If you’re a New Yorker living in a rent-stabilized apartment, chances are you’ve struggled with finding a necessary piece of paperwork—the form for requesting your apartment’s rent history, for example, or the right complaint if your landlord is dragging their heels on renewing your lease. In the past, those forms were scattered throughout the website for the Department of Homes and Community Renewal, New York state’s agency that handles rent regulation.
But no longer: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that the state has created a new portal, called NYS Rent Connect, that’s a one-stop shop for tenants of rent-regulated apartments (and their landlords) to deal with any potential issues that may arise with those apartments.
“Rent-regulated and rent-controlled housing is critical to ensuring middle class families have an affordable place to call home, and too often the process for interacting with this system is confusing and cumbersome for tenants,” Cuomo said in a statement.
And indeed, the new website makes the process much easier, starting with a “rent connect assistant”—you answer a few questions about your particular living situation and what kind of information you need, and the website will provide you with necessary documentation, links, and other tidbits that will make your request much easier to parse.
There are also quick links to DHCR’s complaint forms—which run the gamut from a lack of heat and hot water in an apartment to rent overcharges—as well as the forms necessary to request your rent apartment’s history, a crucial document for anyone who lives in a rent-regulated unit.
There’s a similar side of things for owners of buildings with rent-regulated properties: There, landlords can file their annual rent registration, apply for a major capital improvement increase for a building, submit a report of vacancy decontrol, and other documents. (And as a tenant, it can be fascinating to see what hoops owners jump through in keeping their buildings regulated, or trying to get them deregulated.)
You can find the portal at NYS Rent Connect.