DHCR FACT SHEET #21
Division of Housing and Community Renewal
SPECIAL RIGHTS OF SENIOR CITIZENS
The law grants certain exemptions from rent increases to tenants
who are senior citizens.
If a New York City (NYC) tenant or tenant's spouse is 62 years of
age or over and is living in a rent regulated apartment, and the
combined household disposable income is $16,500 per year or less
and they are paying at least 1/3 of their disposable income
toward their rent, the senior citizen tenant may apply for the
Senior CITIZEN RENT INCREASE EXEMPTION PROGRAM (SCRIE). In New
York City, the Department for the Aging (DFTA) administers the
SCRIE program. In the counties outside of NYC covered by the
Emergency Tenant Protection Act, the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal administers the SCRIE program. Outside of NYC,
SCRIE is a local option and communities have different income
eligibility limits and regulations.
If a NYC tenant qualifies for this program, the tenant is exempt
from future rent guidelines increases, Maximum Base Rent
increases, fuel cost adjustments, and increases based on the
owner's economic hardship and Major Capital Improvements (MCIs).
Due to a recent change in legislation, rent-stabilized tenants
receiving a New York City Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption
(SCRIE) may choose a one- or two year lease renewal. New York
City senior citizen tenants may also carry this exemption from
one apartment to another upon moving, upon the proper
application's being made to DFTA.
To apply for SCRIE, the tenant of a NYC rent-controlled or rent-
stabilized apartment must file an application with the:
NYC Department for the Aging
150 William Street, 4th Floor
New York, New York 10038
DHCR administers this program only in the counties outside NYC.
Other rights of New York City senior citizens Include:
1. If a building is being converted to cooperative or
condominium ownership under an Eviction Plan, an 'eligible
senior citizen 'may nevertheless refuse to purchase the
apartment and remain in occupancy as a fully protected rent
stabilized tenant with the right to a lease renewal. Rent
controlled senior citizen tenants are similarly protected
"Eligible senior citizens" are tenants who are primary
tenants in the apartment and are at least 62 years of age or
have a spouse 62 years of age or older on the date the
Attorney General accepts the Eviction Plan for filing.
To take advantage of this benefit, an eligible senior citizen
in NYC must elect, on forms provided by the Attorney General,
to become a "non purchasing" tenant within 60 days of the
date that the Final Offering Plan is presented to the
tenants. Outside NYC, there is no formal election
2. An owner cannot evict a tenant from rent stabilized
apartments in NYC for the purpose of owner occupancy, when
either the tenant or the tenant's spouse is a senior citizen,
unless the owner provides an equivalent or superior apartment
at the same rent or at a lower rent in an area near the
tenant's present apartment.
3. For rent-stabilized apartments outside NYC and rent-
controlled apartments statewide, an owner may not evict a
tenant for the purpose of owner occupancy where any member of
tenant(s') household is a senior citizen.
4. NYC senior citizens with a currently valid Rent Increase
Exemption Order are not required to pay any portion of a fuel
cost increase that would raise their total rent to over 1/3
of their household disposable income. Senior citizens who
apply for and are granted a SCRIE order within 90 days after
receipt of the owner's fuel cost adjustment report, are
retroactively exempt from paying any portion of the most
recent fuel cost adjustment that would raise their total rent
to over 1/3 of their total household disposable income .
5. A senior citizen may terminate his/her lease, without
penalty, in order to move into a health care facility or
senior citizen housing complex. If the senior citizen
terminates the lease in order to move into a health care
facility, the owner must receive at least 30 days notice; and
60 days notice to the owner is required if the tenant moves
into a senior citizen housing complex .
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
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.
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