New Rent Legislation: Chapter 97 of the Laws of 2011
The following summarizes the provisions of Chapter 97 of the Laws of 2011 (S-5856), the new rent legislation:
- Extender Period -- the rent laws are extended for four years to Jun 15, 2015.
- Luxury Decontrol (High Rent) -- The program is continued but the rent threshold is set at $2,500. This number is not indexed. Previously deregulated units are not re-regulated. This new threshold is applicable from the effective date of the new act forward. The threshold applies regardless of whether "the next tenant in occupancy or any subsequent tenant in occupancy" pays less than $2,500.
- Luxury Decontrol (High Income) -- The program is continued but the rent threshold is set at $2,500 and the income threshold is set at $200,000 instead of $175,000. This change takes effect on July 1, 2011. The $200,000 threshold must have been met in each of the two preceding calendar years.
- MCIs -- No changes are made to MCIs.
- IAIs -- For buildings with 35 or fewer units, IAIs remain at 1/40th. For buildings with 36 or more units, IAIs become 1/60th, effective September 24, 2011. The requirement for pre-filing or certification of IAIs which was most recently reported in the press (as of July 28, 2011,) is not in the final law. (For rent controlled apartments, the prior statutory requirement of written notice to DHCR remains undisturbed.) Note that the effective date is introduced by the phrase "where such adjustment takes effect." The phrase is not further defined and leaves open to question when an owner can begin charging an IAI. Presumably it is no sooner than the date of completion of the work.
- Preferential Rent -- No changes are made to preferential rents. Accordingly, owners may still increase a preferential rent up to the amount of the legal regulated rent on lease renewals rather than at the end of the tenancy.
- Vacancy Allowance -- This remains at 20%, but it can only be used once during any calendar year "notwithstanding the number of vacancy leases entered into in such year."
- Roberts Relief -- This refers to legislation which would respond to the uncertainties created by the Court of Appeals decision in the Roberts matter. Chapter 97 does not address Roberts.
- Effective Date -- The law took effect 2011.