Rent Stabilized vs Rent Controlled Apartment NYC – How to Find Them

By: ROS Team

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New York Real Estate is extremely complicated and expensive. However, there are laws to protect tenants’ rights and according to a survey, there are almost one million apartments in New York that are subject to these protection laws. Rent Controlled and Rent Stabilized are the two most commonly applied regulations. So before you short list your rental choices, let’s discuss NY’s two current forms of rent regulation.

Rent Controlled Apartments

Rent controlled are those apartments in which tenant rent freezes and the landlord can’t increase the rent at the end of the agreement. These apartments are like a golden ticket to the NYC real estate market. Unfortunately, rent-controlled apartments are few and far between. There were two million such apartments in 1950 but these numbers reduce to 22,000 in 2017.

Advocates say that rent controlled apartments are the only way lower middle income can live in NYC but with no further rental that can be added to this category, chances are this stock will diminish over the coming years.

Rent Controlled Apartments

To Qualify for a Rent Controlled Apartment, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The apartment should be built before 1947
  • The apartment should be in the custody of the same family since 1971
  • Such apartments can only be passed down to family members
  • The successor of a rent-controlled apartment must be living in the building for two consecutive years

How to Find a Rent Controlled Apartment

Unfortunately, you won’t able to find a rent-controlled apartment in NYC unless you have a relative in NYC living in a rent-controlled apartment ready to give it to you when they pass away, you’re nearly out of luck.

Rent controlled apartments in New York City have not been available since 1972 and only a miracle can get you one in 2020.

So, we recommend not wasting your time, and looking for the other affordable option – Rent stabilized apartments.

Rent Stabilized Apartments

Those apartments with six or more units built before 1974 fall in the bracket of rent stabilization. It means rent can only increase a little each year. In New York, almost 50% of the apartments are rent-stabilized.

Rent Stabilized Apartments

To qualify for a rent stabilized apartment, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The apartment should be built before 1974
  • The building has six or more floors
  • Monthly rent of the apartment should not exceed $2,700
  • The annual income of the tenant is less than $200,00 a year

How to Find a Rent Stabilized Apartment

Landing a rent-stabilized apartment in NYC is not as difficult as finding a rent-controlled apartment but still, it takes a lot of time and energy to get one because once these apartments are filled in, residents are unlikely to give it up.

Here are a few tips which may help you in this regard:

Search with the Database:

If you are looking for a bargain, the first thing you can do is search through the database of NYC’s most affordable places powered by the Rent Guidelines Board – check them out here.

Search Database

Search by Location:

Even though such apartments are available all across the city but if you limit your search to neighborhoods like Chelsea, Inwood, and the Upper East Side – areas with the highest number of rent-stabilized apartments – chances are you will get one in the least possible time.

Search by Years:

As discussed above, rent-stabilized apartments were built before 1974, so looking for a building constructed after the 1970s will take you nowhere. Narrow down your search from 1947 to 1974.

Search by Price and Bedrooms Count:

A rent-stabilized apartment will not cost you more than $2,700 per month, so plan your search accordingly. Most of these apartments are single bedrooms and studios, so don’t try your luck with the multi-bedroom option.

Search with a Broker:

If you have a trusted real estate agent, then it is best to employ his/her services. Brokers have a vast real estate circle and they can see you the properties that aren’t publicly listed.

Search with Broker

Search with NY Rent Own Sell:

Whether you are looking for a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan or want a quick and affordable move to Brooklyn, NY Rent Own Sell is there to help you. Just put us a message with your requirements and we will take care of the rest.

Benefits of Rent Stabilized Apartments

  • The obvious advantage of living in these apartments is affordability. You can live in one of the most expensive cities in the world at as low as $2,000 per month.
  • Being a resident of the rent-stabilized apartment, you are guaranteed repairs & improvement and if your landlord does not adhere to your requirements, you can file a complaint against him/her.
  • If the apartment is your primary residence, you can sublet it.

Is it worth living in Stabilized Apartments?

Well, the answer depends upon your resources and how much you would be saving. If you are new to the city and just started your career, it is best to have a few dollars under your sleeves.