New York Rent Laws
RSL Table of Contents

NYC Rent Stabilization Law of 1969

Sec. 26-511. REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY STABILIZATION ASSOCIATION. a. The real estate industry stabilization association registered with the department of housing preservation and development is hereby divested of all its powers and authority under this law. b. The stabilization code heretofore promulgated by such association, as approved by the department of housing preservation and development, is hereby continued to the extent that it is not inconsistent with law. Such code may be amended from time to time, provided, however, that no such amendments shall be promulgated except by action of the commissioner of the division of housing and community renewal and provided further, that prior to the adoption of any such amendments, the commissioner shall (i) submit the proposed amendments to the commissioner of the department of housing preservation and development and allow such commissioner thirty days to make comments or recommendations on the proposed amendments, (ii) review the comments or recommendations, if any, made pursuant to clause (i) of this subdivision and make any revisions to the proposed amendments which the commissioner of the division of housing and community renewal deems appropriate provided that any such review and revision shall be completed within thirty days of receipt of such comments or recommendations and (iii) thereafter hold a public hearing on the proposed amendments. No provision of such code shall impair or diminish any right or remedy granted to any party by this law or any other provision of law. c. A code shall not be adopted hereunder unless it appears to the division of housing and community renewal that such code (1) provides safeguards against unreasonably high rent increases and, in general, protects tenants and the public interest, and does not impose any industry wide schedule of rents or minimum rentals; (2) requires owners not to exceed the level of lawful rents as provided by this law; (3) provides for a cash refund or a credit, to be applied against future rent, in the amount of any rent overcharge collected by an owner and any penalties costs, attorneys' fees and interest from the date of the overcharge at the rate of interest payable on a judgment pursuant to section five thousand four of the civil practice law and rules for which the owner is assessed; (4) includes provisions requiring owners to grant a one or two year vacancy or renewal lease at the option of the tenant except where a mortgage or mortgage commitment existing as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty- nine, provides that the mortgagor shall not grant a one year lease; (5) includes guidelines with respect to such additional rent and related matters as, for example, security deposits, advance rental payments, the use of escalator clauses in leases and provision for increase in rentals for garages and other ancillary facilities, so as to insure that the level of fair rent increase established under this law will not be subverted and made ineffective; (6) provides criteria whereby the commissioner may act upon applications by owners for increases in excess of the level of fair rent increase established under this law provided, however, that such criteria shall provide (a) as to hardship applications, for a finding that the level of fair rent increase is not sufficient to enable the owner to maintain approximately the same average annual net income (which shall be computed without regard to debt service, financing costs or management fees) for the three year period ending on or within six months of the date of an application pursuant to such criteria as compared with annual net income, which prevailed on the average over the period nineteen hundred sixty-eight through nineteen hundred seventy, or for the first three years of operation if the building was completed since nineteen hundred sixty- eight or for the first three fiscal years after a transfer of title to a new owner provided the new owner can establish to the satisfaction of the commissioner that he or she acquired title to the building as a result of a bona fide sale of the entire building and that the new owner is unable to obtain requisite records for the fiscal years nineteen hundred sixty- eight through nineteen hundred seventy despite diligent efforts to obtain same from predecessors in title and further provided that the new owner can provide financial data covering a minimum of six years under his or her continuous and uninterrupted operation of the building to meet the three year to three year comparative test periods herein provided; and (b) as to completed building-wide major capital improvements, for a finding that such improvements are deemed depreciable under the Internal Revenue Code and that the cost is to be amortized over a seven-year period, based upon cash purchase price exclusive of interest or service charges. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, no increase granted pursuant to this paragraph shall, when added to the annual gross rents, as determined by the commissioner, exceed the sum of, (i) the annual operating expenses, (ii) an allowance for management services as determined by the commissioner, (iii) actual annual mortgage debt service (interest and amortization) on its indebtedness to a lending institution, an insurance company, a retirement fund or welfare fund which is operated under the supervision of the banking or insurance laws of the state of New York or the united states, and (iv) eight and one-half percent of that portion of the fair market value of the property which exceeds the unpaid principal amount of the mortgage indebtedness referred to in subparagraph (iii) of this paragraph. Fair market value for the purposes of this paragraph shall be six times the annual gross rent. The collection of any increase in the stabilized rent for any apartment pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed six percent in any year from the effective date of the order granting the increase over the rent set forth in the schedule of gross rents, with collectibility of any dollar excess above said sum to be spread forward in similar increments and added to the stabilized rent as established or set in future years; (6a) provides criteria whereby as an alternative to the hardship application provided under paragraph six of this subdivision owners of buildings acquired by the same owner or a related entity owned by the same principals three years prior to the date of application may apply to the division for increases in excess of the level of applicable guideline increases established under this law based on a finding by the commissioner that such guideline increases are not sufficient to enable the owner to maintain an annual gross rent income for such building which exceeds the annual operating expenses of such building by a sum equal to at least five percent of such gross rent. For the purposes of this paragraph, operating expenses shall consist of the actual, reasonable, costs of fuel, labor, utilities, taxes, other than income or corporate franchise taxes, fees, permits, necessary contracted services and noncapital repairs, insurance, parts and supplies, management fees and other administrative costs and mortgage interest. For the purposes of this paragraph, mortgage interest shall be deemed to mean interest on a bona fide mortgage including an allocable portion of charges related thereto. Criteria to be considered in determining a bona fide mortgage other than an institutional mortgage shall include; condition of the property, location of the property, the existing mortgage market at the time the mortgage is placed, the term of the mortgage, the amortization rate, the principal amount of the mortgage, security and other terms and conditions of the mortgage. The commissioner shall set a rental value for any unit occupied by the owner or a person related to the owner or unoccupied at the owner's choice for more than one month at the last regulated rent plus the minimum number of guidelines increases or, if no such regulated rent existed or is known, the commissioner shall impute a rent consistent with other rents in the building. The amount of hardship increase shall be such as may be required to maintain the annual gross rent income as provided by this paragraph. The division shall not grant a hardship application under this paragraph or paragraph six of this subdivision for a period of three years subsequent to granting a hardship application under the provisions of this paragraph. The collection of any increase in the rent for any housing accommodation pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed six percent in any year from the effective date of the order granting the increase over the rent set forth in the schedule of gross rents, with collectibility of any dollar excess above said sum to be spread forward in similar increments and added to the rent as established or set in future years. No application shall be approved unless the owner's equity in such building exceeds five percent of (i) the arms length purchase price of the property; (ii) the cost of any capital improvements for which the owner has not collected a surcharge- (iii) any repayment of principal of any mortgage or loan used to finance the purchase of the property or any capital improvements for which the owner has -not collected a surcharge and (iv) any increase in the equalized assessed value of the property which occurred subsequent to the first valuation of the property after purchase by the owner. For the purposes of this paragraph, owner's equity shall mean the sum of (i) the purchase price of the property less the principal of any mortgage or loan used to finance the purchase of the property, (ii) the cost of any capital improvement for which the owner has not collected a surcharge less the principal of any mortgage or loan used to finance said improvement, (iii) any repayment of the principal of any mortgage or loan used to finance the purchase of the property or any capital improvement for which the owner has not collected a surcharge, and (iv) any increase in the equalized assessed value of the property which occurred subsequent to the first valuation of the property after purchase by the owner. (7) establishes a fair and consistent formula for allocation of rental adjustment to be made upon granting of an increase by the commissioner; (8) requires owners to maintain all services furnished by them on May thirty-first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, or as otherwise provided by law, in connection with the leasing of the dwelling units covered by this law; (9) provides that an owner shall not refuse to renew a lease except: (a) where he or she intends in good faith to demolish the building and has obtained a permit therefor from the department of buildings, or (b) where he or she seeks to recover possession of one or more dwelling units for his or her own personal use and occupancy as his or her primary residence in the city of New York and/or for the use and occupancy of a member of his or her immediate family as his or her primary residence in the city of New York provided however, that this subparagraph shall not apply where a tenant or the spouse of a tenant lawfully occupying the dwelling unit is sixty-two years of age or older, or has an impairment which results from anatomical, physiological or psychological conditions, other than addiction to alcohol, gambling, or any controlled substance, which are demonstrable by medically acceptable clinical and laboratory diagnostic techniques, and which are expected to be permanent and which prevent the tenant from engaging in any substantial gainful employment, unless such owner offers to provide and if requested, provides an equivalent or superior housing accommodation at the same or lower stabilized rent in a closely proximate area. The provisions of this subparagraph shall only permit one of the individual owners of any building to recover possession of one or more dwelling units for his or her own personal use and/or for that of his or her immediate family. Any dwelling unit recovered by an owner pursuant to this subparagraph shall not for a period of three years be rented, leased, subleased or assigned to any person other than a person for whose benefit recovery of the dwelling unit is permitted pursuant to this subparagraph or to the tenant in occupancy at the time of recovery under the same terms as the original lease. This subparagraph shall not be deemed to establish or eliminate any claim that the former tenant of the dwelling unit may otherwise have against the owner. Any such rental, lease, sublease or assignment during such period to any other person may be subject to a penalty of a forfeiture of the right to any increases in residential rents in such building for a period of three years; or (c) where the housing accommodation is owned by a hospital, convent, monastery, asylum, public institution, college, school dormitory or any institution operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes on a nonprofit basis and either: (i) the tenant's initial tenancy commenced after the owner acquired the property and the owner requires the unit in connection with its charitable or educational purposes including, but not limited to, housing for affiliated persons; provided that with respect to any tenant whose right to occupancy commenced prior to July first, nineteen hundred seventy-eight pursuant to a written lease or written rental agreement and who did not receive notice at the time of the execution of the lease that his or her tenancy was subject to nonrenewal, the institution shall not have the right to refuse to renew pursuant to this subparagraph provided further that a tenant who was affiliated with the institution at the commencement of his or her tenancy and whose affiliation terminates during such tenancy shall not have the right to a renewal lease; or (ii) the owner requires the unit for a nonresidential use in connection with its charitable or educational purposes; or (d) on specified grounds set forth in the code consistent with the purposes of this law; or (e) where a tenant violates the provisions of paragraph twelve of this subdivision. (9a) provides that where an owner has submitted to and the attorney general has accepted for filing an offering plan to convert the building to cooperative or condominium ownership and the owner has presented the offering plan to the tenants in occupancy, any renewal or vacancy lease may contain a provision that if a building is converted to cooperative or condominium ownership pursuant to an eviction plan, as provided in section three hundred fifty-two-eeee of the general business law, the lease may only be canceled upon the expiration of three years after the plan has been declared effective, and upon ninety days notice to the tenant that such period has expired or will be expiring. (10) specifically provides that if an owner fails to comply with any order of the commissioner or is found by the commissioner to have harassed a tenant to obtain vacancy of his or her housing accommodation, he or she shall, in addition to being subject to any other penalties or remedies permitted by law, be barred thereafter from applying for or collecting any further rent increase. The compliance by the owner with the order of the commissioner or the restoration of the tenant subject to harassment to the housing accommodation or compliance with such other remedy as shall be determined by the commissioner to be appropriate shall result in the prospective elimination of such sanctions; (11) includes provisions which may be peculiarly applicable to hotels including specifically that no owner shall refuse to extend or renew a tenancy for the purpose of preventing a hotel tenant from becoming a permanent tenant- and (12) permits subletting of units subject to this law pursuant to section two hundred twenty-six-b of the real property law provided that (a) the rental charged to the subtenant does not exceed the stabilized rent plus a ten percent surcharge payable to the tenant if the unit sublet was furnished with the tenant's furniture; (b) the tenant can establish that at all times he or she has maintained the unit as his or her primary residence and intends to occupy it as such at the expiration of the sublease; (c) an owner may terminate the tenancy of a tenant who sublets or assigns contrary to the terms of this paragraph but no action or proceeding based on the nonprimary residence of a tenant may be commenced prior to the expiration date of his or her lease; (d) where an apartment is sublet the prime tenant shall retain the right to a renewal lease and the rights and status of a tenant in occupancy as they relate to conversion to condominium or cooperative ownership; (e) where a tenant violates the provisions of subparagraph (a) of this paragraph the subtenant shall be entitled to damages of three times the overcharge and may also be awarded attorneys fees and interest from the date of the overcharge at the rate of interest payable on a judgment pursuant to section five thousand four of the civil practice law and rules; (f) the tenant may not sublet the unit for more than a total of two years, including the term of the proposed sublease, out of the four-year period preceding the termination date of the proposed sublease. The provisions of this subparagraph shall only apply to subleases commencing on and after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-three (g) for the purposes of this paragraph only, the term of the proposed sublease may extend beyond the term of the tenant's lease. In such event, such sublease shall be subject to the tenant's right to a renewal lease. The subtenant shall have no right to a renewal lease. It shall be unreasonable for an owner to refuse to consent to a sublease solely because such sublease extends beyond the tenant's lease; and (h) notwithstanding the provisions of section two hundred twenty-six-b of the real property law, a not-for-profit hospital shall have the right to sublet any housing accommodation leased by it to its affiliated personnel without requiring the landlord's consent to any such sublease and without being bound by the provisions of subparagraphs (b), (c) and (f) of this paragraph. Commencing with the effective date of this subparagraph, whenever a not-for- profit hospital executes a renewal lease for a housing accommodation, the legal regulated rent shall be increased by a sum equal to fifteen percent of the previous lease rental for such housing accommodation, hereinafter referred to as a vacancy surcharge, unless the landlord shall have received within the seven year period prior to the commencement date of such renewal lease any vacancy increases or vacancy surcharges allocable to the said housing accommodation. In the event the landlord shall have received any such vacancy increases or vacancy surcharges during such seven year period, the vacancy surcharge shall be reduced by the amount received by any such vacancy increase or vacancy surcharges. d. (1) Each owner subject to the rent stabilization law shall furnish to each tenant signing a new or renewal lease, a rider describing the rights and duties of owners and tenants as provided for under the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine. Such publication shall conform to the intent of section 5- 702 of the general obligations law and shall be attached as an addendum to the lease. Upon the face of each lease, in bold print, shall appear the following: "Attached to this lease are the pertinent rules and regulations governing tenants and landlords' rights under the rent stabilization law of nineteen hundred sixty-nine". (2) The rider shall be in a form promulgated by the commissioner in larger type than the lease and shall be utilized as provided in paragraph one of this subdivision. e. Each owner of premises subject to the rent stabilization law shall furnish to each tenant signing a new or renewal lease, a copy of the fully executed new or renewal lease bearing the signatures of owner and tenant and the beginning and ending dates of the lease term, within thirty days from the owner's receipt of the new or renewal lease signed by the tenant.


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