from Assembly Member
2012 Guide for
Rent Regulated Tenants
1365 1st avenue, new York, nY 10021
the ofﬁce is located between 73rd and 74th streets on the ground level
Tel: 212-860-4906 • Fax: 917-432-2983 • Email: KellnerM@assembly.state.ny.us
Dear Neighbor, tHe rent aCt of 2011:
There is no doubt that strong rent laws ensure WHat You need to KnoW
a strong middle class for New York City. Rent This act will remain in effect until June 15, 2015
regulated tenants come from every walk of life;
Vacancy Decontrol limit raised from $2,000 to $2,500. Vacancy
they are the fabric of our vibrant and diverse city.
Losing the middle class would mean splitting the decontrol allows owners to remove an apartment from regulation if it is
city between the very rich and the very poor. As unoccupied and the rent is above a certain limit. The limit for vacancy
history has illustrated, this will set us on a path of decontrol has been raised from $2,000 to $2,500. For more information on
urban decline. This is not a scenario that I would vacancy decontrol due to high-rent see question 10.
want to see happen. High Income Decontrol limit raised from $175,000 to $200,000.
All too often dishonest owners take advan-
High income decontrol allows an owner to remove an apartment from
tage of tenants who don’t know their rights, us-
ing any means necessary to force hardworking regulation if the residents’ combined income is over a certain amount for two
families from their homes. This is one of the consecutive years and the vacancy decontrol limit has been reached. Under
main reasons why I continue to ﬁght not only the new law, owners will not be able to deregulate a family’s home unless
to extend rent regulations but to expand them. their income is over $200,000 for two consecutive years and their rent is
2011 saw the ﬁrst signiﬁcant victories in the ﬁght over $2,500. This is the first increase in the income limits that tenants have
for affordable housing in nearly a decade and a seen since 1997, despite well over a decade of inflation. For more information
half. While many signiﬁcant reforms were made, on decontrol due to high-rent and high-income see question 10.
there is still much to be done and I will continue
to ﬁght until every family feels safe and secure New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR)
in their own home. To your right, you will see can now enforce the provisions of rent regulation. Until last year,
an overview of the improvements enacted by the NYSHCR has been tasked with overseeing rent regulation, but it had not been
Rent Act of 2011. given the authority to enforce the law and ensure that owners are abiding by
I hope this newsletter can answer some of the it. The enhanced rent regulation gives NYSHCR the power to enforce the
frequently asked questions that you may have. law. For example, vacancy increases, which allow owners to raise the legal
It is important to remember that there are some regulated rent by making improvements while the apartment is vacant, were
narrow exceptions to the rules outlined here, and previously not certified by NYSHCR. Since owners were able to self-report
that, as with any legal matter, it is crucial to seek their own improvements, there was no way to ensure these upgrades took place.
the advice of an experienced attorney. This is In the new law, if an owner claims 10% or more in a rent increase due to
why I sponsor a free legal clinic on the ﬁrst Mon-
improvements made before a tenant moves in, DHCR must certify this work
day of every month for tenants unable to afford
an attorney. This clinic is by appointment only, and the tenant retains the ability to challenge the increase.
so please call my ofﬁce if you would like to sched- Reducing the burden of individual apartment Major Capital
ule an appointment. Improvements (MCIs). A tenant’s responsibility for an individual
As always if you have questions or need apartment’s MCI has been reduced from 1/40th of the cost of the improvement
help with any problem, such as lack of heat or to 1/60th of the cost for buildings with more than 35 units. For more
hot water, do not hesitate to call my ofﬁce at
information on individual apartment MCIs please see question 5.
212-860-4906. We are always here to help you.
Please let me know if you would like addi-
tional copies of this newsletter to distribute in
your building or to share with friends. For fre-
quent news and updates, I invite you to sub- Is the owner harassing you or threatening you with eviction?
scribe to my monthly email newsletter. Email Can’t afford to hire a lawyer?
me at KellnerM@assembly.state.ny.us and I Come to Assembly Member Micah Z. Kellner’s
will add you to my list.
free montHLY LeGaL CLInIC
with Eviction Intervention Services
Micah Kellner By appointment only—call my ofﬁce at 212-860-4906
The clinic is held the first Monday of every month
1233 Second Avenue (between East 64th and 65th Streets)
with appointments from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Want more frequent updates?
e-mail Kellnerm@assembly.state.ny.us to be added to assembly member Kellner's monthly e-newsletter list
10. How does deregulation of high- 12. How often must an owner paint
Q&A: THE RIGHTS OF RENT REGULATED TENANTS rent or high-income units work? my apartment? GREAT NEWS FOR
HIGH-RENT VACANT APARTMENTS: An owner must paint an apartment white TENANTS: THE
1. Is my apartment rent-regulated? are established annually by the NYC Rent ings, or new services, known as an individual As a general rule, rent-stabilized or rent-con- once every three years and cannot charge you for
trolled apartments that become vacant with a le- this service. However, some rent control tenants
What is the difference between “rent- Guidelines Board (RGB), whose members apartment MCI. However, your written consent
are appointed by the Mayor. (and an owner’s notification to DHCR, if you gal, regulated rent of $2,500 or more per month might be charged a rent increase if the owner has STILL STANDS
controlled” and “rent-stabilized”?
Your apartment is probably “rent-controlled” For a one-year renewal lease commencing are a rent-controlled tenant) is necessary before are deregulated. never painted and it is considered an increase in The J-51 tax break allows the State to
if your building was built before 1947, contains on or after October 1, 2012 and on or before such increase goes into effect. An exception is when the owners are receiv- services (also called Individual Apartment Im- share the costs of capital improvements
three or more apartments, and you or a family September 30, 2013 the maximum increase is A tenant does not have to accept new ap- ing J-51 or 421-a property tax breaks. These provements, see Q5). and in return preserves affordable hous-
member moved in before July 1, 1971. Gener- 2% or $20 whichever is greater. For a two- pliances or services and pay an increase. In units remain regulated until the owner stops ing through rent regulation. The Court of
13. What responsibilities do owners
ally, rent-controlled tenants have only one old, year renewal lease commencing on or after the event that an appliance breaks down, the receiving the tax benefits. Deregulation provi- Appeals upheld that owners, who have
sions also do not apply when DHCR finds that have to provide heat and hot water? used the J-51 tax break, cannot take ad-
original lease or no lease at all. October 1, 2012 and on or before September law requires the owner to repair it or replace it During the heating season (October 1 to
Your apartment is probably “rent-stabilized” 30, 2013 the maximum increase is 4% or $40 with a used or reconditioned appliance in good an owner harassed a tenant in order to vacate the vantage of the tax break while deregulat-
apartment. Another important exception is “suc- May 31), owners must provide heat as follows: ing apartments at the same time. Own-
if your building contains six or more apartments whichever is greater. working order. As of September 24, 2011, if a DAY: (6 a.m. to 10 p.m.), if the temperature out-
and was built between 1947 and 1973; or was Although the RGB did not authorize a tenant opts for a new appliance or increased ser- cession” which occurs when the tenant of record ers were trying to have the best of both
dies or vacates the apartment, but that person’s side is 55 degrees or less, apartments must be at worlds by taking taxpayer dollars and
built before 1947 and you moved in after June vacancy increase for new tenants in rent sta- vices, an owner is entitled to collect a permanent least 68 degrees.
30, 1971. Rent-stabilized tenants have leases bilized apartments, statutory provisions re- monthly rent increase equal to 1/60th of its cost family member continues to live in the apart- then using a loophole to renege on their
ment (see Q21). NIGHT: (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.), if the temperature side of the deal. Keeping the Roberts de-
that are renewed every one or two years. authorized in the Rent Act of 2011 allow for in buildings with more than 35 units and 1/40th is 40 degrees or less, apartments must be at least
Some apartments that meet these general substantial automatic vacancy increases of up of its cost in buildings with 34 or fewer units. Owners who deregulate an apartment must, cision in place ensures that tenants who
within 30 days, provide the first new tenant with 55 degrees. have been overcharged by unscrupulous
criteria are exempt due to the timing of past va- to 20% of the legal regulated rent once per Again, this can only happen with the tenant’s Owners must supply hot water throughout
cancies, the high rent level of the apartment or calendar year. written consent. Owners are also entitled to add a notice showing how the rent reached the de- owners will be able to recoup the money
regulation threshold and a DHCR phone number the year at a minimum temperature of 120 de- that is rightfully theirs.
the high income of the tenant (see Q10), or as a Owners of apartments that are being sub- individual apartment MCI increases to the legal grees. If the owner fails to provide heat or hot
result of a major rehabilitation after 1973. let may collect an additional 10% increase rent for vacant apartments. and address to verify this. If you are living in a building that
HIGH-INCOME TENANT/HIGH- water, keep an accurate daily record of this and was ever rent regulated, and one or
Apartments in buildings constructed after under the guidelines, but this figure may report it to the NYC Department of Housing
6. How can I find out what my legal RENT OCCUPIED UNITS: Owners are more units in the building are now
1973 are not rent-regulated unless the owners change next year. Preservation and Development (HPD) by call-
rent is supposed to be? also permitted to apply for a deregulation order if: deregulated, you may be wondering
receive certain tax benefits. The most common 5. What additional increases can af- You have the right to know the maximum ing 311. For lack of heat, be sure to record the
of these are called “J-51” or “421-a.” Stabiliza- 1) the combined federal adjusted gross an- if this decision applies to you or your
fect regulated apartments? rent the owner can charge. Rent-controlled ten- nual income of occupants is over $200,000 temperature outside and inside. When you make neighbors. If you call my office, my
tion protections for these apartments are based SURCHARGES: Owners of rent-con- ants receive a notice of increase (RN-26S or a complaint to 311 be sure to write down the
on when the tenant moved in, when the build- for each of the last two consecutive calendar staff can help you find out.
trolled apartments can apply for increased labor RN-26) from the owner. If you disagree with the years, and complaint number you are given and then call
ing was built or rehabilitated, and specific lease and fuel costs, but tenants must be notified of the calculation, the MBR Order can be challenged my office. My staff can follow-up on your com-
clauses. Special rules also apply to buildings 2) the legal rent for the apartment is $2,500 the balance of the lease if an owner brings an
applications and have the opportunity to chal- by filing RA-94 MBR. or more per month. plaint with HPD.
owned by non-profit organizations. lenge the request. No pass-alongs are permitted For new rent-stabilized tenants, owners are Tenants have the right, in an emergency action in court. While some owners may be
In order to apply for a decontrol/destabiliza- pleased about a tenant leaving before the lease is
2. What happens if I move into for rent-stabilized apartments. required to include a lease rider that discloses tion order, an owner must send the tenant an In- where the landlord has not ordered fuel, to pur-
Surcharges are permitted for air condition- the rent paid by the last tenant. Owners are chase it for their building and deduct the cost up, tenants should be wary of counting on this. It
an apartment that was previously come Certification Form (ICF) by May 1. Own- is better to discuss the situation with the owner
rent-controlled? ers, washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Owners also required to register the rent for every rent- ers can apply annually, and tenants must respond from their rents, provided they follow a specified
of stabilized apartments built with 421-a tax stabilized apartment with DHCR annually, and procedure. For further information call HPD at well in advance of when you want to move out.
Vacant rent-controlled apartments renting within 30 days. The ICF will ask for the names
for $2,500 a month or more are deregulated. All benefits are authorized to collect a special sur- provide all tenants with a copy of the registra- of all occupants and whether their combined 311 or call my office. 16. What other rights do tenants have?
other apartments switch over to the rent stabi- charge of the apartment’s initial rent each year tion (RR-2A). income exceeded $200,000 in the previous two
14. Do I have the right to sublet my The Warranty of Habitability Law, the Ten-
lization program. The first new rents for these for the length of the benefit period. Tenants can also find out their last registered years. “Apartment occupants” include all people
apartment? ant Protection Act, the Housing Maintenance
apartments are set by the owner, subject to the BUILDING-WIDE MAJOR CAPITAL rent from DHCR by contacting the Manhattan using the apartment as their primary residence;
Rent-stabilized tenants have the right to Code, the Multiple Dwelling Law, and other
following limitations: IMPROVEMENTS (MCIs): Eligible MCIs, Borough Rent Office and providing proof of it does not include temporary occupants, subten-
sublet their apartments for two years out of any laws guarantee tenants certain essential services
The Rent Guidelines Board currently sets the cost of which become a permanent addition identity and occupancy (copy of lease, rent re- ants, or live-in employees. four-year period subject to the owner’s consent, and protections.
the maximum increase for formally-rent con- to monthly rents, must contribute to the opera- ceipt or bill; rent-controlled tenants can show a If the total occupant income is over $200,000
which cannot be unreasonably withheld. Un- Tenants have the right to a safe, well-main-
trolled apartments at 30% of the Maximum Base tion, maintenance and preservation of the build- utility bill). for each of the previous two years, owners may
less provided for in an old lease or some special tained, livable apartment, to be free of threats and
Rent or a Fair Market Rent as set by the owner, ing, and directly or indirectly benefit all the ten- If you believe you are being overcharged, file a Petition by Owner for High-Income Rent
agreement with the owner, rent-controlled ten- harassment, to organize and hold tenants’ meet-
whichever is greater. Fair market rents must be ants. The most common improvements are new you may file a Rent Overcharge complaint (RA- Deregulation with DHCR by June 30 of that
ants have no legal right to sublet. ings in their building, and to make complaints
comparable to similar sized market-rate apart- roofs, elevators, boilers, or windows in every 89) for up to four years after the overcharge oc- year. Within 30 days of the filing of the form,
A tenant may sublet an apartment if the about lack of services without fear of reprisal.
ments in the neighborhood. apartment. curred or began. DHCR must issue a deregulation order. If a ten-
owner unreasonably withholds consent or fails Owners must: identify and register with
Tenants who believe their new rent is not DHCR may reject MCI applications if own- ant fails to return the form, owners may file a
to respond to a request to sublet. A tenant can- HPD the name of both the owner and agent
7. What lease renewal options apply
based on rents for similar apartments in the neigh- ers have failed to maintain required services in Petition For Deregulation, and DHCR will then
not sublet if the owner reasonably withholds authorized to make emergency repairs; post a
the building or there are outstanding “immedi- to rent-stabilized apartments?
borhood have until 90 days from receipt of the attempt to obtain income information from the
consent. “Reasonable” objections include the phone number where the owner/agent can be
ately hazardous” violations. DHCR may grant Tenants have the right to renew their lease
notification or four years from the time the unit tenant. If a tenant doesn’t respond, DHCR must
past rental history of the prospective subtenant reached at all times; provide regular extermina-
increases conditioned on correction of violations for a one- or two-year period at the RGB’s ap-
was no longer rent-controlled to file a Fair Market issue a deregulation order. If a tenant reports
or information indicating that the tenant doesn’t tion services; provide sufficient daily garbage
within a reasonable time frame. The costs of proved renewal guideline then in effect, and un-
Rent Appeal (RA-89 FMRA) with DHCR. income below the threshold, an owner has until
intend to re-occupy. disposal; provide janitorial services for public
MCIs paid for out of the reserve fund of a coop- der the same terms and conditions as their origi-
June 30 to request that DHCR verify the infor-
Rent charged to a subtenant by the prime areas of the building; and keep the building in
3. How are rent increases determined erative corporation or condominium association nal lease. One exception is if tenants are paying
mation through tax records. tenant cannot exceed the legal rent plus up to a good repair. The owner is responsible for the
for rent-controlled apartments? cannot generally be passed on to tenants living a preferential rent (see Q8). Owners must use a
Rent-controlled units are deregulated begin-
10% surcharge, allowable only if the apartment good maintenance of walls, ceilings, floors, win-
Increases for rent-controlled apartments are in regulated apartments in such buildings. lease renewal form promulgated by DHCR.
ning on June 1 of the year after the filing of the
is furnished. The owner is also entitled to col- dows, plumbing, heating, fixtures, doors, func-
figured in two ways: the Maximum Base Rent Building-wide MCI increases are perma- 8. What is a “Preferential Rent”? ICF in which the tenant concedes high income, tioning locks on each apartment, owner-installed
(MBR), which is a maximum ceiling for rents, lect their own 10% adjustment under this year’s
nent additions to your monthly rent and are cal- For various reasons, an owner may choose to or on March 1 in cases where the tenant disputes
RGB order. The sublet term may exceed the appliances, adequate lighting in public areas,
and the Maximum Collectible Rent (MCR), culated by taking 1/84th of the total cost of the charge less than the legal regulated rent (called a it or fails to respond in a timely manner. Rent- peepholes on apartment doors, elevator mirrors,
which is the amount an owner can actually col- term of the lease, provided the lease is renewed
improvement, dividing it by the total number of “preferential rent”). As a result of changes to the stabilized apartments are deregulated at the ex-
by the prime tenant. Tenants must continue to and locks on main doors.
lect from a tenant. rooms in your building and then multiplying that law made in 2003, tenants who are paying pref- piration of the lease. Owners are obligated to
New MBRs are calculated on an individual maintain their apartments as their primary resi- 17. Does my superintendent have to
number by the total number of rooms in your erential rents may have their rent increased up to offer the deregulated apartment to the current
dences and tenants who overcharge a subtenant
basis for rent-controlled apartments every two apartment. For controlled tenants, MCI increas- the legal regulated rent upon renewal. live on the premises?
tenant. Units regulated as a result of an owner
are subject to penalties.
years. Owners are required to give notice to ten- es are capped at 15% of the rent in any one year; For buildings of nine or more units, the su-
9. What should I do if the owner won’t receiving 421-a or J-51 tax benefits cannot be
You should be aware that the fact that you are
ants when they apply for an MBR increase and for stabilized tenants, the ceiling is 6%. perintendent must live either on the premises or
renew my lease? deregulated until the benefits expire.
subletting your apartment can be used against
tenants can challenge an MBR increase order DHCR allows owners of rent-stabilized within 200 feet of the building.
using form DHCR RA-94. units to collect an additional temporary increase Owners must offer renewal leases between 90 11. What is the maximum security de- you if an owner brings a primary residence chal-
and 150 days prior to the expiration of your current lenge (see Q23). 18. What right does the owner have to
The MCR is calculated on an annual basis retroactive to the date the tenants were notified posit an owner can demand?
lease, or state a reason why they are not renewing The owner may collect a security deposit lim- enter my apartment?
and an increase cannot exceed 7.5% annually of the application. Tenants then have 30 days 15. Am I allowed to move out of my
(unless there is a Major Capital Improvement it. If you don’t receive a timely renewal notifica- ited to one month’s rent. Owners must have access to your apartment in
to challenge the application after they receive apartment before the lease is up? an emergency that might result in damage to the
(MCI) increase – see Q5), and owners must cor- notice. Do not pay any MCI increase until you tion, it is a good idea to remind the owner of his Owners of buildings with six or more apart- Only senior citizens over age 62 who have
rect serious violations, like no heat or hot water, or her obligation in a certified letter, return receipt ments must place all security deposits in interest- building, such as a broken water pipe or gas leak.
have received a copy of the order authorizing the been accepted for residency in certain adult care Owners are also permitted to enter apart-
in order to implement the increase. increase from DHCR. requested. If no renewal is forthcoming, file an bearing accounts in a New York State bank. The facilities or designated senior housing can ter-
Owner’s Failure to Renew Lease complaint with owner must provide you the bank’s name and ments with reasonable notice to inspect and
4. How are increases determined for INDIVIDUAL APARTMENT MAJOR minate a lease without penalty, and then 30 days make repairs. Your lease may require you to give
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS (MCIs): Your DHCR (RA-90). Until you receive a signed re- location. Tenants may receive the interest (less notice to the owner is still required.
rent-stabilized apartments? newal lease, you cannot be charged more than the 1% for administrative costs) annually, apply it to- the owner a key to a lock you installed.
Increases for rent-stabilized apartments rent can be increased if the owner provides you For all other renters, a lease is a legally bind-
with a new appliance, new equipment or furnish- rent in your current lease, even after it has expired. wards rent, or take a lump sum when they move. ing contract, and tenants may be held liable for
19. What if I don’t receive proper ser- with the statutory or lease-signing tenant as license, voter registration, or other forms
vices or repairs? a primary resident for a period of either, filed with public agencies; and
If you have a problem, first speak to the 1) two years immediately prior to the (3) subletting the apartment.
owner or the agent. If they fail to respond, death or departure of the tenant; Sometimes owners bring primary residence
put it in writing and send your complaint by 2) one year immediately prior to the death challenges after learning that a tenant owns
certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep or departure of the tenant when the family property. You are allowed to own property and
records of all correspondence and conversa- member is a “Senior Citizen” (62 years of live in a regulated apartment but you may have
tions. If the owner does not act in a reason- age or more) or a “Disabled Person,” or to go to court and prove that the property you
able period of time, consider these steps: 3) if that person resided with the tenant own is not your primary residence.
(1) Call HPD at 311. The agency will from the beginning of the tenancy or since
24. What is the window guard law?
send inspectors and can issue orders to correct the commencement of the relationship.
If you have children ten years old or
violations. Be sure to write down your com- “Family Member” includes the younger, the owner is required to install guards
plaint number and store it in a safe place. 1) husband, wife, son, daughter, stepson, in the windows of your apartment and in the
(2) Call my office. I am happy to write stepdaughter, father, mother, stepfather, step- public hallways of the building. Windows on
or call the owner on your behalf to follow- mother, brother, sister, grandfather, grand- fire escapes may not be blocked. Tenants can
up on a complaint. mother, grandson, granddaughter, father- be charged a one-time fee of $10 per guard.
(3) Seek a rent reduction. DHCR has the in-law, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law or
authority to order a rent reduction until ser- son-in-law of the tenant or 25. May I keep pets in my apartment?
vices are restored. File an application with 2) any other person residing with the If your lease permits pets or is silent on the
DHCR for a Rent Reduction Based on De- tenant who can prove emotional and finan- issue, you may have pets. But lease clauses
creased Services (RA-81 or RA-84) for your cial commitment and interdependence— may also ban pets. However, “no pet” clauses
individual apartment (cracked plaster, peeling this includes same-sex marriages, domestic are void if owners don’t act to enforce them
paint, inoperable appliances, broken plumb- partnerships, civil unions, and couples who within three months of when the tenant begins
ing, etc.) or with your neighbors for building- may not have formalized their relationships openly keeping a pet.
wide issues (no heat or hot water, vermin, but can demonstrate emotional and finan- 26. Who is eligible for the Senior Citizen
leaking roof, public areas in disrepair, etc.). cial commitment and interdependence. Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)?
Be thorough and specific in describing all the At any time a tenant may advise the owner The City’s SCRIE program freezes rents
problems. DHCR may determine that certain (or the owner may request this information for rent regulated tenants and provides prop-
conditions are “de minimis” in nature because when the lease is renewed) the names of all erty tax relief for the owner in return. To be
not all issues meet the threshold of failure to persons residing in the apartment and whether eligible, you must be at least 62 years of age,
maintain a required service. You can also re- they meet any of the standards listed above, named on the lease or be the older spouse of
quest a Code Enforcement Inspection. or, with the passing of time, would be entitled the person named on the lease, have a house-
(4) Go to Housing Court. If your problem to succession rights. Your failure to provide hold income (after taxes) of $29,000 or less,
is serious, you may want to bring an action such information places the burden to prove and pay more than one-third of your income
in Housing Court. If your problem involves this relationship on a family member who in rent. You must apply for SCRIE and recer-
building-wide services, it is often a good idea subsequently seeks succession. At any time a tify your eligibility every two years. Tenants
to undertake any legal action through a formal tenant has the right to add a spouse (including who experience a permanent decrease in in-
tenants’ association. Three forms, obtainable a same-sex spouse) to a lease. come of more than 20% can apply to have
from the Housing Court, must be completed:
22. May I have an unrelated room- benefits recalculated. Tenants with SCRIE
an Order to Show Cause, an affidavit detail-
mate who has not signed my lease? cannot lose their eligibility because of Cost
ing the complaint, and an Affidavit of Service.
Provided a tenant continues to occupy of Living Adjustments (COLAs) to their in-
The $45.00 filing fee per action may be re-
the apartment as their primary residence, come. Only a fraction of eligible recipients are
covered if you win your case. If you cannot
a tenant named on a lease, or a statutory receiving SCRIE benefits, so if you or some-
afford the fee, you can apply to have it waived.
tenant has the right to have one unrelated one you know may be eligible, please call my
Judges can levy fines, issue orders to correct
roommate and that roommate’s dependent office or call 311 for the City’s Department
violations, and appoint special administrators
children reside with them. Immediate fam- of Finance.
to manage problem buildings.
ily members of the named tenant do not 27. What are the eligibility require-
20. What are the owner’s obligations count as roommates. However, when more ments for the Disabled Rent Increase
where lead-based paint may have than one person is named on the lease,
been used? tenants do not have the right to have un-
The City’s DRIE program freezes rents
The Childhood Lead Poisoning Act of related roommates. Tenants who take in a
for rent regulated tenants, Mitchell Lama
2003 requires building owners or managers roommate are required to notify the owner
residents, tenants living in apartments built
to inquire if a child under seven resides in within 30 days. Under DHCR regulations,
with certain mortgage subsidies, and tenants
the apartment, conduct inspections to de- an owner can begin eviction proceedings
of Section 213 cooperatives. To be eligible
termine whether there are lead hazards and against a tenant for charging a roommate
you must be at least 18 years old, named on
remediate apartments occupied by children more than a proportionate share of the rent,
the lease, or the spouse of the leaseholder.
under seven. Owners must also make all and the roommate may be able to collect
You also must receive one of the following:
apartments lead safe upon vacancies. The damages from a tenant who overcharges
Supplemental Security Income (SSI), So-
law applies to apartments and public areas them. Roommates can be added to leases
cial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI),
of buildings that contain three or more apart- only with the owner’s consent.
Veterans’ disability pension or other dis-
ments, built before 1960, and those built be-
23. What is meant by “primary ability compensation, or disability-related
tween 1960 and 1978, where the owner has
knowledge that lead paint is present. A ten- residence”?
Tenants not maintaining their primary As with SCRIE, an applicant’s rent must
ant can file a complaint regarding lead paint
residence in an apartment lose the protec- exceed one-third of household income. Eli-
with HPD by calling 311.
tions of rent regulation. No hard and fast gibility varies by household size and source
21. Who has the right to stay in an definition exists of “primary residence,” but of income, but in general the income limit for
apartment when the lease-holding courts have considered the following: single individuals is $19,860 and $28,668 for
tenant moves away or dies? (1) the use of another residence for more households of two or more.
To claim “succession rights” a family than half the year; If you or someone you know may be eli-
member who has resided in the apartment (2) the use of another address on a tax gible for DRIE, please call my office or call
return, motor vehicle registration, driver’s 311 for the City’s Department of Finance.
HeLpfuL pHone numBers and WeB sItes
City & State Agencies: Help for Tenants:
Rent Control and Rent Stabilization (DHCR)....................1-866-ASK-DHCR Assembly Member Kellner’s Community Office ...................212-860-4906
www.dhcr.state.ny.us Eviction Intervention Services provides legal assistance ......212-308-2210
Rent Info Line.......................................................................718-739-6400
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
Section 8 Line ......................................................................212-480-6460
provides legal assistance .............................................. 212-744-5022 x1392
Legal Services for New York City provides legal assistance ....646-442-3100
MFY Legal Services provides legal assistance .......................212-417-3700
NYC Rent Guidelines Board www.housingnyc.com ...............212-385-2934
Carter Burden Center for the Aging.........................................212-879-7400