Your apartment is rent stabilized, but you just got notice that your landlord is raising your rent due to improvements that have been made to the building.
Is this legal? Quite possibly. It depends partially on the type of improvements your landlord made. Here’s what you need to know.
Different types of improvements follow different rules
There are basically two types of improvements that renters are likely to encounter in this situation: major capital improvements (MCIs) or individual apartment improvements (IAIs).
As the name suggests, IAIs are improvements to your individual unit – not the entire building. These should not be confused with ordinary repairs that the landlord is expected to make, but they might include things like all new appliances, flooring and similar upgrades.
However, IAIs can’t just be done because the landlord wants to do them. You have to give your consent for both the repairs and the increased rent in advance.
By comparison, MCIs are renovations that affect the entire building. For example, your landlord may need to replace the roof or upgrade the aging electrical system. Your landlord doesn’t need your consent for these kinds of improvements nor to raise the rent accordingly – but they do need the permission of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).
Tenants can still oppose MCIs — particularly if they don’t believe that the landlord provided proper notice or that the improvements don’t actually benefit everyone. If your rent was raised because of MCIs or IAIs and you don’t think the rent increase is warranted or lawful, you have a right to dispute the action. Find out more about your legal options today.