The Division of Housing and Community Renewal Attorneys in New York City, Mount Vernon, Yonkers and Westchester County
The Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) is a state agency responsible for supervising, maintaining and developing affordable low and moderate income housing in New York. DHCR administers housing development and community preservation programs and regulates housing accommodations which are subject to rent control or rent stabilization under the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 (ETPA).
In municipalities which have adopted the ETPA, rent stabilization applies to most apartments in buildings containing 6 or more units which were constructed prior to 1974, with some exceptions. Under rent stabilization, landlords are limited in the amount of legally regulated rent they can charge tenants, and tenants are entitled to receive required services, have their leases renewed, and cannot be evicted except on limited grounds permitted by law. Rent Control generally applies to tenants in buildings built before 1947, where the tenant is in continuous occupancy prior to 1971. Rent control limits the rent a landlord may charge for an apartment and restricts the landlord’s ability to evict tenants. Tenants are entitled to receive essential services under rent control. The ETPA rent regulations generally serve to protect tenants, so it is important for landlords to understand the ETPA and know their obligations and rights under the law.
Tenants in ETPA apartments may file complaints with DHCR if they have grounds to believe they are being overcharged for rent, or that the landlord is not providing required services, or has not made necessary repairs for an individual apartment or building-wide. At James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C., we have experience in successfully defending landlords against DHCR claims brought by tenants for rent overcharge and loss of services claims. Parties aggrieved by a DHCR decision and order may file a Petition for Administrative Review (PAR). At James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C. we also represent owners in filing and defending PARs.
Owners of apartment buildings subject to ETPA are also required by law to register their buildings and apartments with DHCR annually. To register, owners must file information with DHCR yearly pertaining to tenants and their rent increases. At James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C., we complete and file annual DHCR rent registrations.
When owners make certain improvements or installations (know as Major Capital Improvements, or MCIs) to buildings subject to rent stabilization or rent control laws, they may apply to DHCR for approval to increase tenant rents based on the actual, verified cost of MCIs. Not all work will qualify as an MCI. Some examples of MCI items include boilers, windows, electrical rewiring, plumbing and roofs. At James G. Dibbini & Associates, P.C. we can help you determine what work may qualify for MCI rent increases and we can help you obtain DHCR’s approval for the MCI rent increases.
To learn more about DHCR, you could visit their website at http://www.dhcr.state.ny.us/ or feel free to contact our office for any specific questions you may have or for assistance or representation on any of your DHCR issues.