by 9.9% according to the latest RGB statistics.

• The Bronx: In my borough, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in the Bronx increased by 29.9% according to the latest RGB statistics.

• Upper Manhattan: In Upper Manhattan, from 2008-2009, the median NOI for owners in Upper Manhattan increased by 22.3% according to RGB statistics.

 

* The RGB does not prepare statistics for Staten Island because there is too small a sample size of rent stabilized units. Staten Island households are not included in citywide numbers.

 

4. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS

• RGB should consider a 0% rent increase for all tenants. If there is an increase, it should not be any higher than what the data presented by the RGB warrants and the RGB should keep in mind the incredible hardship that any increase at all will cause to most low and moderate income tenants.

• Certain tenants should receive no increase at all (e.g. tenants in buildings with high numbers of units that have already been deregulated and tenants in buildings with poor conditions).

• The RGB should not vote for a fuel surcharge.

 

Tenants & Neighbors is a grassroots non-profit organization that works with tenants to preserve affordable housing and strengthen tenants’ rights. For more information about testifying at the RGB, contact Jessie at 212-608-4320 ext. 306 or jlevine@tandn.org.

Rent Campaigns – Current Status

  • Rent Laws
    • 6/22/2011: A Rent Laws Deal has been reached by Governor Cuomo, Senator Skelos and Assembly Speaker Silver.  It renews the rent laws for 4 years and raises the vacancy decontrol threshold to $2,500 rent (from $2,000) and the income threshold has been raised to $200,000 (from $175,000).  The formula for Individual Apartment Improvement (IAI) rent increases has been changed from 1/40th of the cost of work to 1/60th of the cost.  Landlords will be limited to one vacancy renewal increase per year.  In exchange for these provisions strengthening tenant protections, the Legislature agreed to cap property tax increases at 2% per year.  For more details, follow us on Facebook.
  • Rent Guidelines Board:
    • On Monday 6/27, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a 3.75% rent increase for 1-year leases and 7.25% increase for 2-year leases. We appreciate all the Cooper Square Committee members who turned out for the rally. City-wide, tenant turnout was not as high as tenant advocates would have liked.

Related articles below…

State’s High Court Blesses Minimum Increases for Low-rent Tenants

by John Edward Dallas

 

On March 24, 2011, the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state of New York, issued its long-awaited ruling in Casado v. Markus, a closely watched case that has been working its way up through the state legal system since a Manhattan Supreme Court issued a pro-tenant decision in January 2010 followed by a corroborative ruling from the Appellate Division in June 2010.

Read More

Rent Laws: Situation Critical

The Rent Laws on 1.1 million apartments housing 2.5 million New Yorkers expire in less than 90 days!!! Tenants Need to Step Up and keep the pressure on until the rent laws are renewed and strengthened.

Keep calling Governor Cuomo’s office at (212) 681-4580 or (518) 474-8390, urging him to “Renew and strengthen the rent laws.  No more vacancy destabilization!” Call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office at (212) 312-1420 and urge that he keep pushing for stronger rent laws.

 

 

Weds 3/23 @ 10am: Rent Laws Press Conference

SolidarityPlease join Council member Margaret Chin and Speaker Christine Quinn to show your support for stronger rent regulations, eviction protection,  and the repeal of the “Urstadt Law,” which unfairly gives control of New York City’s rent laws to Albany.

Who: Council Member Chin and housing advocates

What: Press conference to announce New York City Council resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to renew and strengthen the laws regulating rents and the eviction of tenants.

Where: City Hall Steps

When: Wednesday, March 23rd, 10:00 am

RSVP to:  Kelly Magee – kmagee@council.nyc.gov

Help Save the Rent Laws! Rally March 21st!

The Rent Laws for ALL rent-regulated apartments expire in 3 months!  We need Governor Cuomo to protect about 1 million tenant households by renewing and strengthening rent laws, and ending vacancy destabilization.  Come to a Rallly on Monday, March 21st at 4:30 pm in front of Governor Cuomo’s NYC Office at 42nd St. and Park Avenue.  Let’s keep this issue on the front burner!!!

Call Governor Cuomo’s office TODAY at 212-681-4580, and let his office know that you are a rent stabilized tenant, and that renters who helped elect him need his support.  Urge him to stand up to the special interests by renewing our rent laws and repealing vacancy destabilization.

This is the number one priority of the tenants rights movement.   We want the rent laws renewed and strengthened now.  We don’t want to wait until midnight on June 15th, when anything could happen.  If the rent laws expire, your rent could go up to market rate when your lease comes up for renewal.  What will you do if that happens?  Can you afford to pay $2,000 or more per month in rent?  If not, we urge you to call Governor Cuomo’s office, and politely but firmly deliver the message that the rent laws need to be “renewed and strengthened”.  No more deregulation when rents go above $2,000, no more 20% increases in rent stabilized leases upon vacancy, no more permanent MCI increases, no more personal use evictions of an entire building!

Thursday 3/10: Real Rent Reform – Press Conference/Rally

The renewal of the rent laws is the single biggest issue affecting New Yorkers right now, and we need to make sure that our message of protecting our homes and ending destabilization resonates.  Join WSNA, other city wide housing groups and supportive elected officials at City Hall at 1:00 pm to make sure that our voices are heard and the rent laws get renewed.

What: Real Rent Reform – Press Conference/Rally

When: Thursday, Mar. 10th at 1:00pm

Location: The Steps at City Hall (map/directions)

 

For more information contact Bennett Baumer at 212-956-2585 or bbaumer@hcc-nyc.org.

Rent Guidelines Board Proposes Rent Increases

The Rent Guidelines Board held a preliminary vote at Cooper Union’s Great Hall on May 5th to adopt rent increases of between 2% – 4% for one year rent stabilized leases, and between 4% and 6% for 2 year leases.  Tenants will have an opportunity to testify about the proposed rent increases at public hearings on Thursday, June 17th.  The hearings will be held at Cooper Union’s Great Hall, between 10 am and 6 pm.  A final vote will be taken at Cooper Union on Thursday, June 24th.  Tenants are calling for a rent freeze.  Come out and testify on June 17th!

Rent Guidelines Board Hearings

On Wednesday, May 5th, the Rent Guidelines Board will take a preliminary vote on lease renewal rent increases at the Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 E. 7th St.) at a meeting from 5:30 – 9:30 pm.  There will be a 5 pm press conference outside Cooper Union.  On Thursday, June 17th, they will hold a public hearing from 10 am – 6 pm at the Great Hall of Cooper Union, and on Thursday, June 24th, they will do the final vote (5:30 – 9:30 pm).  Tenants are urged to attend these public meetings and hearings.  We strongly encourage you to present testimony as well.

Rent Guidelines Board Order No. 41

 

2009 Apartment & Loft Order #41

 

June 23, 2009

 

Order Number 41 – Apartments and Lofts, rent levels for leases commencing October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010.

 

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THE NEW YORK CITY RENT GUIDELINES BOARD BY THE RENT STABILIZATION LAW OF 1969, as amended, and the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, as amended, implemented by Resolution No 276 of 1974 of the New York City Council and extended by Chapter 82 of the Laws of 2003, and in accordance with the requirements of Section 1043 of the New York City Charter, that the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) hereby adopts the following levels of fair rent increases over lawful rents charged and paid on September 30, 2009. These rent adjustments will apply to rent stabilized apartments with leases commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and through September 30, 2010. Rent guidelines for loft units subject to Section 286 subdivision 7 of the Multiple Dwelling Law are also included in this order.

 

ADJUSTMENT FOR RENEWAL LEASES  (APARTMENTS)

 

Together with such further adjustments as may be authorized by law, the annual adjustment for renewal leases for apartments shall be:

 

Where heat is provided or required to be provided to a dwelling unit by an owner from a central or individual system at no charge to the tenant, the adjustments are as follows:

 

For a one-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:         3%

For a two-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:         6%

Provided, however, that where the most recent vacancy lease was executed six years or more prior to the date of the renewal lease under this Order, the following shall instead apply:

 

For a one-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:  3% or $30, whichever is greater.

For a two-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:  6% or $60, whichever is greater.

Where heat is neither provided nor required to be provided to a dwelling unit by an owner from a central or individual system, the adjustments are as follows:

 

For a one-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:     2.5%

For a two-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:     5%

Provided, however, that where the most recent vacancy lease was executed six years or more prior to the date of the renewal lease under this Order, the following shall instead apply:

 

For a one-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:    2.5% or $25, whichever is greater.

For a two-year renewal lease commencing on or after October 1, 2009 and on or before September 30, 2010:    5% or $50, whichever is greater.

These adjustments shall also apply to dwelling units in a structure subject to the partial tax exemption program under Section 421a of the Real Property Tax Law, or in a structure subject to Section 423 of the Real Property Tax Law as a Redevelopment Project.