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Individual Apt. Improvements, 2016 Case Law & Policy

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Individual Apt. Improvements, 2016 Case Law & Policy

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jun 02, 2023 1:18 am

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For any replies or questions, do not post in this sub-forum. Please post here.

For additional information on IAI's, see this thread, or search the forum.

The attached document,
Individual Apartment Improvements, Case Law, Statutes, DHCR policy was compiled by Michele McGuinness, tenant attorney of the law firm Collins, Dobkin & Miller, and posted with her permission.

Please Note this document was compiled in 2016 and does not reflect changes from the 2019 Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act (HSTPA) or include any changes from court cases or DHCR policy since 2016. Those challenging IAI increases should not rely only on this document; they should obtain a legal advice from a tenant attorney.

One early list of HSTPA changes was by Supreme Court Justice Gerald Lebovits, “New York’s Housing Stability & Tenant Protection Act of 2019: What Lawyers Must Know
You may download a copy at http://www.tenant.net/phpBB3/download/file.php?id=179

According to Justice Lebovitz, the old law (before 2019) provided for IAI's:

Individual Apartment Improvements (IAIs): permanent monthly rent increases equal to 1/40th of the cost of apartment improvements in buildings with 35 or fewer apartments and 1/60th in buildings with 36 or more apartments; DHCR approval was not necessary; tenant consent required only if the apartment was occupied.

And the new law (2019) provided:

    • Increase revised to 1/168th (≤35 units) and 1/180th (>35 units).
    • IAIs now temporary will be removed 30 years from date increase became effective.
    • DHCR must notify owners and occupants that IAI increase will expire.
    • Only 3 IAIs over 15 years permitted, for total aggregate cost of $15,000.
    • The most a landlord may increase the rent with IAIs is $89 for buildings with fewer than 35 units and $83 for buildings with more than 35 units.
    • DHCR to promulgate guidelines and create a centralized IAI documentation electronic database.
    • For IAIs in occupied units, tenant must give informed consent on a DHCR form. The form must be in one of the six primary languages (other than English), as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
    • To charge for IAIs, landlord must remove from apartment all hazardous (“B”) or immediately hazardous (“C”) violations.
    • Clean-up bill clarifies that 15-year period and $15,000 cap on 3 IAIs start with first IAI after 6/14/19.
    • Costs must be “reasonable and verifiable modification or increase in dwelling space, furniture, furnishings or equipment.”
    • Increase in rent is aggregate over 15 years.
    • Work performed by an independent contractor who is licensed; no relationship with landlord.
    • Photographs to be taken before and after work is done; photos/records must be kept permanently.
    • Effective 6/14/19.
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