DHCR FACT SHEET #4
Division of Housing and Community Renewal

LEASE RENEWAL IN RENT STABILIZED APARTMENTS

Tenants in rent stabilized apartments have the right to select a
lease renewal for a one or two year term. Due to a recent change
in legislation, tenants receiving a New York City Senior Citizen
Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) can choose a one or two year
lease renewal.

The owner must give written notice of renewal by mail or personal
delivery not more than 150 days and not less than 120 days before
the existing lease expires. The offer to renew the lease for New
York City tenants must be on a Renewal Lease Form [DHCR form RTP-
8]. For tenants outside of New York City, the renewal notice must
be sent by certified mail not more than 120 days and not less
than 90 days before the existing lease expires. To obtain an
approved form outside NYC, contact your local Rent Office.

The owner may charge the tenant a Rent Guidelines Board
authorized increase based on the length of the renewal lease term
selected by the tenant. The law permits the owner to raise the
rent during the lease term if the Rent Guidelines rate was not
finalized when the tenant signed the lease renewal. A space
appears on the Renewal Lease Form for the owner to either enter
the rent increase or check the box indicating that the authorized
increase is unknown at this time.

The renewal lease must keep the same terms and conditions as the
expiring lease unless a change is necessary to comply with a
specific law or regulation. Those lawful provisions and any other
written agreements between the owner and the tenant that would
alter the expiring lease should be attached to the Renewal Lease
Form.

After the renewal offer is made, the tenant has 60 days to
accept. If the tenant does not accept within this 60 day period,
the owner may refuse to renew the lease and may also proceed in
court to have the tenant evicted.

When a tenant signs the Renewal Lease Form and returns it to the
owner, the owner must return the fully signed and dated copy to
the tenant within 30 days. A tenant does not sign a new lease
since all lease renewals must be on the Renewal Lease Form [DHCR
form RTP-8].

If the owner does not return a copy of the fully executed Renewal
Lease Form to the tenant within 30 days of receiving the signed
lease from the tenant. the tenant may file the Tenant's Complaint
of Owner's Failure to Renew Lease and/or Failure to Furnish a
Copy of a Signed Lease [DHCR form RA-90].

An owner can refuse to renew a lease for many legitimate reasons.
The Rent Stabilization Code and Law defines these reasons in
detail, including:

1.  The owner or a member of the owner's immediate family needs
    the apartment for their personal use and primary residence.
    If the tenant is a senior citizen, or disabled, special rules
    apply [See Fact Sheets on Special Rights of Senior Citizens
    and Special Rights of Disabled Persons].

2.  The refuses to sign the renewal lease or Renewal Lease Form
    [DHCR form RTP-8].

3.  The apartment is not used as the tenant's primary residence.

4.  The owner wants to take the apartment off the rental market,
    either to demolish the building for reconstruction or use it
    for other purposes permitted by law.

5.  Three years have gone by since the building was converted to
    a cooperative or condominium, and the tenant did not purchase
    the apartment under a legal Eviction Plan proposed by the
    owner. If, a tenant is an eligible senior citizen or a
    disabled person, other rules apply. For more information,
    write the Office of the Attorney General, 120 Broadway, 23rd
    Floor, Real Estate Financing Bureau, New York, N.Y. 10271.

When a tenant receives the Lease Renewal Form, a copy of the Rent
Stabilization Rights Rider for Apartment House Tenants Residing
in New York City must be attached. The Rider will explain how the
proposed rent was computed and describe the rights and
obligations of tenants and owners under the Rent Stabilization
Law [See fact Sheet on Rent Stabilization Lease Rider]. A renewal
lease should go into effect on or after the date that it is
signed and returned to the tenant. in general, the lease and any
rent increase should not begin retroactively.

If DHCR approves an application for a rent increase based on a
major capital improvement, the owner may charge the increase
during the term of an existing renewal lease only if the lease
contains a clause specifically authorizing the owner to do so. A
satisfactory lease clause would provide, "The rent established in
this renewal lease may be increased or decreased following an
order of DHCR or the Rent Guidelines Board."

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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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