A Major Capital Improvement (“MCI”) is an improvement that benefits the whole building, such as a new roof - even if the people on the 2nd floor never got leaks from the roof. New York State's housing agency, the Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR) has a list of common work done in buildings and how long that work and specific items (like boilers) typically last.
MCI's directly affect the rents of rent-stabilized and some commercial tenants. (Tenants on SCRIE, DRIE, or Section 8 will not see any rent change. Neither will market-rate tenants.) Within 2 years of completing the work, the building owner asks DHCR to increase the rent based on a formula.
The cost of the work (parts and labor) divided by 84 (the number of months in 7 years, for depreciation purposes).
That result is then divided the number of rooms in all the apartments in the building, whether market-rate or rent stabilized.
Given that arithmetic, Stellar has asked for an increase of $20.72 per room. If you have 4 rooms in your apartment, that would be 4 x $20.72, or $82.88. On the notice given to all rent stabilized tenants, Stellar noted the number of rooms in YOUR apartment for MCI purposes.
But just because Stellar ASKED for it does not mean DHCR will grant it. Our lawyer is working on a response for us as a group. The first step is reviewing all of the landlord's papers, including the source of the money. After all, the escrow account that was created when we left Mitchell-Lama covers some of the things that Stellar claims for hte MCI - and Stellar's senoir staff told us that a state grant covered the submetering. (Looks like Stellar's trying to double-dip again!)
Whatever amount DHCR may ultimately grant Stellar for an MCI, that increase could not happen all at once. Our rents may not be increased more than 6% above any new lease you may have signed in a given year. So if the total increase that DHCR awards would come to more than 6% of your apartment's rent, then it will spaced out: 6% above your previous rent the first year; another 6% above that rent the next year, and so on, until the full MCI increase is achieved.
SECURITY: If you are not handicapped, please do NOT use or make keys to be used for hte side door: everyone else sees it and wants one. Please remind the building guard that you want anyone coming to your apartment to use the intercom.
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The Real Rent Reform Campaign is sending buses of tenants to Albany on
- Tuesday, June 15
- Wednesday, June 16
- Thursday, June 17, and
- Monday, June 21.