By now, New Yorkers are used to rent increases like the seasons change. However, the dip in prices during the COVID era, and subsequent increases as the city came out of lockdown were a shock to many renters who flocked to the city to capitalize on those (initially) low prices.
This summer many of those tenants experienced their first rent increase, and many were sticker stocked to say the least.
Some had to move apartments because they couldn’t afford the rent increase, which begs the question – how much can my landlord really increase my rent?
Recent changes to both the New York State and New York City landlord/tenant laws have changed rules surrounding when and how much a landlord can increase a tenant’s rent.
On average, rent increases hover around 5% of your current rent amount. However, the exact amount your landlord can raise your rent depends on what type of apartment you live in.
If you have a rent-stabilized apartment or rent-controlled apartment, you have protections under New York State law regarding how much a landlord may increase your rent, and your rental increases are controlled by the Rent Guidelines Board of New York City.. Did you know that over 50% of the apartments in New York City are classified as rent-stabilized apartments or rent-regulated apartments? Each year, the New York City Rent Guideline Board sets a cap on how much a landlord may increase the rent on a rent-stabilized apartment annually. In June of 2022, the board set a 3.25% increase for one-year leases and a 5% increase for two-year leases. This will apply to all leases signed between October 2022 to September 2023.
If you live in a free-market building, there’s no limit on how much a landlord can raise the rent as long as they give you proper notice. Your landlord may increase your rent up to the amount it feels represents the fair market value of your apartment.
Can I Negotiate My Rent Increase?
In many cases, you are allowed to negotiate any rent increase that your landlord requests with your lease renewal. This is called a “counteroffer,” which your landlord may legally reject if they so choose.
The Fine Print
Traditionally, you must receive notice of any rent increase at least 60 days before your lease renewal is offered, but there are different scenarios where the notice required changes. Under the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA), specifically, RPL-226-C requires that the tenant receive notice of a rent increase of more than 5% when they receive their lease renewal. For tenants who have resided in the apartment for more than one year but less than two years or have a lease agreement for at least one year, the landlord is required to send the tenant a 60-day notice.
If the tenant has resided in the apartment for less than a one-year term, the landlord must send the tenant 30 days’ notice of any rent increase above 5%.
Lastly, for tenants who have resided in the apartment for more than two years or have a lease agreement for at least two years, the tenant is required to receive a 90-day notice of any rental increase that exceeds 5%.
For rent-stabilized tenants, if you receive your lease renewal and the increased amount is higher than the established guideline for that year, you should immediately contact the Rent Guidelines Board for more direction on what to do.
Check Your Lease
While there are laws in place to protect tenants, many terms of the lease are subject to the lease agreement and many landlords write in additional clauses and terms that tenants need to abide by. You should review your original lease agreement to determine if there are any provisions in your lease that prevent the landlord from increasing your rent, or provisions that cap rent increases at a certain amount or percentage.
If you have questions about your lease, or rent increase Platinum would be happy to connect you with someone who can help.
If you’re looking to move apartments, reach out to us today to be connected with an agent to start your rental search.
This is not legal advice. Any information and lease terms need to be verified by the tenant and landlord and are subject to the terms of a lease agreement.