Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP): Rents, Leases and DHCR Registrations

Michael Littman, Partner

The New York State Division of Housing & Community Renewal (“DHCR”) has issued guidance to Landlords who have received ERAP funds.

1) Can owners who receive ERAP assistance for a rent stabilized apartment increase the rent?
For rent stabilized units receiving ERAP, lawful rent increases are allowed to be preserved in the lease, but landlords must follow ERAP guidelines and agree to not increase the monthly rental amount above the monthly amount due at the time of application for ERAP assistance for months for which the rental assistance is received and for one year from receipt of the ERAP payment. Owners are advised by DHCR to send a letter to the tenant at the time ERAP payments begin and attach an explanatory rider at the time of the lease renewal. The rider should clarify that a lower rent is being charged pursuant to an ERAP directive and that the higher legal rent cannot be collected during the period of the ERAP rent freeze. The higher legal rent that was in the lease can be collected only when the ERAP rent freeze expires. It is unlawful for an owner to demand arrears from the tenant, in a lump sum or in any other manner, for the difference between the higher legal rent and the lower rent for the period that the ERAP rent freeze was in effect.


2) How does an owner register the rent(s)  for the rent stabilized apartment on the ARRO annual apartment registration online form?
In the “Legal Regulated Rent” section of the registration, a rent can be entered that includes all lawful rent increases, including lease renewal, IAI, and MCI, even if they are not being collected due to the receipt of ERAP assistance. In the Other Adjustments – Other” field, “ERAP” can be entered. In the “Actual Payment by Tenant” field, the lower rent that is actually being paid can be entered.

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