Home & Real Estate

Rent Control vs Rent Stabilization: What Are the Differences?

You may have heard of rent control or rent stabilization, but do you know the difference between the two?

As a renter, knowing the differences between rent control vs rent stabilization will let you know the regulations on your dwelling. They’ll affect the price you pay for your rent and how much your landlord can raise when renegotiating.

Rent control and rent stabilization are different ideas used by property owners and renters. So, continue reading to understand the difference.

What Is Rent Control?

Rent control is a government-imposed price ceiling on rent prices. The goal of rent control is to make housing more affordable for lower-income households. 

Rent control laws vary from place to place, so it’s important to be familiar with the rules in your area. It protects tenants from dramatic rent increases that could make their housing unaffordable.

However, rent control can also have some drawbacks. For example, it can lead to a decrease in the quality of housing. Landlords can’t charge higher rents to cover the cost of repairs. This means less incentive to maintain and improve their properties.

Additionally, rent control can make it difficult for landlords to evict problem tenants. This is even if they are not paying their rent or are causing damage to the property.

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What Is Rent Stabilization?

Rent stabilization is a system in which the government regulates the amount that landlords can increase each year. This system keeps housing affordable for tenants. This also prevents landlords from overcharging their properties.

To be eligible for rent stabilization, a rental unit must meet certain criteria. One criterion is whether the unit was built before a certain date or is part of a rent-controlled building. The landlord is then required to register the unit with the local city or county.

Once registered, the landlord cannot charge more than the allowed rent increase each year. Rent-stabilized buildings must also follow certain guidelines to increase rents. They need to make improvements to the unit or add services.

Landlords must also follow certain rules if they choose not to renew a tenant’s lease when it expires, such as providing proper notice to them. Landlords may evict tenants who do not pay their rent on time, or who do not follow the rules of the lease.

How Do Rent Control and Rent Stabilization Differ?

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between rent control and rent stabilization.

Generally, rent control applies to units that are part of a larger rental property, like an apartment complex. While rent stabilization usually applies to individual units, like a single-family homes.

Rent control typically imposes harder limits on how much rent can be increased each year. Rent stabilization, on the other hand, allows for modest annual rent increases. It is often used in conjunction with rent control, to further protect tenants from price gouging.

Learn the Difference Between Rent Control vs Rent Stabilization Today

The debate between rent control vs rent stabilization is one that is unlikely to be resolved soon. Both options have their pros and cons, and it ultimately comes down to what is best for the individual and their preference.

Overall, both rent control and rent stabilization can help keep housing affordable. If you’re concerned about your rent, reach out to your local municipality to see if either of these programs applies to you.

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