Real Estate: New York/rent increase

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QUESTION: Dear Sir,

I am renting an apartment in New York City, Queens borough,
month-to-month tenancy,
1 person only, 1 bedroom apartment.

I am in the same apartment already for almost 5 years.
My landlord never gave me a raise because he said that I am a very good tenant, and I thanked him every year for leaving my rent the same.  We have a good LL - tenant relationship.

My apartment is tiny, it is below 300 square feet and my rent is $ 1050 monthly.

A couple of days ago my LL told me that he has to raise my rent
after 5 years not doing so, and I agree.  But I am scared it will be a lot!!  How much can my LL raise my rent now?!

Thanks in advance for your time and regards...J

ANSWER: Hi J,

That really depends on what type of apartment you live in.  If the apartment is Free Market, the landlord can raise the rent by any amount that he wants.   If your apartment is rent stabilized, the landlord would normally have to raise it by a specified amount, 2 to 6% for one or two years.  However, because you have been month to month, it is possible that he will say that it was vacant and get a 20% vacancy increase allowed by law and ask for 20%.   

If you have a good landlord and he considers you a good tenant, then I would assume he would be fair in his increase.  However, I would advise that if you do get an increase that you ask for some kind of lease, just in case he tries to increase it again, even though he has not done so over the past 5 years.   It also might help you to check some comps around your area to see what the going rent is.  At the very least, it might be able to help you negotiate.  

Here is a link to streeteasy Queens rentals.  You can can click "refine" to refine your search to your specific neighborhood.

http://streeteasy.com/for-rent/queens

I hope this helps

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi, Mark,

Thank you for your prompt and helpful reply.
My apartment is rent stabilized and I am on a month-to-month lease.

I compare my rent to the rent of my neighbors.
I asked my neighbor who has 2 bedrooms, I have only one, and also his apartment is 100 sqft larger than mine and he pays only $ 100.00  more than I do.

My LL told me that the number of bedrooms and the footage are not his
criteria to determine the amount of the rent. ????  What is it then?  I did not say anything to this, because I did not want to annoy him, but I find this strange.

I would accept a 6 % rent increase, would this be fair?

Thanks for the link you gave me, I will look this up.

Thank you so much for your help and waiting for your kind reply, J

Answer
without the proper notification, your landlord cannot pretend the apartment was vacant and raise your rent by 20%. I believe the notification. Between 60 and 90 days. there is a website on nyc.gov that you can google which will show you the rent increases for stabilized apartments. I believe for a one year lease, the rent increase would be four percent and for a two year lease the rent increase would be 7%. if the landlord has performed capital improvements on your apartments he can amortize  those capital improvements into your rent as well. nyc.gov should also give you a list of qualifying capital improvements that would allow your landlord to raise your rent. as much as your relationship between you and the landlord seems good or strong, I would still recommend that you look into these rent stabilization rules and requirements. they are designed to be favorable to the tenant even though many tenants do not feel that way all the time.I suggest you take advantage of the information on nyc.gov.it would help if you knew your stuff before your landlord reached out to you so that you could tell him.

Real Estate: New York

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Mark Shemel

Expertise

I believe I can answer questions in the following sub categories with respect to New York City: Residential Brokerage, Landlord Tenant disputes, Any type of lease questions, any definition pertaining to residential real estate, any questions about property management, most questions about development, construction codes, and housing laws, questions about Section 8, HPD and government sponsored housing. Also corporate and short term housing questions.

Experience

I am currently the President of Think Properties NYC, a residential brokerage firm in New York City. I am also President of National Property Management Group. We manage over 1000 Residential Units and 50 retail/commercial units, generally as tax payers or part of mixed use buildings. We handle project management, marketing, and rentals/sales of new construction properties as well.

Organizations
The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Boutique Brokerage Firm Alliance (President)

Publications
New York Times, Real Estate Weekly, Wikipedia, Wiki-answers

Education/Credentials
Undergrad: Union College Degree: Bachelors Degree, Double Major Economics/French Graduate: New York University Degree: Masters of Science, Masters in Real Estate Development Licensed Real Estate Broker in State of New York

Awards and Honors
Undergrad: Phi Beta Kappa, National Honor Society, Magna Cum Laude

Past/Present Clients
Oakwood Worldwide, JP Morgan Chase (for Relocation), and several other firms.

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