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1 in 10 NYC Rent-Stabilized Apartments Was Vacant in 2021

Posted by Melvin Monachan | May 05, 2023 | 0 Comments

About one in 10 rent-stabilized apartments in New York City are currently sitting empty, and it's not for lack of demand.

Interestingly, the actual number of empty rent-stabilized units – 88,830 – is significantly higher than the number of empty units landlords reported to the state – 61,000. Though some empty apartments could be between renters, the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) believes the discrepancy could be because landlords choose to keep otherwise habitable apartments off the market.

A group representing landlords, Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), is equally alarmed by the discrepancy in the number of vacant rent-stabilized apartments but says that the high number of empty apartments indicates that the laws governing rent stabilization need to be rewritten. Namely, CHIP says, a law passed in 2019 that makes renting cost-prohibitive.

How Many Rent-Stabilized Apartments are in NYC?

There are 1 million rent-stabilized units in total in New York City. But, according to state records, after 1999, 95,000 of them were no longer being reported to the state after the 2019 law was passed, preventing landlords from significantly raising the rent when leasing to new tenants.

Landlords groups have banded together to sue to try to abolish the 2019 law, and the suit is currently working through federal courts. It could reach the Supreme Court, providing a powerful potential incentive for landlords to keep their properties vacant while they wait to see what the courts will decide.

Meanwhile, tenants in neighborhoods around the city have staged protests against the landlords, saying that the landlords are intentionally keeping the apartments empty and refusing to clean or make repairs as they are contractually required to do so that existing tenants will get frustrated and move out.

Get Help From an Experienced New York City Real Estate Attorney

Rent stabilization is one of the many unique features of New York real estate. It can be complicated, messy, and virtually impossible for newcomers to figure out independently. If you're interested in investing in rental properties in New York, you must understand how the city's laws and regulations might apply to your property and situation. The Law Offices of Melvin Monachan can help you make sense of the laws and help you protect your interests. Call us today at (347) 389-1682 or contact us online.

About the Author

Melvin Monachan

Melvin Monachan is the founder of The Law Office of Melvin Monachan, PLLC, a full service, real estate law firm representing individuals, investors and corporate entities in all aspects of real estate law. On the transactional side, Melvin represents purchasers and...


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