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Re: How to get rent control apartment

Posted by Sue on October 31, 2001 at 10:15:52:

In Reply to: How to get rent control apartment posted by Charlotte on October 30, 2001 at 13:58:15:

: I am new to the area and would like to get a rent control apartment. I am not well off (30K government job, student loans, will be taking grad school courses at night), so a rent control apartment is my only real option (now I drive 90 minutes both ways to work, then soon you add another hour for school).

: Can I go to a realtor and ask to be shown just rent control apartments? Is there a waiting list?

: I understand that even rich people can get rent control apartments, so I would think I qualify.

: I read about these apartments all the time, but it seems sometimes that you can only get them through word of mouth -- why is this so confusing?

There is so much mis-information about rent control. Here's the real info.

Rent control was indeed something started during WWII and retained in NYC into the 1960's. In the early 70's, something called "vacancy decontrol" took effect. Anyone in a rent conrolled apt became a statutory tenant ( no lease renewals needed) and retained their apt as rent controlled as long as they maintained it as their primary residence. If they moved out, the apt became rent stabilized - subject to guaranteed lease renewals and government established rent increases for 1 or 2 year leases ( these are re-negotiated every year). Contrary to what most people think, a rent controlled apt is NOT exempt from rent increases. It just is done in a different manner. Every year the landlord must submit a form requesting and calculating a new rent based on something called "maximum based rent". This can result in increases up to 7-1/2% every two years. So if a landlord is stringent in filing papers, he can actually get a larger increase than he can with a stabilized apt renewal.

Also - not all tenants in rent controlled apts are elderly. I moved into one in 1969 in my early 20's. I continued living there until just recently because it was located centrally, because market rate apts had gotten so outragiously expensive , and because I had a degree of protection from landlord harassment that I wouldn't otherwise have had.

Anyway - it is true that within several years - there will be NO rent controlled apts left as people move, die, whatever.

Hope that sets things a little straighter.

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