Feature Articles

HPD Finalizes Rules Concerning Gas Leak Notices, Procedures

October 19, 2017    

HPD has officially adopted amendments to Administrative Code Section 27-2005, which governs procedures during suspected gas leaks and recordkeeping for smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. As a result of adopting the amendments and finalizing the proposed rule, HPD has formally adopted...

DHCR Issues MCI Policy Statement Regarding Non-Construction Costs

October 19, 2017    

When you get a major capital improvement (MCI) performed at your building, you may have non-construction expenses such as general contractor or architect/engineer fees related to the underlying MCI project. For example, you may hire an engineer when you get your building’s parapet replaced...

DHCR Reduces Air-Conditioner Rent Surcharge for 2017-18

October 19, 2017    

The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) recently announced a cut in this year’s air-conditioner rent surcharge for owners who pay for electricity. It set the monthly surcharge at $26.02, down 63 cents from $26.65 last year. This year’s decrease reflects the decrease in...

How to Deal with a Tenant's 'Nuisance' Pet

September 19, 2017    

Tenants often have pets that cause problems. For example, a tenant’s dog may relieve itself in the building’s hallways, bark at all hours of the day and night, or threaten other tenants. You can get rid of problem pets, whether or not the tenant’s lease bars pets. To do so, you...

Building Owner Obligations as Heating Season Begins, New Heating Requirements

September 19, 2017    

During the previous “heat season,” the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) fielded 200,224 heat complaints. The current heat season begins on Oct. 1 and continues through May 31, 2018. During this time period, residential building owners with tenants are required...

Ask Judge to Order Use & Occupancy Payment in Eviction Case

August 18, 2017    

If you sue to evict a tenant in housing court for a reason other than nonpayment of rent (such as nonprimary residence), the law says you’re entitled to what’s known as “use and occupancy” (U & O). Getting U & O while your case is pending is critical, since...

How to Calculate RGBO #49 Vacancy Lease Increases

August 18, 2017    

If you sign a vacancy lease with a tenant between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2018, the new order issued on June 27 by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB)—RGBO #49—lets you collect the vacancy increases permitted under the Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997 (RRRA).

Evict Tenant Who Doesn't Get Renewal Lease Signed by Guarantor

July 27, 2017    

Suppose you sign an initial lease with a rent-stabilized tenant and require the tenant to get a guarantor to guarantee payment of the rent. At renewal time, the tenant returns the renewal lease without the guarantor’s signature. According to the DHCR and a housing court case, you are not...

Take 1.25% and 2% Rent Increases for Renewal Leases

July 27, 2017    

On June 27, 2017, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) issued an order—RGBO #49—setting the rent increases you may take for rent-stabilized tenants in New York City on leases beginning anytime on or after Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018. This order represents the first...

Avoid HPD Violations by Having Employees Routinely Check for Six Key Defects

June 22, 2017    

When a Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) inspector visits your building in response to a tenant’s complaint, the inspector won’t simply check the problem the tenant has complained about. The inspector will also check the tenant’s apartment for six defects...

File 2017 Rent Registrations Online by July 31

June 22, 2017    

You must file an Annual Apartment Registration application with the DHCR for every rent-stabilized apartment you own by July 31, 2017, using the DHCR’s online Owner Rent Regulation Application system. As in past years, the penalty for not filing is stiff: You can’t collect a rent...

Five Possible Arguments to Avoid Triple Damages for Rent Overcharge

May 24, 2017    

No owner likes to get hit with a rent overcharge order. And it’s worse if the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) orders you to pay triple damages on top of that. But the DHCR shouldn’t hit you with triple damages in every case where it finds an overcharge. If you can...