The Maximum Allowable Rent (the MAR) limits the level of rent actually paid. Monthly rents in rent-stabilized units should not exceed the MAR by more than $5.00 (the allowed pass-through of registration fees). Rent increases are limited by the rules and regulations governing increases in the Maximum Allowable Rent (for rent increases for pre-1996 tenants who are not yet paying the last banked MAR, view the related FAQ).
Landlords of rent-stabilized units may increase the tenants' rent by the amount of the General Adjustment between September 1st and August 31st of each year if the landlord:
- registered the unit when it first went onto the rental market under the Ordinance;
- re-registered the unit after vacancy if the current tenant moved-in 1996 or later;
- has paid all annual rent registration fees;
- has waited 12 months since the tenants moved in or since the last general adjustment charged to the tenant.
The landlord must give the tenants proper written notice in accordance with current State law.
The General Adjustment in rent is based on 75% of the Consumer Price Index for the area. The amount of the adjustment will be announced by the Rent Stabilization Commission each year before July 1st. Landlords who are current with their registration fees are notified of the adjustment's amount during July so that they can start giving increase notices by August 1st. The adjustment covers the period of September 1st through August 31st of the following year.
The General Adjustment applies only to the Maximum Allowable Rent; the registration fee pass-through to the tenant does not increase. If the landlord is already charging the pass-through to the tenant, it must be deducted from the rent before the increase is calculated. The $5.00 is added back into the rent after the increased rent is figured.
Since the 1996 general adjustment, a landlord loses the right to take the increase, if s/he does not charge it to the tenant during the year it is in effect. The adjustment cannot be banked and passed on to the tenant at a future date.
Landlords and tenants who want to check whether a rent increase for a unit is correct, may contact the Department. To do this, they must be able to answer the following questions:
- What date did the current tenant move-in?
- What rent is the tenant currently paying?
- When and how much was the last rent increase?
If you have this information, you may contact an Information Coordinator at (323) 848-6450.