The rent control program generally applies to residential buildings constructed before February 1947 in municipalities that have not declared an end to the postwar rental housing emergency that emerged after World War II. A total of 51 municipalities have rent control in New York State, including New York City. When a tenant moves out of a rent controlled apartment, the apartment becomes decontrolled. If that apartment is in a building built before January 1, 1974, containing six or more units at any time, it becomes rent stabilized.
Rent control, along with rent stabilization, falls under the category of rent regulation. The term “rent regulation” can mean any program that regulates the amount of rent the landlord may charge for the apartment. In New York City, however, the term is generally used to refer to a legislative system of regulation of private apartments under the two programs, rent control and rent stabilization. Restrictions the regulations impose include: annual percentage rent increases set by the Rent Guidelines Board; and high-rent or high-income deregulation” which allows units to leave regulated status if the occupying person’s household income rises above a threshold amount for two consecutive years, or if the legal rent regulated price of the unit increases over a threshold amount determined by the statute. Municipalities must declare an end to rent regulation if the overall vacancy rate of the city rises about five percent.