1. The Laws of New York
  2. Unconsolidated Laws
  3. Emergency Housing Rent Control Law 274/46 337/61


Section 8-A Major capital improvements and individual apartment improvements in rent regulated units

Emergency Housing Rent Control Law 274/46 337/61 (ERL)

Major capital improvements and individual apartment improvements in rent regulated units. 1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the division of housing and community renewal, the "division", shall promulgate rules and regulations applicable to all rent regulated units that shall:

  (a) establish a schedule of reasonable costs for major capital improvements, which shall set a ceiling for what can be recovered through a temporary major capital improvement increase, based on the type of improvement and its rate of depreciation;

  (b) establish the criteria for eligibility of a temporary major capital improvement increase including the type of improvement, which shall be essential for the preservation, energy efficiency, functionality or infrastructure of the entire building, including heating, windows, plumbing and roofing, but shall not be for operational costs or unnecessary cosmetic improvements. Allowable improvements must additionally be depreciable pursuant to the Internal Revenue Service, other than for ordinary repairs, that directly or indirectly benefit all tenants; and no increase shall be approved for group work done in individual apartments that is otherwise not an improvement to an entire building. Only such costs that are actual, reasonable, and verifiable may be approved as a temporary major capital improvement increase;

  (c) require that any temporary major capital improvement increase granted pursuant to these provisions be reduced by an amount equal to (i) any governmental grant received by the landlord, where such grant compensates the landlord for any improvements required by a city, state or federal government, an agency or any granting governmental entity to be expended for improvements and (ii) any insurance payment received by the landlord where such insurance payment compensates the landlord for any part of the costs of the improvements;

  (d) prohibit temporary major capital improvement increases for buildings with outstanding hazardous or immediately hazardous violations of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code), New York City Fire Code, or New York City Building and Housing Maintenance Codes, if applicable;

  (e) prohibit individual apartment improvement increases for housing accommodations with outstanding hazardous or immediately hazardous violations of the Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code), New York City Fire Code, or New York City Building and Housing Maintenance Codes, if applicable;

  (f) prohibit temporary major capital improvement increases for buildings with thirty-five per centum or fewer rent-regulated units;

  (g) establish that temporary major capital improvement increases shall be fixed to the unit and shall cease thirty years from the date the increase became effective. Temporary major capital improvement increases shall be added to the legal regulated rent as a temporary increase and shall be removed from the legal regulated rent thirty years from the date the increase became effective inclusive of any increases granted by the local rent guidelines board;

  (h) establish that temporary major capital improvement increases shall be collectible prospectively on the first day of the first month beginning sixty days from the date of mailing notice of approval to the tenant. Such notice shall disclose the total monthly increase in rent and the first month in which the tenant would be required to pay the temporary increase. An approval for a temporary major capital improvement increase shall not include retroactive payments. The collection of any increase shall not exceed two percent in any year from the effective date of the order granting the increase over the rent set forth in the schedule of gross rents, with collectability of any dollar excess above said sum to be spread forward in similar increments and added to the rent as established or set in future years. Upon vacancy, the landlord may add any remaining balance of the temporary major capital improvement increases to the legal regulated rent. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, for any renewal lease commencing on or after June 14, 2019, the collection of any rent increases due to any major capital improvements approved on or after June 16, 2012 and before June 16, 2019 shall not exceed two percent in any year for any tenant in occupancy on the date the major capital improvement was approved;

  (i) ensure that the application procedure for temporary major capital improvement increases shall include an itemized list of work performed and a description or explanation of the reason or purpose of such work;

  (j) provide, that where an application for a major capital improvement rent increase has been filed, a tenant shall have sixty days from the date of mailing of a notice of a proceeding in which to answer or reply;

  (k) establish a notification and documentation procedure for individual apartment improvements that requires an itemized list of work performed and a description or explanation of the reason or purpose of such work, inclusive of photographic evidence documenting the condition prior to and after the completion of the performed work. Provide for the centralized electronic retention of such documentation and any other supporting documentation to be made available in cases pertaining to the adjustment of legal regulated rents; and

  (l) establish a form in the top six languages other than English spoken in the state according to the latest available data from the U.S. Bureau of Census for a temporary individual apartment improvement rent increase for a tenant in occupancy which shall be used by landlords to obtain written informed consent that shall include the estimated total cost of the improvement and the estimated monthly rent increase. Such form shall be completed and preserved in the centralized electronic retention system to be operational by June 14, 2020. Nothing herein shall relieve a landlord, lessor, or agent thereof of his or her duty to retain proper documentation of all improvements performed or any rent increases resulting from said improvements.

  2. The division shall establish an annual inspection and audit process which shall review twenty-five percent of applications for a temporary major capital improvement increase that have been submitted and approved. Such process shall include individual inspections and document review to ensure that owners complied with all obligations and responsibilities under the law for temporary major capital improvement increases. Inspections shall include in-person confirmation that such improvements have been completed in such way as described in the application.

  3. The division shall issue a notice to the landlord and all the tenants sixty days prior to the end of the temporary major capital improvement increase and shall include the initial approved increase and the total amount to be removed from the legal regulated rent inclusive of any increases granted by the applicable rent guidelines board.