George E. Pataki, Governor Joseph H. Holland, Commissioner
A publication of New York State
Division of Housing and Community Renewal
Office of Rent Administration
Fact Sheet #21 - Special Rights of Senior Citizens
The law grants certain exemptions from rent increases to tenants who are
If a New York City (NYC) tenant or tenant's spouse is 62 years of age or
older and is living in a rent regulated apartment, and the combined household
income is $20,000 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 NYC, the
Department for the Aging (DFTA) administers the SCRIE program. In the
counties outside of NYC covered by the Emergency Tenant Protection Act, the
New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) 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. However, the tenant must pay the additional security
deposit. 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 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 for NYC senior citizens include:
1. If a building is being converted to cooperative or condominium ownership
under an Eviction Plan, an "eligible senior citizen" may 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 against eviction.
Eligible senior citizens are tenants who are primary residents 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 New York State 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 requirement.
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 62 years of age or older unless the owner provides an
equivalent or superior apartment at the same or 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 the tenant's household is 62 years
of age or older.
4. A NYC senior citizen with a currently valid SCRIE order is not required
to pay any portion of a fuel cost increase that would raise the total
rent to over 1/3 of the tenant's household disposable income. A senior
citizen who applies for and is 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 the total rent to over 1/3 of the
tenant's total household disposable income.
5. A tenant 62 years of age or older 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. If the tenant moves into a senior citizen housing complex,
the owner must receive 60 days notice.
For more information or assistance, call the DHCR Rent InfoLine,
(718) 739-6400, or visit your Borough or County Rent Office.
92-31 Union Hall Street
Jamaica, NY 11433
250 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
163 W. 125th Street
New York, NY 10027
North side of 110th St. and above
50 Clinton Street
Hempstead, NY 11550
55 Church Street
White Plains, NY 10601
156 William Street
New York, NY 10038
South side of 110th St. and below
1 Fordham Plaza
Bronx, NY 10458
60 Bay Street
Staten Island, NY 10301
94-96 North Main Street
Spring Valley, NY 10977