New York State
Division of Housing and Community Renewal
Office of Rent Administration
Gertz Plaza, 92-31 Union Hall St.
Jamaica, New York 11433
Public Information: (718)739-6400
NEW YORK CITY RENT STABILIZATION CODE
ADVISORY OPINION: 88-1 (FEBRUARY 8, 1988)
This Advisory Opinion is issued pursuant to Sections
2522.5(b)(1), 2523.5(a) and 2527.11 of the Rent Stabilization
Pursuant to Section 2523.5(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code
("Code"), the New York State Division of Housing and Community
Renewal ("DHCR") has promulgated a Renewal Lease Form (the
"Form"), designated as form number "RTP-8". A copy of the Form
is attached to this Advisory Opinion.
1. OWNER'S SERVICE OF FORM
Code Section 2523.5(a) requires every owner of a rent stabilized
housing accommodation other than an accommodation located in a
hotel, to mail or personally deliver to the tenant named in the
expiring lease, a dated copy of the Renewal Lease Form notifying
the tenant of the expiration of the current lease term. This
Form contains an offer to renew the lease at the legal regulated
rent, including any adjustment authorized by the Rent Guidelines
Board. The Form must be furnished to the tenant not more than
150 and not less than 120 days prior to the end of the tenant's
Commencing February 1988, the Form is being made available to
owners at DHCR Public Information Offices. Because many owners
may not have had adequate opportunity to appropriately revise
their operating procedures in preparation for the use of the new
Form, it would be inequitable to enforce the penalty provisions
of sections 2522.5(b)(2) and 2523.5(a) until owners have had
reasonable time to do so. Therefore, owners will not be required
to use the new Form prior to May 1, 1988, and may continue to use
their current lease renewal form. Owners, may, of course, use
the new Form prior to such date. Commencing May 1, 1988, all
owners will be required to use the revised Form for the renewal
of leases expiring thereafter .
Please note that the new Rent Stabilization Lease Rider
promulgated by the DHCR in October 1987 must be attached to every
renewal lease which commences on or after December 1, 1987. All
owners who continue to use their current renewal lease form prior
to May 1, 1988 must attach the rider to such current form.
Owners will also be required to attach the Rider to the new Form,
which must be delivered to the tenant when such new Form is
signed by the owner and returned to the tenant.
Owners and tenants are cautioned to read all instructions on the
reverse side of the Form carefully prior to filling it out or
2. CONTENTS OF THE FORM
On and after May 1, 1988, owners must use the Form, or a
facsimile which has been approved by the DHCR. No other form of
renewal lease will be permitted. Therefore, an owner will not be
permitted to add to or subtract language from the text of the
Form, and must receive DHCR approval prior to altering the format
in any manner.
The Form consists of 2 parts: the terms of the renewal offer,
and the tenant's acceptance of such offer or notice of intention
The Code requires that a renewal lease must be based on the same
terms and conditions as the expiring lease and must contain the
beginning and ending dates of the renewal lease term. However,
the Code authorizes certain additional lawful provisions or
written agreements between the owner and the tenant, (e.g.
increases pursuant to section 421-a of the Real Property Tax Law)
to be added to the renewal lease. Copies of such additional
lawful provisions or written agreements must be attached to the
3. TENANT'S RESPONSE TO OFFER
Tenants have 60 days from the date of service of the Form to
accept the owner's offer to renew the lease, or to inform the
owner of their intention to vacate the housing accommodation.
Tenants must respond by completing the Form, and must sign and
return it to the owner either by mail (regular mail is
sufficient), or personal delivery within such time. A tenant who
does not return the completed Form within such 60 day period may
be subject to an eviction proceeding brought by the owner in
court based on refusal to renew.
Tenants have the option of selecting a renewal lease for a term
of either 1 or 2 years, except for a tenant who receives a Senior
Citizen Rent Increase Exemption which requires a 2 year lease, or
where the building is subject to a mortgage existing as of April
1, 1969, which prohibits 2 year leases.
4. OWNER'S OBLIGATION AFTER TENANT RESPONDS
Within 30 days after an owner has received the Form signed by a
tenant accepting the renewal offer, the owner must furnish to
such tenant a copy of the fully executed Form bearing the
signatures of both the owner and the tenant, together with a copy
of the Rent Stabilization Lease Rider. THE FORM BECOMES A
BINDING RENEWAL LEASE WHEN THE OWNER SIGNS AND RETURNS IT TO THE
A. If a tenant has not been served with a copy of the Form
containing the renewal offer within 120-150 days prior to
the expiration of his or her current lease term, the owner
will be barred from commencing any action or proceeding
against the tenant based on non-renewal of lease, and such
tenant shall not be deprived of any of his or her rights
under the Rent Stabilization Law or Code. In addition, such
tenant may file a complaint with the DHCR. The owner will
be denied any rent guideline increases for renewal leases
until a renewal lease is entered into by the owner and
tenant, and the guidelines rate applicable to such lease
shall be no greater than the rate in effect on the
commencement date of the lease for which a timely offer
should have been made, and the increased rental shall not
begin before the first rent payment date occurring no less
than 120 days after such offer is made.
B. If an owner does not return a fully executed copy of the
Form to the tenant within 30 days from the owner's receipt
of such Form signed by the tenant accepting the renewal
offer, such owner will be barred from commencing any action
or proceeding against the tenant based on non-renewal of
lease, and the tenant shall not be deprived of any of his or
her rights under the Rent Stabilization Law or Code. Such
tenant may file a complaint that he or she was not served
with a copy of the fully executed Form. If the DHCR orders
the owner to furnish a copy of the fully executed Form to
the tenant, non-compliance by the owner within 20 days of
such order shall result in the denial of any rent guideline
increases for renewal leases until the fully executed copy
of the form is furnished by the owner to the tenant.
C. If a tenant has not been served with a copy of the Rent
Stabilization Lease Rider, or a Spanish language version of
the Rider, if requested upon complaint by the tenant, the
DHCR will order the owner to serve the Rider by certified
mail. Non-compliance by the owner within 20 days of such
order will result in the denial of any rent increases
resulting from a guidelines lease adjustment, a Hardship, or
a Major Capital Improvement, until the owner complies.
Compliance will result in the prospective elimination of
such penalty. In addition, an owner who fails to serve a
tenant with a Rider after being ordered to do so by the DHCR
may be subject to monetary penalties.
6. AVAILABILITY OF FORM
Additional copies of the new RTP-8 are available at the DHCR's
Public Information Offices, and will also be available at legal
stationery stores, and from the Rent Stabilization Association of
New Inc., and the Real Estate Board of New York, Inc.
February 8, 1988
Elliot G. Sander
for Rent Administration
Dennis B. Hasher
Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel
DHCR Advisory Opinions are issued by the New York State Division
of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and represent the
agency's interpretation of the rent laws.
On any challenge or appeal, the agency may claim it has wide
"discretion" to interpret the rent laws as it sees fit, as long
as it's interpretation is not arbitrary, capricious or an abuse
of discretion. In such instances, the agency must show it's
interpretation is consistent with past practice and rational.
Discretion is different from mandates where the agency is obliged
to follow certain policies, practices or interpretations.
Mandates are usually based in (and stated in) the law.
In many instances, the agency refuses (or fails) to issue
official interpretations in order to maintain it's discretion. In
practice, such unaccountable discretion is seen by some as an
abuse of the intent of the rent laws.
Electronic versions of the documents on TenantNet
are for informational purposes only and there is no guarantee
they will be accepted by any court (or even DHCR) as true copies
of DHCR policy. The reader is advised to obtain true copies of
these documents from DHCR.
Also see DHCR Policy Statements, DHCR Operational Bulletins, the
Rent Stabilization Code, the Rent Stabilization Law and various
Rent Control Statutes.
Every attempt has been made to conform to the original Advisory
Opinions as issued by DHCR; TenantNet makes no
representation the enclosed material is current or will be
applied as written. The reader is advised that DHCR often fails
to properly apply, interpret or enforce housing laws. Since
housing laws are complex and often contradictory, it is
recommended the reader obtain competent legal advice from a
tenant attorney or counseling from a tenant association or
community group. (rev. 3/13/96) DHCR documents
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For more information or assistance. call the DHCR Rent Infoline
at (718) 739-6400, or visit your Borough Rent Office.
Queens Central Office
92-31 Union Hall St. 4th Fl.
Jamaica, NY 11433
One Fordham Plaza
Bronx, NY 10458
250 Schermerhorn St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
156 William Street
NY, NY 10038
(212) 240-6011, 6012
South side of 110th St. and below
163 W. 125th St.
NY, NY 10027
North side of 110th St. and above
350 St. Mark's Place
Staten island, NY 10301
Nassau County District Rent Office
50 Clinton Street, 6th Floor
Hempstead, NY 11550
Westchester County District Rent Office
55 Church Street, 3rd Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
Rockland County District Rent Office
94-96 North Main St.
Spring Valley, NY 10977
Albany Regional Office
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
Buffalo Regional Office
Ellicot Square Building
295 Main St., Room 438
Buffalo, NY 14203