Rent stabilization is a municipal effort to keep area rent prices from increasing rapidly. It’s different from rent control, though the two are frequently confused. Rent stabilization is a cap on the allowable amount for rents to increase each year, while rent control refers to a number of other tactics used to maintain rent affordability.
1. Rent stabilization is most common in larger cities
Rent stabilization allows for area rents to only rise by a certain percentage each year since rising rents in large cities can become impractically expensive very quickly. Since rapidly inflating average rent costs isn’t really a concern in small cities or towns, rent stabilization is usually not implemented there. New York City’s program managed by their Rent Guidelines Board is an example of a rent stabilization program for tenants.
2. Rent stabilization is usually found in older apartments
Rent-stabilized apartments are most often found in older apartment buildings. Though rent stabilization legislation can vary from one locale to the next, many implement an eligibility requirement that limits the program to older, non-rehabilitated buildings. In New York City, all buildings with six or more individual units, built before a specified date in 1974 and that has not been renovated is a stabilized apartment building.
3. Rent-stabilized apartments offer flat-rate rent
Affordable housing is often hard to find and it’s often even harder to understand the ins and outs of the various affordable housing programs. One of the pros of rent stabilization is that rents are flat-rate and not dependent upon any of your demographic information. The amount of rent you pay in many other affordable housing programs is based on factors like income or the number of residents sharing the unit.
If you can find an apartment with rent stabilization, you should seriously consider renting it
Rent-stabilized apartment buildings are admittedly scarce. But, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you’re able to snag a prized apartment in a rent-stabilized building, you should probably go for it. There are other factors to consider, of course, like location and length of the lease or perhaps you want a newer building, however, rent-stabilized apartments are generally a very reasonable and affordable place to rent.