This article was originally published on Feb 15 5:00am EST by THE CITY

Golden sunset light illuminated the top floor of a row of tenement buildings on a Ridgewood residential block.
Apartments in Ridgewood, Queens, Feb. 10, 2023. | Hiram Alejandro Durán/THE CITY

If you know your apartment is rent-stabilized but your building is not listed here, or it’s listed as showing no rent-stabilized units, help us report by emailing us at If you’re not sure if your apartment is or was rent-stabilized, learn how to look up your rent history

In December, THE CITY highlighted a sizable decline in the number of registered rent-stabilized apartments across the city, even after a new state law prohibited removing units from the rent regulation rolls in most cases. Now a tenant advocacy group is using city property records to detail, down to the individual building, where landlords may be failing to report stabilized apartments to the state.

The nonprofit group JustFix shared with THE CITY records of 44,470 buildings that reported rent-stabilized units on their property tax bills in the last few years. The city Department of Finance says it gets that information directly from the state Division of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR), which requires property owners to annually certify the number of rent-regulated apartments in their properties.

Very few rent-regulated apartments should have had their registrations disappear after June 2019. That’s when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act, which ended landlords’ ability to remove apartments from rent-stabilization except under rare circumstances. 

Yet since then — even as affordable-housing programs have created thousands of new rent-stabilized apartments — the number of units registered with the state has declined sharply.

For tax year 2021, landlords registered 803,216 units as rent-stabilized. That’s down from 869,220 as of the same date in 2019. 

During that time, about 4,000 units left rent stabilization legally, after landlord tax breaks expired. Meanwhile another 10,000 units were added through these tax programs, annual reports from the city Rent Guidelines Board show. 

The reports also show that about 900 remaining rent-regulated units in buildings once converted to condominiums or cooperatives have legitimately left the rolls, as longtime tenants moved out or died. 

It’s also not uncommon for landlords to file their state registration paperwork late — meaning that some of the 10,400 buildings that show a drop to zero rent-regulated units in their 2021 tax bills will eventually get back on the rolls.

But another roughly 3,100 buildings reporting a decline in the number of rent-stabilized apartments since 2019 still have one or more stabilized units registered — meaning that late registrations don’t explain the drop. 

In one Brooklyn building recently profiled in THE CITY that dropped from 12 registered rent-regulated apartments in 2019, to six in 2020 and 2021, tenant rent histories provided by HCR show apartments appear to have exited from rent regulation even after the 2019 rent law should have prohibited their removal.

THE CITY created an interactive map that lets readers search by address and see every apartment unit that was registered with the state as rent-stabilized in 2019 but no longer is.

This data release comes days after a federal appeals court struck down a challenge, brought by landlord groups, seeking to have the entire rent-regulation system ruled unconstitutional — a decision that landlords are now hoping to bring before the Supreme Court.

A state Division of Housing and Community Renewal spokesperson, Charni Sochet, told THE CITY that the COVID pandemic in particular caused a “noticeable lag” in the timing of registration of units by landlords in 2020 and 2021, compared to prior years.

Sochet added that the agency’s internal preliminary analysis shows that the “lag has receded, and registration trends more closely mirror historic norms.” However, HCR declined to share its latest registration figures, which are not due for public release until a required December annual report.

A landlord group, the Community Housing Improvement Program, also cited a “natural lag that we see in registering apartments each year.”

Angela Stovall, the housing specialist at JustFix, says her group hopes that releasing the data will empower tenants to research their buildings and ensure that landlords comply with registration requirements.

Any tenant who believes their apartment may have been rent-stabilized can request their rent history from HCR, and may be able to challenge instances of improper deregulation.

Stovall said harvesting the information from property tax bills is the only way to reliably keep tabs on landlords’ registrations. 

“Having access to this type of information, which is deliberately opaque and often confusing, has the potential to empower tenants to take informed actions, both individually and collectively,” Stovall told THE CITY.  

“The data is distressing, especially considering the considerable and sustained drop in the number of rent-stabilized units despite the passage of the HSTPA in 2019,” she said.

If you know your apartment is rent-stabilized but your building is not listed here, or it’s listed as showing zero rent-stabilized units, let us know and help us report by emailing us at If you’re not sure if your apartment is or was rent-stabilized, learn here how to look up your rent history.

THE CITY is an independent, nonprofit news outlet dedicated to hard-hitting reporting that serves the people of New York.

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