New York Rent Increase Laws

New York Rent Increase Laws

Last Updated: January 2, 2023 by Ashley Porter

Quick Facts Answer
Reason Needed No
Max / Limit Determined by the DHCR
Notice Requirement 30, 60 or 90 Days

Does New York Have Rent Control?

In New York, some rental units are protected by rent control laws limiting the amount that landlords may ask for rent. There are two categories of rent control in New York: rent control and rent stabilization.

Rent Control generally refers to buildings built prior to February 1, 1947, where the tenant has lived there continuously since July 1, 1971, or a qualifying family member gains succession rights.

Rent Stabilization within New York City generally applies to these two situations:

  • Buildings with six or more units built between February 1, 1947, and December 31, 1973
  • Tenants living in buildings built before February 1, 1947, who moved in after June 30, 1971

Rent Stabilization outside of New York City generally refers to rental units in buildings that:

  • Were built prior to January 1, 1974
  • Have six or more units
  • Have not been made into a co-op or a condominium

However, there are many exceptions, including some rent stabilized units in newer buildings where the developer has opted into the rent stabilization program to obtain tax benefits.

To determine if your rental unit is rent stabilized, use the Housing and Community Renewal Rent Regulated Building Search or use their contact form. If using the contact form, select Am I Rent Stabilized as your reason.

How Much Can a Landlord Raise Rent By in New York? 

In New York, the amount that a landlord can raise rent depends on whether the unit is protected by rent control or rent stabilization. If a rental unit is not rent controlled or rent stabilized, the landlord can raise the rent by any amount, but they must follow the rules for rent increases.

Rent Controlled within New York City: In New York City, the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) establishes a specific Maximum Base Rent (MBR) for each rent controlled unit every two years. The actual rent that the tenant pays is determined by the DHCR and is referred to as the Maximum Collectible Rent (MCR).

The maximum amount that a landlord can increase rent is the average of the five most recent Rent Guidelines Board annual rent increases for one-year renewals or 7.5% each year until they reach the MBR, whichever is less.

Rent Controlled outside of New York City: The DHCR determines a Maximum Rent, and the maximum rate of increase is based on the average of the previous five Rent Stabilized Guidelines Board adjustments. (see Form R-33.8)

Rent Stabilized: There are five Rent Guidelines Boards in New York State that meet on an annual basis to establish rent increase rates for rent stabilized apartments.

For example, in New York City, for lease renewals that occur between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, the maximum rent increase is 3.25% for a one-year lease renewal and 5% for a two-year lease renewal. (see Order #53)

There are some exceptions to rent increases in rent controlled and rent stabilized units where rent may be frozen, or where the maximum increase may be higher or lower than the rate established by the local Rent Guidelines Board, including major capital improvements, individual apartment improvements, preferential rents, and senior citizen and disability exemptions.

Major Capital Improvements: Landlords can submit an application to the DHCR for a temporary rent increase if more than 35% of the building’s units are rent regulated and the landlord has made certain improvements, like installing a new roof. If approved, the landlord can increase the rent by up to 2% per year. (See Fact Sheet #24)

Individual Apartment Improvements: By completing qualifying improvements, seeking tenant consent, and filing with the DHCRlandlords can increase the monthly rent at the following rates, up to an improvement cost of $15,000:

  • 1/168th the cost of improvements in a building with fewer than 35 units
  • 1/180th the cost of improvements in a building with more than 35 units

This works out to a maximum monthly increase of $89.29 for buildings with fewer than 35 units and $83.33 for buildings with more than 35 units. (See Operational Bulletin 2016-1)

Preferential Rent: If a tenant was paying a preferential rent (rent lower than the legal regulated rent) as of June 14, 2019, the preferential rent should be used as the basis for rent increases for the remainder of that tenancy. (See Fact Sheet #40)

Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption: Exempts low-income renters aged 62 or older from many rent increases as long as they are paying a minimum of one-third of their disposable income on rent. (See SCRIE)

Disability Rent Increase Exemption: Exempts disabled, low-income renters over 18 years old from many rent increases as long as they are paying a minimum of one-third of their disposable income on rent.(see DRIE)

When Can a Landlord Raise Rent in New York?

In rental units that are not rent controlled, landlords can raise the rent by any amount and for any reason as long as they give proper notice and don’t do so during the fixed term of a lease. Landlords are never allowed to increase the rent for certain discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

In a rent controlled unit, the landlord must submit an MBR Application before increasing the rent at the end of the lease term. Every two years, the DHCR sends a notice to landlords who are recent MBR filers that they may apply for a rent increase.

To be eligible, the landlord must show that they:

  • Are continuing to provide all essential services (like heat when required)
  • Have removed 100% of all rent impairing violations
  • Have removed 80% of all other violations

In a rent stabilized unit, the landlord may increase the rent at the end of the lease term using the maximum allowable increase set by the local Rent Guidelines Board and must offer a one or two-year lease renewal. In New York City, the Renewal Lease Form must be sent by mail or hand delivery between 90 to 150 days prior to the end of the lease.

The ETPA Renewal Lease Form is used outside of New York City and must be sent by certified mail within 90 to 120 days prior to the end of the lease.

The tenant must respond to the Renewal Lease Form within 60 days.

In a rent controlled or rent stabilized unit, a landlord typically needs to wait until the end of the lease term to raise the rent, with a few exceptions.

If the lease agreement allows rent increases during the lease, the landlord can only increase the rent during the lease term in these situations:

  • The tenant agrees in writing and the landlord increases services or equipment or makes improvements to the apartment
  • The DHCR approves the increase because the landlord either proved a hardship or installed a building-wide major capital improvement (See Fact Sheet #1)

When Can’t a Landlord Raise Rent in New York? 

In New York, landlords cannot raise rent for certain discriminatory reasons (like race or age) or for certain retaliatory reasons (such as in response to a tenant requesting repairs). Generally, a landlord cannot increase rent during the middle of a lease’s fixed term, unless allowed by the terms of the lease.

The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination due to:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender (including gender identity)
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion
  • Nationality or origin
  • Familial status
  • Disability

In addition to the characteristics above, New York’s Human Rights Law also prohibits discrimination due to:

  • Military status
  • Status as a victim of domestic violence

New York law also prevents landlords from increasing rent in retaliation. An action by a landlord is considered retaliatory if it occurs within one year after something a tenant does. Rent increases are considered retaliatory if they are in response to a tenant:

  • Filing a complaint with the appropriate agency regarding the health or safety of the property
  • Joining or organizing a tenants’ group or union
  • Requesting repairs

How Much Notice is Needed to Raise Rent in New York?

In New York, landlords must provide tenants with advance notice if the rent will increase by 5% or more and the length of notice is 30 to 90 days depending on the length of the tenancy or lease term, whichever is longer:

  • 30-days’ notice – less than one year
  • 60 days’ notice – between one to two years
  • 90 days’ notice – longer than two years

How Often Can Rent Be Increased in New York?

Unless the unit is protected by rent control or rent stabilization, landlords in New York can increase the rent as often as they choose as long as they provide sufficient notice each time and wait until the end of the lease term.

Generally, in a rent controlled apartment, landlords can only increase the rent once per year. In a rent stabilized apartment, rent increases are typically limited to once every one or two years depending on which lease term the tenant chooses.

However, in a rent controlled or rent stabilized apartment, a landlord may be able to increase the rent during the lease term by making certain improvements and meeting the required conditions.