If you live in a rent-stabilized building -- one constructed before 1975 with five or more units -- the law limits how much your landlord can raise your rent each year.

If you are under age 62, your landlord can raise your rent a maximum of 2% plus inflation (CPI-W) annually.

If you are age 62 or over, your landlord can raise your rent a maximum of the inflation rate (CPI-W) annually. To get this lower increase you must file a form with the city proving that you are 62 or older.

Your landlord may lead you to believe that this increase is automatic. However, if you play your cards right you may be able to negotiate a lower rent. The landlord may not want to lose you as a tenant, but also knows that for you it's a pain in the neck and expensive to move. It pays to negotiate.

For the period between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, the CPI for the purpose of calculating rent increases is 1.1%. The maximum percent rent increase is 1.1% + 2% = 3.1% for that period.

Here's how the math works for a tenant under age 62 who currently pays $1,500 for an apartment.

  • Maximum rent increase:  $1,500 x 3.1% = $47
  • Maximum new rent: $1,500 + $47 = $1,547

The landlord may not legally charge more than this amount for the new rental year.

You can run these numbers yourself, or you can save yourself some time by trying our rent increase calculator.