Division of Housing and Community
Processing of Rent
Complaints in New York City About 1 million
housing units in New
York City are subject to rent stabilization regulations, which
are administered by the Division
of Housing and Community Renewal. If a tenant in these units
formally complains that his or
her rent is excessive, the Division must evaluate the complaint.
If a rent is found to be
excessive, the tenant is awarded a refund of the excessive
amounts and may also be awarded a
penalty payment from the landlord. We examined the procedures
used by the Division to
process rent complaints from tenants.
We found there was a backlog of about 30,000 unresolved
complaints and determined that, on
average, more than four years was required to resolve such
complaints. In fact, if the
complaints continue to be filed and processed at the current
rate, the backlog will not be
eliminated for another ten years. We estimate that the backlog
of unresolved complaints
could represent as much as $69 million in rent refunds and
penalties for tenants. However,
many tenants never receive their rent refunds and penalties
because, by the time their
complaints are resolved, they have moved and cannot be located.
The Division has taken
several actions to improve processing time and we recommend
additional actions that can be
For a complete copy of 95-S-120 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.