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An Introduction to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board
and the Rent Stabilization System

By Timothy Collins

Updated & Revised by the Staff of the NYC Rent Guidelines Board
February 2016

This introduction to the New York City Rent Guidelines Board covers the structure, function and history of the Board and its role in the rent stabilization system. Some attention has also been given to the broader regulatory environment affecting all residential landlord/tenant relations within the City. This book is broken down into multiple sections and is entirely in PDF format.

The entire Intro to the Board may be downloaded by clicking here.

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Individual sections, tables, charts and appendices may be downloaded below:


List of Tables and Charts

List of Appendices

List of Other Noteworthy Materials




Membership on the Board

  • Composition of the Board, terms of office, eligibility for appointment
  • Vacancies and removal
  • Conflicts of interest & financial disclosure
  • Board member compensation
  • Bylaws of the Board
  • Rent Guidelines Board staff & use of consultants
  • Rent Guidelines Board's web site:
  • Legal status of the Board
  • Rent regulation prior to the establishment of the Board
  • Post-World War I controls
  • Great Depression
  • World War II Era Controls
  • Rent Stabilization
  • Chapter 576
  • Omnibus Housing Act of 1983
  • Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1993
  • Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997
  • Rent Law of 2003
  • Rent Act of 2011
  • Rent Act of 2015
  • Noteworthy aspects of selected court cases
  • Constitutionality of rent regulation
  • U.S. Supreme Court's treatment of rent control laws
  • Challenges to rent control laws before the NY Court of Appeals

Main Features of Rent Stabilization

  • The landlord/tenant context - objectives, enforcement and primary provisions of the RSL, ETPA, RS Code and related laws
    • affordability
    • habitability
    • security of tenure
    • fair returns
    • the commensurate rent formula
    • protection against tenant abuses/subletting, lease assignment, succession rights, primary residence

Administration of rents under rent stabilization: the role of the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR)

  • Major Capital Improvements (MCI's) and individual apartment improvements
  • hardship rent increases
  • Fair Market Rent appeals
  • overcharge proceedings
  • other adjustments in rent (air conditioners, failure to maintain services, failure to register, vacancy and income deregulation)

Duties of the Rent Guidelines Board

  • establishment of the basic rent adjustments for renewal leases in apartments, hotels and lofts
  • special orders
    • sublet allowances
    • supplemental rent adjustments
    • special guidelines & decontrolled units
    • electrical inclusion adjustment
    • buildings with J-51 or 421-a tax abatements
    • stabilizers
    • other - fractional terms, escalator clauses
  • exemptions to orders
    • warehousing exemptions
    • registration exemption/hotels
  • resolutions
  • research & mandated considerations
    • economic condition of the residential real estate industry
             Price Index of Operating Costs (PIOC)
             Price Index Projections
             RGB Rent Index
             Income & Expense Study
    • the cost and availability of financing:
              Mortgage Survey Report
    • overall supply of housing and overall vacancy rates:
              Housing Supply Report
              Changes to the Rent Stabilized Housing Stock report
    • data from the cost of living indices:
              Income and Affordability Study
    • other data: summary of special research from 1989-2000
  • meetings, hearings and administrative procedures
    • meetings 
    • hearings
    • administrative procedures
    • voting meetings - order of business
  • final orders and explanatory statements




1. Triennial Housing and Vacancy Survey (all years)
2. Housing NYC: Rents Markets and Trends 1989-2015
3. Price Index of Operating Costs 1969-2015 Apartments, Hotels, Lofts
4. Rent Stabilization Code
5. Rent Stabilization Law of 1969
6. Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, as amended.
7. Rent Guidelines Board Orders and Explanatory Statements 1969-2015
8. DHCR 'Fact Sheets' for Rent Stabilized Housing

Posted online 4/18/2016

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