There are many laws in place to protect tenants from unfair practices. One of those laws involves rent. Fortunately for tenants, there is a law that prevents landlords from raising the rent too much in a one year period.

The Facts

In New York, about half of all renters pay over 30% of their annual income for rent. Many New York City renters have high monthly payments, and they are often concerned about those rates increasing.

Unfortunately, that could be a valid concern. In New York, there is no rule in place that forces a landlord to notify tenants of a rent increase. At any time, your landlord can tell you that your rent increased. But you do have some protection. Your rent can only increase by $1000 until your lease is up. There are exceptions, and those are only for those who live in rent-controlled residences.

Rent Control

Rent control means that your landlord can only increase your monthly payments by a certain amount. If your apartment is rent controlled, your landlord needs to follow the exact regulations. They can only charge so much for rent. If they charge you more than that amount, you could take legal action against them.

Some dwellings don’t have rent control but do have rent stabilization. New York City is one of several cities to offer such a program. Typically, it applies to buildings constructed earlier than 1974 and has six or more units. The landlords can receive tax benefits for offering stable rent.

Regardless of rent control, you need to pay attention to your lease. You should read it carefully to learn about your landlord’s policy on rent increases.

The End of Your Lease

For those who have no rent control, the end of a lease can be a scary time. When your lease comes to an end, so does your protection against increased rent. Because your legal contract is over, your landlord can raise the rent. In fact, they can raise it as much as they want.

Can You Decrease Your Rent?

While your landlord may be able to increase your rent, there is also a chance you can decrease it. If you are living under certain conditions that remain unrepaired, you can withhold rent and request a decrease.

For example, you could have exposed wires in your apartment that put you and your family at risk of electrocution. It’s your landlord’s responsibility to give you a safe living experience. If your landlord refuses to make the necessary repairs, you may be able to pay for the repairs on your own and deduct the money from your rent.

However, you need to be cautious. If you don’t follow the proper procedures, you could lose your chance at deducting the cost from your rent. First, you should write a letter and notify the landlord of your problem. Then, you should get multiple estimates. Finally, you should be certain that the repairs are necessary. You cannot make home improvements and expect to take the cost from your rent.

The laws regarding rent prices are quite complex and are always changing. Lately, New York City has been drastically changing rent control policies. By working with a Bronx landlord attorney, you can learn more about fair rent practices. If you have a conflict with your landlord or tenant, you can receive the legal guidance you need.