DHCR FACT SHEET #3
Division of Housing and Community Renewal

REQUIRED AND ESSENTIAL SERVICES

Under rent stabilization, an owner must maintain all services
required by the Rent Stabilization Law on rent stabilization's
base date of May 29, 1974 and/or May 31, 1968. The base date for
apartments under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA)
outside of NYC is May 29, 1974, or the day immediately prior to
the local effective date, whichever is later. These services are
called required services and include, but are not limited to:
repairs, decorating and maintenance, the furnishing of light,
heat, hot and cold water, elevator services, janitorial services
and removal of refuse.

Under rent control, the owner must provide and maintain all
services furnished or required to be furnished on the base date
of May 1, 1950 for rent controlled apartments outside of NYC, and
March 1, 1943 for those within NYC plus or minus authorized
services increased or decreased since this base date. These
services are called essential services and may include, but are
not limited to: repairs, decorating and maintenance, the
furnishing of light, heat, hot and cold water, elevator service,
kitchen, bath and laundry facilities and privileges, janitor
service, and removal of refuse.

Required services or essential services for apartments can be
building-wide, such as heat, hot water, elevator service, and
maintenance of public areas of the building. The service may also
be something furnished within an individual apartment, such as a
refrigerator, stove, air conditioning equipment, or painting.

When an owner provides equipment or services, such as a
refrigerator or an air conditioner, the owner must maintain it in
good working order. Defective equipment must be repaired or
replaced. The owner does not have to replace defective equipment
with brand new equipment. The defective equipment can be replaced
with reconditioned or used equipment, provided they are in good
working order. The owner is not entitled to any increase in rent
based on the cost of replacement with reconditioned or used
equipment.

If an appliance is replaced with a new one, the owner may be
entitled to a rent increase. Official approval by DHCR is not
tenant's written in rent stabilized apartments in NYC. However,
the tenant's written consent is required before the owner may
collect the increase. In such cases, the owner may charge the
tenant a rent increase equal to 1/40th of the cost of the new
equipment, including installation costs, but not including
finance charges.

It an installation or new equipment is done while the apartment
is vacant, the new tenant's consent is not required for the owner
to collect a 1/40th increase. [See Fact Sheet on Rent Increases
for New Services, New Equipment, or Improvements to an Apartment]

For all apartments subject to rent control, or rent stabilization
outside of NYC, the owner must file an application with DHCR to
obtain a rent increase for new equipment. Tenant's consent is a
part of that form.

A tenant who experiences a decreased service in an individual
apartment should first contact the owner. It that does not
resolve the problem, the tenant may file an Individual Tenant
Statement of Complaint of Decrease in Services [DHCR form RA-81].
For complaints involving a decrease in building-wide services,
still uncorrected after consulting with the owner, a tenant or
tenant representative should tile a Statement of Complaint of a
Decrease in Building-Wide Services [DHCR form RA-84].

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DHCR Fact Sheets (series of thirty) are issued by the New York
State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) as plain-
english informational publications.  For official agency
policies, see DHCR Policy Statements, Advisory Opinions and
Operational Bulletins. Also refer to the Rent Stabilization Code,
the Rent Stabilization Law and various Rent Control Statutes.

Electronic versions of these 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 may obtain true copies of these documents from
DHCR.

Every attempt has been made to conform to the original Fact
Sheets 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
are public documents; the electronic version of such documents
have been developed by TenantNet and any added value, enhancements
and/or proprietary features are copyright 1994, 1995 and 1996 by
TenantNet. These documents may be freely distributed provided they
remain intact as herein presented, including this and the top
informational banner referencing TenantNet as the original provider.
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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
(718) 739-6400

Bronx
One Fordham Plaza
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 563-5678

Brooklyn
250 Schermerhorn St.
3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-9246

Lower Manhattan
156 William Street
9th Floor
NY, NY 10038
(212) 240-6011, 6012
South side of 110th St. and below

Upper Manhattan
163 W. 125th St.
5th Floor
NY, NY 10027
(212) 961-8930
North side of 110th St. and above

Staten Island
350 St. Mark's Place
Room 105
Staten island, NY 10301
(718) 816-0277

Nassau County District Rent Office
50 Clinton Street, 6th Floor
Hempstead, NY 11550
(516) 481-9494

Westchester County District Rent Office
55 Church Street, 3rd Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 948-4434

Rockland County District Rent Office
94-96 North Main St.
Spring Valley, NY 10977
(914) 425-6575

Albany Regional Office
119 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210
(518) 432-0596

Buffalo Regional Office
Ellicot Square Building
295 Main St., Room 438
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 856-1382

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