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Free Market Rent, Rent Controlled, Rent Stabilized Apartments


In New York City, the rental housing market is characterized by various types of apartments, including those subject to different regulations and rent control measures. Here’s an overview of the terms you mentioned:

  1. Free Market Rents:

    “Free market rents” refer to rental apartments that are not subject to rent regulation or rent control. In a free market rental situation, landlords can set the rent at any price they choose, and rent increases are not subject to specific government-imposed limitations. These rents are determined by supply and demand dynamics in the rental market, and landlords have more flexibility in setting rental rates.

  2. Rent-Stabilized Apartments:

    Rent-stabilized apartments are subject to government regulations that limit rent increases and provide certain tenant protections. These regulations are intended to ensure that affordable rental housing remains available in the city. Key features of rent-stabilized apartments include:

    • Rent Increases: Rent increases for these apartments are determined by the Rent Guidelines Board, a governmental body that sets annual rent increase percentages. These increases are typically lower than those for free market apartments.
    • Lease Renewals: Tenants in rent-stabilized apartments have the right to renew their leases, and landlords are generally required to offer lease renewals. The length of the lease term can vary.
    • Tenant Protections: Rent-stabilized tenants are entitled to various protections, including protection against eviction without just cause and restrictions on certain fees and charges.
    • Income Limits: There are income restrictions for tenants in rent-stabilized apartments. High-income tenants may not qualify for these apartments.
    • Succession Rights: Family members of the primary tenant may have succession rights to the apartment if the primary tenant vacates or passes away.
    • Registration: Landlords are required to register rent-stabilized apartments with the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).
  3. Rent-Controlled Apartments:

    Rent-controlled apartments are a more limited and older form of regulated housing in New York City. These apartments are subject to even more stringent rent restrictions and tenant protections. Key features of rent-controlled apartments include:

    • Rent Limits: Rent-controlled apartments have strict rent limits, and rent increases are typically minimal.
    • Tenant Protections: Like rent-stabilized apartments, rent-controlled tenants have protections against eviction without just cause and are subject to restrictions on fees and charges.
    • Legacy Tenants: Many rent-controlled apartments are occupied by “legacy tenants” who have lived in the unit for an extended period of time.
    • Legacy Rights: In some cases, family members or individuals living with legacy tenants may have succession rights to the apartment.
    • Phasing Out: Rent-controlled apartments have been gradually phased out over the years, and new rent-controlled leases are rarely granted. These apartments are mostly found in older buildings.

It’s important to note that the availability of both rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments is limited, and they are generally inherited through family or secured through prior tenancy. Regulations and eligibility criteria for these apartments can change over time, so tenants should consult the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) or seek legal advice to understand their rights and responsibilities.



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