The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

Step 1: Prepare yourself
Posted: June 5, 2017 - 8:48am

Have the facts about your lease, and know your rights.

Your lease

Begin by understanding your lease. In New York City, rent stabilization generally covers apartments which are

  • In buildings of six units or more;
  • Are not co-ops or condos; and
  • Which have been granted certain tax abatements or subsidies, or were rent stabilized before June 14, 2019.

Find out if your lease is rent stabilized by contacting the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal (DHCR) at (718) 739-6400 or by email at

If you live in a rent stabilized apartment, your landlord must provide you with a written lease (for either one or two years). You have the right to renew the lease at the end of its term. And any increase in rent must be approved by the  Rent Guidelines Board. (For the last two years, the Rent Guidelines Board has kept rent increases stabilized apartments to 0%.) A rent stabilized lease also gives you certain succession rights in the event a family member needs to assume or be added to the lease.


All tenants have the right to have repairs completed in their apartments when necessary, and may file complaints with 311 or a court if the landlord does not comply.


No tenant may be evicted from an apartment without a court order. If a tenant has a lease, he or she is allowed to stay when rent is paid. If the tenant has no lease, he or she may ask for time to move. Rent regulated tenants may have additional defenses.

Your rent payments

If you are threatened with eviction, it may be necessary to prove you have paid the landlord the rent you owe. Make sure to collect all documentation that proves you have paid your rent, including cancelled checks or receipts from your landlord. Keep all of these records in a safe place. Never pay your rent with cash—it’s illegal for your landlord to require that you do so.


[Next] Step 2: Fix your rent

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