Stuy Town: No Rent Increases Until 2017


Stuy Town in ManhattanDeutsche Bank revealed a post-mortem report this week about the problems in Manhattan's Stuyvesant Town apartment complex, according to The Wall Street Journal . As reported back in October the owners were found guilty of benefiting from a city tax break called J-51 to upgrade the apartments. Then, they illegally turned around and charged market rates to renters.

This line in particular stands out:
"While the report emphasizes the potential for huge losses among the city's major real estate players, it leaves out what must be a sweet feeling of relief among those New Yorkers who live in rent-stabilized buildings, many of which won't see a rent increase, the report notes, until 2017." [emphasis added]
Stuy-Town residents are probably cracking open the champagne. What about you? Here are some things to know about rent increases.

First, the good news: this year marks a 20-year high in apartment vacancies nationwide. This means you should seriously consider challenging any increase in rental rates, or, at the very least, negotiate for other improvements to your rental. (Hot tub, anyone?)

The other bit of good news is that there are laws in place concerning rental increases. They will vary from between states and jurisdictions but rent increases must commonly meet these conditions:

  • The new rent charged may not be more than the prior rent plus the allowable increase, usually measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 2%, and no more than 10%.
  • The last increase in rent must have been at least 12 months ago (unless the unit is vacant). The increase must not violate the terms of the lease.
  • The housing provider must give a 30-day notice of any increase in rent.

Click here for more specific renter's rights.
 

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