New York Rent Increases & Fees

QUICK FACTS
  • Rent Control / Increase Limitations. New York state landlords can raise rent only after the lease has ended.
  • Notice Required to Raise Rent. For month-to-month tenancies, New York landlords must provide 30 days notice from next rent due date.
  • Bounced Check Fees. New York state landlords may charge up to $20 for bounced checks.

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent?

Unless the lease indicates otherwise, a landlord must wait until the lease ends before he/she can increase the rent in the state of New York (NY RPL 226-C).

The frequency of rental increases may be controlled when the apartment is subject to rent control or rent stabilization. Rent control in New York relates to buildings built prior to Feb. 1, 1947 where the tenant has rented since before July 1, 1971. Rent Stabilization is used to refer to tenants since June 30, 1971 occupying property in buildings with more than six units that were built before Jan. 1, 1974.

The state of New York allows any county to opt-in to rent stabilization so long as there is a housing emergency where the rental vacancy in that county is 5% or less.

When is it illegal to raise rent?

A landlord may not raise rent in retaliation when a tenant has exercised a legal right so long as the property has more than four units (NY RPP 223-B). It is also illegal for a landlord to increase rent in a discriminatory fashion. A landlord may not increase the rent amount due to the tenant’s race, gender, religion, nation of origin, familial status, or disability status.

Is there a rent increase limit?

If a tenant is renting an apartment that has no rent stabilization or rent control, the landlord may charge any amount that the two parties agree upon. If the rental property is subject to rent stabilization, the maximum amount a landlord may increase rent is established yearly by the Rent Guidelines Board. Rent controlled properties have strictly controlled rental rates. It should be noted that these units may be passed from one family member to another preserving the rent-controlled status of the property. When a rent controlled unit becomes vacant, it can be leased at the current market rate.

In counties where there is no rent stabilization, Major Capital Improvements that benefit all the property tenants, will allow a landlord to raise rent a maximum of 2% annually NYS A08281).

How Much Notice is Needed for Raising Rent?

In the state of New York, landlords must provide tenants with a 30-Day Notice, before they can increase rent more than 5%. A 60-Day Notice is required for tenants who have rented for between 1 and 2 years, and a 90-Day Notice is required for tenants who have rented for more than 2 years (NY Real Property Law 266(C)).

If the landlord fails to provide the appropriate amount of notice, the tenant may continue at the existing rental rate even if the lease has expired and the landlord may not seek to evict the tenant for failing to pay the increased rental amount.

Landlords renting regulated properties must provide tenants with 90-120 days notice before raising rent.

How Often Can Rent Be Increased?

Generally a landlord may not increase rent until the end of the lease agreement. Rent increases are strictly controlled for rent controlled units, and the frequency of rent increases may be regulated for units subject to rent stabilization.

Laws Regarding Late Fees

The state of New York has no legislation regarding late fees for rental payments or legislation regarding grace periods. However, the state does indicate that late fees must be reasonable.

Laws Regarding Bounced Check fees

Fees for returned checks may not exceed $20, and the amount of the returned check fee must be specified in the lease agreement.

Cities in the State With Rent Control

New York City, Nassau County, Westchester County, Albany County, Erie County, Rensselaer County, and Schenectady County have cities with rent control for buildings built prior to Feb. 1, 1947 where the tenant has rented since before July 1, 1971. Rent Stabilization is used to refer to tenants since June 30, 1971 occupying property in buildings with more than six units that were built before Jan. 1, 1974.

Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties have declared an emergency allowing them to adopt the Emergency Tenant Protection Act. Buildings covered under this act generally have more than six apartments. The act allows for the regulation of rents, services, leases, and evictions of these rental properties.

The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) exempts low-income renters over 62 from many rent increases and exempts them from their cooperative’s carrying charges, voluntary capital contributions, or capital assessments so long as they are paying a minimum of one third of their disposable income on rent.