Rent Question
February 27, 2007 11:18 AM   Subscribe

How much can a New York City landlord raise rent on a non-rent-stabilized apartment lease?

I live in Brooklyn, NY. Our lease is up this summer. Our building, which has five residential units and one business unit, is not rent stabilized. Are there any legal restrictions on how much the landlord can raise our rent? We've had our lease for several years.
posted by josher71 to Home & Garden (9 answers total)

There are no restrictions if the building or unit is not rent-stabilized or rent-controlled. The landlord must still give you at least 30 days notice of his intention not to permit you to renew your lease.
posted by jellicle at 11:30 AM on February 27, 2007

Feel free to negotiate the matter.

For example, our (brooklyn) landlord was going to raise our rent 5%. I was outraged and mentioned all the work our super had neglected to make the apartment livable, so he immediately backed down. Then, upon reading my list of complaints, said that he'd actually have to raise my rent at least 5% in order to afford the repairs. Which of course made me go purple in the face.

Ultimately we agreed that we would begin paying the increased rent only after all problems were fixed. And as you can imagine, I have never seen so many repairs happen so fast!

Anyhow it can be an important discussion to have if there are any issues in your building to which you'd like to apply leverage. Usually the landlord won't skyrocket the rent unless he really expects you to leave; otherwise it's expensive to have a tenant move out, because usually a month's rent is lost while the place is cleaned and renovated.
posted by hermitosis at 12:34 PM on February 27, 2007

Yeah, there are no restrictions, but don't forget that you can always negotiate -- a lot of people don't even try. Two years ago we got our $100-$200 increase (I forget) knocked down to about $25, but this year they wouldn't budge on a $100 increase. Never hurts to ask, though.
posted by rachelv at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2007

hermitosis, you beat me to it!
posted by rachelv at 12:36 PM on February 27, 2007

When my lease was up recently, our new landlords who had purchased the building six months earlier offered us a renewal lease... at a 30% increase (yes, you read that correctly) to the already high prices we were paying.

We declined and have since found a much better place for less money.
posted by Caviar at 1:13 PM on February 27, 2007

the market is hotter than hot. they can raise it as much as they want and they can probably get it.

I moved out of my 1br in midtown manhattan when the landlord raised the rent from an awful $2700/month to downright cruel $3000/month after a year. I called them up to inquire if I could break the lease and to my surprise they had no problem at all. they showed the place to one (!) person and it was g.o.n.e.

boy, did I feel poor that day.
posted by krautland at 1:49 PM on February 27, 2007

My friend had a room in a 2-floor, 4-bedroom brownstone apt in Carroll Gardens -- a hood that basically started exploding into its current level of gentrification right around the year 2000. One year (99-00), it was 2400/mo. The next year (00-01), it was 3600/mo. And they stayed. Because all the other rents they could find were rising just as fast.

This is why finding a rent-stabilized place is most important in the areas that are changing fastest.
posted by lorimer at 1:06 AM on February 28, 2007

In your case, if you're concerned about pre-empting a big raise in rent, I think your long (presumably good) rental history should be worth something to your landlord. Negotiating is also about demonstrating you're valuable as a tenant (especially if nothing in particular is wrong with your place that would be a reason for the negotiation-based-on-negatives other posters have mentioned).
posted by lorimer at 1:12 AM on February 28, 2007

My wife and I are dealing with the same situation in Brooklyn right now, as well. The short answer: You're screwed. From the NYC Rent Guidelines Board:

If you find that your apartment is not rent stabilized, there is no limit on the rent increase that can be charged at the end of your lease.
posted by Gamblor at 7:40 AM on February 28, 2007

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