Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Brick Underground: First Rents of Combined Stabilized Units

 Brick Underground

First Rent: How landlords of rent-stabilized apartments can hike the rent on a newly combined place

by Emily Myers | Nov. 8, 2021


If you find a large apartment—the result of combining two rent-stabilized apartments—you may notice the rent for the combination apartment is proportionally higher than other units in the building.

That's because the landlord has set a "first rent," which refers to the amount a landlord can charge for a newly combined apartment that has never been on the market before. 

Combining or changing the configuration of units is a way for landlords with rent-stabilized apartments to increase the rent they can generate from a building—it's one of the few routes that remain thanks to changes in the housing laws.

After the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, it became more difficult for landlords to cycle affordable apartments out of the program. Now there are fewer incentives for landlords to offer tenants a buyout in order to turn a rent-stabilized apartment into a market-rate apartment.

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