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Leases can be divided into two main categories: Vacancy leases and renewal leases.

A tenant signs a vacancy lease when moving into a vacant rent stabilized apartment.

[The second (and any subsequent) lease signed by a rent stabilized tenant is called a renewal lease. Allowable rent increases for renewal leases are governed by the annual orders of the NYC Rent Guidelines Board. For renewal guidelines, see the Apartment & Loft Guidelines page.]

Since June 15, 1997, the increase in rent for a vacancy lease had been governed by the terms of the Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997. Since its enactment, the vacancy increase has not been set by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board. In addition, since June 24, 2011, vacancy lease rents have also been governed by the terms of the Rent Act of 2011.

In general, during recent guidelines periods, the landlord can increase the rent by the following amounts:

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014:

  • If a tenant chooses a one-year lease: 16.25% [The vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year renewal leases. Under the 2013-2014 rent guidelines period, the difference is 3.75%, so 20% - 3.75% = 16.25%.]
  • If a tenant chooses a two-year lease: 20%
  • To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2013-14 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For earlier vacancy leases, see bottom of page.

In addition, the following also applies:

• An additional 0.6% per year if the previous tenant was in the apartment 8 or more years;

• Higher rates for units previously renting for $500 or less;

• For vacancy leases with effective dates on or after June 24, 2011, rent increases permitted under a vacancy may not be taken more than once in any calendar year;

• The permanent increase in the legal regulated rent for the affected housing accommodation shall be 1/40th, in the case of a building with thirty-five or fewer housing accommodations, or 1/60th, in the case of a building with more than 35 housing accommodations where such permanent increase takes effect on or after September 24, 2011, of the total cost incurred by the landlord in providing such modification or increase in dwelling space, services, furniture, furnishings or equipment, including the cost of installation, but excluding finance charges.

Additional information on vacancy leases may also be found in this DHCR fact sheet.


Vacancy calculation steps (for vacancy leases with effective dates between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014):
Choose applicable column below to determine vacancy increase
NOTE: These steps exclude any qualifying apartment improvements:

If:

Previous Vacancy occurred in last
8 years

And:

Most recent legal rent was over $500

 

 

If:

Previous Vacancy occurred in last
8 years

And:

Most recent legal rent was $500 or less

 

 

If:

Previous Vacancy occurred over
8 years ago

And:

Most recent legal rent was $500 or less

 

 

If:

Previous Vacancy occurred over
8 years ago

And:

Most recent legal rent was over $500

 

FOR A TWO-YEAR VACANCY LEASE:
(1) If the vacancy lease is for a term of two years, the legal rent can be raised 20%.


FOR A ONE-YEAR VACANCY LEASE:

If the vacancy lease is for a term of one year, the legal rent can be raised 20% minus the difference between the RGB's one- and two-year lease renewals: If the vacancy lease commences between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, for a one-year lease, the maximum vacancy increase is 16.25%.

If the legal regulated rent is less than $300, the total increase is calculated in the column to the left plus $100 per month.

If the legal regulated rent is at least $300 and no more than $500, the total increase is as outlined in the column to the left OR $100, whichever is greater

Multiply the number of years since the last vacancy (or since the unit was first stabilized) times 0.6%. Add this figure to the figure calculated in the far left column to determine the percentage increase.

THEN for units under $300 ADD $100.

THEN for units between $300 and $500 determine if this increase is at least $100. If NOT, the increase is $100.

Multiply the number of years since the last vacancy (or since the unit was first stabilized) times 0.6%. Add this figure to the figure calculated in the far left column to determine the percentage increase.

 


Vacancy calculation examples (for vacancy leases with effective dates between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2014):

Example 1: The existing legal rent is $900. The last vacancy occurred 4 years ago. The new tenant chooses a one-year lease effective October 1, 2013.

The applicable column in the table above is the first column above, since there has been a vacancy in the last eight years and the rent is over $500. Since the tenant wants a one-year lease the correct percentage increase is 20% MINUS the difference between the two-year lease renewal guideline and the one-year lease renewal guideline or 20% - 3.75% = 16.25%. Thus, the maximum rent which can be charged is 1.1625 X $900, or $1,046.25.

Example 2: The existing legal rent is $480. The last vacancy was 11 years ago. The tenant chooses a one-year lease effective February 1, 2014.

The applicable column in the table above is the third column above, since there hasn't been a vacancy in the last eight years and the rent is under $500. First, compute the percentage increase. Since the tenant wants a one-year lease, start with 16.25%. Then, add the vacancy portion (11 X 0.6%, or 6.6%) for a total of 22.85%. Multiply 1.2285 X $480, which equals $589.68.

Example 3: The existing legal rent is $950. The last vacancy was 14 years ago. The new tenant chooses a two-year lease effective June 1, 2014.

The applicable column in the table above is the fourth column above, since there hasn't been a vacancy in the last eight years and the rent is over $500. Since it has been 14 years since the last vacancy, you can add 14 X 0.6%, or 8.4% to the increase. Then, calculate the vacancy allowance as in column one: A two-year guideline allowance is 20%. Add the two: 8.4% longevity allowance plus 20% vacancy allowance for a total increase of 28.4%. Thus, the increase is calculated by multiplying $950 x 1.284, totaling the new maximum rent of $1,219.80.

Example 4: The existing legal rent is $1,300. The last vacancy was 2 years ago. The new tenant chooses a one-year lease effective September 1, 2014.

The applicable column in the table above is the first column above, since there has been a vacancy in the last eight years and the rent is over $500. Since the tenant wants a one-year lease the increase is 16.25%. Thus, the maximum rent which can be charged is 1.1625 X $1,300, or $1,511.25.

For further assistance, contact the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) or visit their website.


Earlier vacancy lease calculators:

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013:

  • If a tenant chooses a one-year lease: 18% [The vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2012-2013 rent guidelines period, the difference is 2%, so 20% - 2% = 18%.]
  • If a tenant chooses a two-year lease: 20%
  • To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2012-13 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2011 and Sept. 30, 2012:

  • If a tenant chooses a one-year lease: 16.5% [The vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2011-2012 rent guidelines period, the difference is 3.5%, so 20% - 3.5% = 16.5%.]
  • If a tenant chooses a two-year lease: 20%
  • To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2011-12 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2011:

  • If a tenant chooses a one-year lease: 17.75% [The vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2010-2011 rent guidelines period, the difference is 2.25%, so 20% - 2.25% = 17.75%.]
  • If a tenant chooses a two-year lease: 20%
  • To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2010-11 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2009 and Sept. 30, 2010:

  • Where heat is provided or required to be provided to a dwelling unit by an owner from a central or individual system at no charge to the tenant: 20% if the tenant chooses a two-year lease, 17% if the tenant chooses a one-year lease; NOTE: the vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2009-2010 rent guidelines period, the difference is 3%, so 20% - 3% = 17%. see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2009-10 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator (for use where heat is provided or required to be provided to a dwelling unit by an owner from a central or individual system at no charge to the tenant). You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.
  • Where heat is neither provided nor required to be provided to a dwelling unit by an owner from a central or individual system: 20% if the tenant chooses a two-year lease, 17.5% if the tenant chooses a one-year lease; NOTE: the vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2009-2010 rent guidelines period, the difference is 2.5%, so 20% - 2.5% = 17.5%. To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2009-10 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator (where heat is neither provided nor required to be provided to a dwelling unit by an owner from a central or individual system). You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2008 and Sept. 30, 2009: 20% if the tenant chooses a two-year lease, 16% if the tenant chooses a one-year lease; NOTE: the vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2008-09 rent guidelines period, the difference is 4%, so 20% - 4% = 16%. To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2008-09 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2007 and Sept. 30, 2008: 20% if the tenant chooses a two-year lease, 17.25% if the tenant chooses a one-year lease; NOTE: the vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2007-08 rent guidelines period, the difference is 2.75%, so 20% - 2.75% = 17.25%. To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2007-08 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For vacancy leases commencing between Oct. 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2007: 20% if the tenant chooses a two-year lease, 17% for a one-year lease; NOTE: the vacancy increase for one-year leases is determined each year by taking 20% minus the difference between one- and two-year RENEWAL leases. Under the 2006-07 rent guidelines period, the difference is 3%, so 20% - 3% = 17%. To see how much the rent can be raised for a particular apartment for vacancy leases going into effect during this period, try the 2006-07 RGB Vacancy Lease Calculator. You plug in the numbers and the calculator figures out how much the rent can be raised over the amount paid by the previous tenant.

For further assistance, contact the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) or visit their website.

Page Updated 7/31/2013


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