New York Rent Laws
CRRL Table of Contents

The City Rent and Rehabilitation Law [CRRL]

26-403. Definitions. When used in this chapter, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context, the following terms shall mean and include: a. "Administrator." The commissioner of the state division of housing and community renewal. b. "City rent agency." The state division of housing and community renewal. c. "Documents." Records, books, accounts, correspondence, memoranda and other documents, drafts and copies of any of the foregoing. d. "Federal act." The emergency price control act of nineteen hundred forty-two, and as thereafter amended and as superseded by the Housing and rent act of nineteen hundred forty-seven, and as the latter was thereafter amended prior to may first, nineteen hundred fifty, and regulations adopted pursuant thereto. e. "Housing accommodation." 1. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph two of this subdivision e, any building or structure, permanent or temporary or any part thereof, occupied or intended to be occupied by one or more individuals as a residence, home, sleeping place, boarding house, lodging house or hotel, together with the land and buildings appurtenant thereto, and all services, privileges, furnishings, furniture and facilities supplied in connection with the occupation thereof, and any plot or parcel of land (as distinguished from any building constructed or placed thereon) which is not owned by the city and which was rented prior to may first, nineteen hundred fifty, for the purpose of permitting the tenant thereof to construct his or her own private dwelling (as such term "private dwelling" is defined in subdivision six of section four of the multiple dwelling law) thereon and on which there exists such a private dwelling owned and occupied by a tenant of such plot or parcel, or on or after July first, nineteen hundred seventy-one such private dwelling is owned or occupied by a member of the tenant's immediate family regardless of whether the member of the tenant's immediate family was in occupancy of the private dwelling with the tenant prior to the transfer of title or possession or thereafter took occupancy of the private dwelling pursuant to such transfer of title or possession, including: (a) Entire structures or premises as distinguished from the individual housing accommodations contained therein, wherein twenty-five or less rooms are rented or offered for rent by any lessee, sublessee, or other tenant of such entire structure or premises; and (b) Housing accommodations which, under subparagraph (i) of paragraph two of this subdivision e, are or at any time become exempt from or not subject to control and which, while in such status, are certified by a city agency having jurisdiction to be a fire hazard or in a continued dangerous condition or detrimental to life or health; and the subsequent removal of the conditions on which such certification is based shall not cause any such housing accommodation to become exempt from or not subject to control; and (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, all housing accommodations in any multiple dwelling aided by a loan made by the city under article eight of the private housing finance law; provided that where any such housing accommodation, if this subparagraph (c) were not applicable thereto, would not be subject to rent control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder prior to the date on which rent control with respect to such multiple dwelling is required by the provisions of such article eight to begin, this subparagraph (c) shall operate to make such housing accommodation subject to rent control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder only on and after such date; and provided further that if any such housing accommodation, on the date on which rent control with respect thereto ceases to be required by such article eight, would not be subject to rent control, or would be eligible for decontrol on the landlord's application, under the provisions of this chapter and the regulations thereunder, if this subparagraph (e) were not applicable thereto, then such housing accommodation, after such date, shall not be subject to rent control, or shall be eligible for decontrol, as the case may be, in the same manner as if this subparagraph (c) had not been applicable to such housing accommodation. 2. The term "housing accommodation" shall not include: (a) structures in which all of the housing accommodations are exempt or not subject to control under this chapter or any regulation issued thereunder; or (b) a hospital, convent, monastery, asylum, public institution, or college or school dormitory or any institution operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes on a nonprofit basis; or (c) notwithstanding any previous order, finding, opinion or determination of the state rent commission, housing accommodations in any establishment which on March first, nineteen hundred fifty, was and still is commonly regarded as a hotel in the community in which it is located and which customarily provides hotel services such as maid service, furnishing and laundering of linen, telephone and secretarial or desk service, use and upkeep of furniture and fixtures and bellboy service, provided, however, that the term "hotel" shall not include any establishment which is commonly regarded in the community as a rooming house, nor shall it include any establishment not identified or classified as a "hotel," "transient hotel" or "residential hotel" pursuant to the federal act irrespective of whether such establishment either provides some services customarily provided by hotels, or is represented to be a hotel, or both, and provided further that housing accommodations in hotels which have been and still are occupied by a tenant who has resided in such hotel continuously since December second, nineteen hundred forty-nine, so long as such tenant occupies the same, shall continue to remain subject to control under this chapter; or (d) Any motor court, or any part thereof; any trailer or trailer space used exclusively for transient occupancy or any part thereof (provided that nothing herein contained shall be construed as legalizing or authorizing any use or occupancy of a trailer or trailer space where prohibited by law); or any tourist home serving transient guests exclusively, or any part thereof; or (e) Nonhousekeeping, furnished housing accommodations, located within a single dwelling unit not used as a rooming or boarding house, but only if: (1) no more than two tenants for whom rent is paid (husband and wife being considered one tenant for this purpose), not members of the landlord's immediate family, live in such dwelling unit; and (2) the remaining portion of such dwelling unit is occupied by the landlord or his or her immediate family; or (f) Housing accommodations owned and operated by the united states, the state of New York, or the New York city housing authority; or owned by the city and under the jurisdiction of the city department of housing preservation and development pursuant to the New York city charter, or owned and operated by the city; or housing accommodations in buildings in which rentals are fixed by or subject to the supervision of the state commissioner of housing and community renewal; (g) Housing accommodations in buildings operated exclusively for charitable purposes on a nonprofit basis; or (h) Except as otherwise provided in item six of subparagraph (i) of this paragraph two, housing accommodations which were completed on or after February first, nineteen hundred forty-seven, provided, however, that, the former structure or any lesser portion thereof, was not vacated, on or after the effective date of this first provision of this subparagraph (h), other than by voluntary surrender of possession or in the manner provided in this chapter and provided further that maximum rents established under the veterans' emergency housing act, for priority constructed housing accommodations completed on or after February first, nineteen hundred forty-seven, shall continue in full force and effect, if such accommodations are being rented to veterans of world war ii or their immediate families who, on June thirtieth nineteen hundred forty-seven, either occupied such housing accommodations or had a right to occupy such housing accommodations at any time on or after July first, nineteen hundred forty-seven, under any agreement whether written or oral; or (i) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraphs (b) and (c) of paragraph one of this subdivision e: (1) housing accommodations created by a change from a nonhousing use to a housing use on or after February first, nineteen hundred forty- seven, but only if the space comprising such accommodations was devoted to a nonhousing use on February first, nineteen hundred forty- seven; or (2) Additional housing accommodations, other than rooming house accommodations, created by conversion on or after February first, nineteen hundred forty-seven, provided, however, that any housing accommodations created as a result of any such conversion on or after May first, nineteen hundred fifty, shall continue to be subject to rent control as provided for herein unless the state rent commission, prior to may first, nineteen hundred sixty-two, issued an order decontrolling them, or the city rent agency, on or after such date, issues an order decontrolling them, and the city rent agency shall issue such an order if there has been a structural change involving substantial alterations or remodeling and such change has resulted in additional housing accommodations consisting of self-contained family units as defined by regulations issued by the city rent agency, with due regard for the shortage of housing accommodations suitable for family occupancy and for the purposes of this chapter in relation thereto; and provided further, that any such order of decontrol of the state rent commission or the city rent agency shall remain effective after April thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-two only so long as the housing accommodations are not occupied for other than single family occupancy; and provided further, that any such order of decontrol shall not apply to that portion of the original housing accommodations occupied by a tenant in possession at the time of the conversion, but only so long as that tenant continues in occupancy; and provided further, that no such order of decontrol shall be issued unless such conversion occurred after the entire structure, or any lesser portion thereof as may have been thus convened, was vacated by voluntary surrender of possession, or in the manner provided in this chapter, or (where vacated prior to may first, nineteen hundred sixty-two) in the manner provided by section five of the state rent act, and provided funkier that notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this item two, no such order of decontrol shall be issued with respect to housing accommodations of any type resulting from conversion, after April thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-two, to rooming house accommodations or to single room occupancy accommodations, and such resulting accommodations shall continue to be housing accommodations subject to rent control under this chapter and the regulation thereunder; or (3) Housing accommodations rented after April first, nineteen hundred fifty-three, which were or are continuously occupied by the owner thereof for a period of one year prior to the date of renting; provided, however, that this item three shall not apply where the owner acquired possession of the housing accommodation after the issuance of a certificate of eviction under subdivision two of section five of the state rent act or under subdivision b of section 26-408 of this chapter within the two year period immediately preceding the date of such renting, and provided further that this item three shall not apply to any such housing accommodation rented on or after may first, nineteen hundred sixty-two, where an exemption of any housing accommodation in the same building was obtained under paragraph (h) of subdivision two of section two of the state rent act or has been previously obtained under this item three, and provided further, that this exemption shall remain effective only so long as the housing accommodations are not occupied for other than single family occupancy, or (4) Housing accommodations in one or two family houses which were or shall become vacant on or after April first, nineteen hundred fifty- three, provided however, that this exemption shall remain effective only so long as the housing accommodations are not occupied for other than single family occupancy, or * So in original. No paragraph (5) was enacted. (6) (i) Such housing accommodations resulting from substantial demolition (as such accommodations are defined in this item six), as are decontrolled by order of the city rent agency pursuant to this item six; provided that all housing accommodations resulting from substantial demolition which are not so decontrolled shall continue to be housing accommodations subject to rent control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder. (ii) The term "housing accommodation resulting from substantial demolition," as used herein, shall mean any housing accommodation (a) which is created on or after may first, nineteen hundred sixty-two, as a result of the substantial demolition of a multiple dwelling and the reconstruction of such building m such manner as to retain any portion thereof existing prior to such demolition, and (b) which is so created after the issuance of one or more certificates permitting the eviction of any tenant or tenants of such multiple dwelling for the purpose of effecting such demolition. (iii) No order shall be issued under this item six decontrolling any housing accommodation resulting from substantial demolition unless, after such reconstruction, all housing accommodations in the building are self-contained family units as defined by regulations issued by the city rent agency, with due regard for the shortage of housing accommodations suitable for family occupancy and for the purposes of this chapter in relation thereto. (iv) The city rent agency shall issue regulations, with due regard for such shortage and purposes, specifying minimum requirements for qualifying any housing accommodation resulting from substantial demolition as suitable for occupancy by larger families (including, with respect to the individual unit, but not limited to, number of rooms, space suitable for sleeping purposes and total floor area) and likewise prescribing, subject to such variations and classifications as such agency may determine to be reasonably necessary, the ratio between the total number of housing accommodations resulting from substantial demolition In the building, and the number of such accommodations which must meet such requirements for larger family occupancy, in order that a decontrol order may be granted hereunder. (v) The city rent agency shall issue an order decontrolling all of the housing accommodations resulting from substantial demolition in the building, if such accommodations meet the requirements of sub- item (iii) of this item six and if the prescribed proportion thereof meets the requirements of sub-item (iv) of this Item six for larger family occupancy; provided that (a) if all such accommodations meet the requirements of such sub-item (iii), but less than the prescribed proportion thereof meet the requirements of such sub-item (iv), then the city rent agency shall issue an order decontrolling only those accommodations which meet the requirements of both such sub-items; and (b) any order of decontrol issued under this item six shall remain effective only so long as the accommodations decontrolled by such order are not occupied for other than single family occupancy. (vi) in the case of any housing accommodations vacated on or after March twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-four, no order of decontrol shall be issued under this item six for any housing accommodations resulting from substantial demolition thereof unless such reconstruction occurred after the structure was vacated by voluntary surrender of possession, or in the manner provided in this chapter; or (7) (i) Individual housing accommodations having unfurnished maximum rents of two hundred and fifty dollars or more per month as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty, or furnished maximum rents of three hundred dollars or more per month as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty, which are or become vacant on or after the effective date of this item seven; or (ii) On and after October first, nineteen hundred sixty-four individual housing accommodations having unfurnished maximum rents of three hundred dollars or more per month as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty, or furnished maximum rents of three hundred and sixty dollars or more per month as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty; provided, however, that where any such housing accommodation is occupied by a tenant whose household contains one or more children attending an elementary or secondary school, such housing accommodation shall continue to remain subject to control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder until June thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-five; and provided further, that where such housing accommodation on March twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-four is occupied by a tenant whose household contains four or more related persons, it shall continue to remain subject to control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder so long as such tenant remains in occupancy; or (iii) On and after April first, nineteen hundred sixty-five individual housing accommodations having unfurnished maximum rents of two hundred and fifty dollars to two hundred ninety-nine dollars and ninety-nine cents, inclusive, per month as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty, or furnished maximum rents of three hundred dollars to three hundred fifty-nine dollars and ninety- nine cents inclusive, per month as of April first, nineteen hundred sixty; provided, however, that where any such housing accommodation is occupied by a tenant whose household contains one or more children attending an elementary or secondary school, such housing accommodation shall continue to remain subject to control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder until June thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-five; and provided further, that where such housing accommodations on March twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred sixty-four is occupied by a tenant whose household contains four or more related persons, it shall continue to remain subject to control under this chapter and the regulations thereunder so long as such tenant remains in occupancy. (iv) The exemptions provided for in this item seven shall remain effective only so long as the housing accommodations are not occupied for other than single family occupancy. (v) The term "related persons," as used in this item seven, shall be limited to the tenant and a parent, grandparent, child, stepchild, grandchild, brother or sister of the tenant or of the tenant's spouse or the spouse of any of the foregoing, who customarily occupied the housing accommodation on and before the effective date of this item seven. The tenant's spouse or an unmarried child or grandchild of the tenant who temporarily resided elsewhere on the effective date of this item seven because of attendance at an educational institution or service in the armed forces of the United States shall be deemed to be a related person in occupancy. (8) No more than two housing accommodations in any one year period in an owner-occupied structure containing six or fewer housing accommodations which are or become vacant on or after August first, nineteen hundred seventy by voluntary surrender or pursuant to section 26-408 of this chapter; provided, however, that this exemption shall remain effective only so long as the housing accommodations are not occupied for other than residential dwelling purposes and provided further, that if the city rent agency shall make a finding of harassment in violation of subdivision d of section 26-412 of this chapter with respect to a housing accommodation in a structure containing six or less housing accommodations, in addition to all other criminal or civil fines, penalties injunctive relief and enforcement penalties and remedies authorized by section 26-413 of this chapter, no housing accommodation in such structure shall be decontrolled pursuant to this item eight until a minimum period of three years has elapsed since the making of such finding of harassment by the city rent agency. Structures containing six or fewer housing accommodations shall be considered to be structures containing six or fewer housing accommodations for the purposes of this item eight, notwithstanding that such structures shall contain commercial accommodations in addition to such housing accommodations. (9) Housing accommodations which became vacant on or after June thirtieth nineteen hundred seventy-one, provided, however, that this exemption shall not apply or become effective with respect to housing accommodations which the commissioner determines or finds became vacant because the landlord or any person acting on his or her behalf, with intent to cause the tenant to vacate engaged in any course of conduct (including but not limited to, interruption or discontinuance of essential services) which interfered with or disturbed or was intended to interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of the tenant in his or her use or occupancy of the housing accommodations and provided, further, however, that nothing contained herein shall be deemed to preclude the applicability to such housing accommodations of the emergency tenant protection act of nineteen seventy-four. (10) Housing accommodations not occupied by the tenant, not including subtenants or occupants, as his or her primary residence, as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction. No action or proceeding shall be commenced seeking to recover possession on the ground that a housing accommodation is not occupied by the tenant as his or her primary residence unless the owner or lessor shall have given thirty days notice to the tenant of his or her intention to commence such action or proceeding on such grounds. (j) Upon the issuance of an order of decontrol by the division, housing accommodations which: (1) are occupied by persons who have a total annual income in excess of two hundred fifty thousand dollars per annum in each of the two preceding calendar years, as defined in and subject to the limitations and process set forth in section 26- 403.1 of this chapter; and (2) have a maximum rent of two thousand dollars or more per month. Provided however, that this exclusion shall not apply to housing accommodations which became or become subject to this law by virtue of receiving tax benefits pursuant to section four hundred eighty-nine of the real property tax law. (k) Any housing accommodation with a maximum rent of two thousand dollars or more per month which is or becomes vacant on or April first, nineteen hundred ninety-four. Provided however, that this exclusion shall not apply to housing accommodations which became or become subject to this law by virtue of receiving tax benefits pursuant to section four hundred eighty-nine of the real property tax law. This subparagraph shall not apply however, to or become effective with respect to housing accommodations which the commissioner determines or finds that the landlord or any person acting on his or her behalf, with intent to cause the tenant to vacate, has engaged in any course of conduct (including, but not limited to, interruption or discontinuance of required services) which interfered with or disturbed or was intended to interfere with or disturb the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of the tenant in his or her use or occupancy of the housing accommodations and in connection with such course of conduct, any other general enforcement provision of this law shall also apply. f. Landlord. An owner, lessor, sublessor, assignee, or other person receiving or entitled to receive rent for the use or occupancy of any housing accommodation or an agent of any of the foregoing. g. Maximum rent. The maximum lawful rent for the use of housing accommodations. Maximum rents may be formulated in terms of rents and other charges and allowances. h. Person. An individual, corporation, partnership, association, or any other organized group of individuals or the legal successor or representative of any of the foregoing. i. Rent. Consideration, including any bonus, benefit or gratuity demanded or received for or in connection with the use or occupancy of housing accommodations or the transfer of a lease of such housing accommodations. j. State Enabling Act. The local emergency housing rent control act. k. State Rent Act. The emergency housing rent control law. 1. State Rent Commission. The temporary state housing rent commission created by the emergency housing rent control law. m. Tenant. A tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee, or other person entitled to the possession or to the use or occupancy of any housing accommodation. Added by Laws 1985, Ch. 907, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1986.


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