Calculating Rent of Former Super's Apartment
Q My building's superintendent is leaving, and I'd like to rent out his apartment. How do I calculate the rent for an apartment that was temporarily exempt for two years and was rent stabilized on the base date?
A “Under Section 2522.5(a)(1), the rent on a vacancy lease ‘may not exceed the last legal regulated rent in addition to all increases authorized by this Code,’” says attorney Daniel Roskoff of Horing Welikson & Rosen, P.C. Therefore, any increases in the rent must use as the base rent what the legal regulated rent was before the apartment became temporarily exempt and any appropriate increases now permitted, such as vacancy allowances and individual apartment improvements. Interim Rent Guidelines Board increases are not permitted during the temporarily exempt period.
However, suppose the apartment had been temporarily exempt for four or more years. Then the owner can disregard the base rent and renegotiate a first rent with the new tenant. This is because Rent Stabilization Law Section 26-516(a) precludes the courts and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) from utilizing any rental information that goes back more than four years before the filing of a rent overcharge complaint, says Roskoff. In other words, in this situation, the legal rent is whatever the new tenant and the owner agree upon. And if the negotiated first rent is greater than $2,500, then the owner can deregulate the apartment.