Report Finds Low Rental Property Registration Compliance Rate


The city’s system for tracking who owns rental properties—a crucial resource in times of crisis, like Hurricane Sandy—is falling short, says a recent report issued by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. According to the report, the vast majority of owners required to register with the city fail to do so.

Using city data, the report finds that only 23 percent of rental properties are registered with the city, and only 61 percent of NYC’s renters live in buildings with current registrations. The city’s Property Registration Unit, part of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, developed its rental registration system to keep track of who owns rental buildings across the city.

Owners of rental properties are required to register to allow the city to quickly reach landlords in the event of emergency conditions in their buildings. The report shows that noncompliance is much more common among smaller buildings with four units or fewer, which comprise 75 percent of city properties required to register. Among one- and two-unit buildings required to register, only 2.1 percent are compliant. Large buildings, by contrast, show much higher rates of registration; 85 percent of buildings with over 50 units are in compliance with the city ordinance.

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