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Rental Housing Commission Publishes New Rent Increase Caps: 2.9% for elderly/disability tenants; 4.9% for most other tenants

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The Rental Housing Commission (RHC) has published the rent increase caps for rent control year 2024 based on the regional CPI-W.1 Last year, the Council enacted a two-year cumulative cap of 8% for elderly / disability tenants and 12% for all other tenants.2  Because inflation was so low this past year, in most cases those caps are now moot (please see (b)(ii) below). 

The following will apply to rent increases that take effect between May 1, 2024 through April 30, 2025 (rent control year 2024):

a.    2.9% cap for elderly / disability tenants: If a rent-controlled unit is occupied by an elderly tenant or a tenant with a disability, the maximum standard rent increase will be 2.9%.3   To qualify for this lower rent increase cap, the tenant must have registered his or her elderly or disability status with the Rent Administrator. To do so, visit this link for the appropriate form.

b.    4.9% cap for most other tenants: 

i.    For most other rent-controlled (non-elderly/without disability) units, the maximum standard rent increase will be 4.9% (CPI-W + 2%).4 
ii.   The lone exception is for non-elderly, non-disability tenants who received more than a 6.7% rent increase in May or June of 2023.5   In those cases, the 12% two-year cumulative cap that the Council put in place last           year must be taken into account; and the maximum rent increase will be less than 4.9%. 

You may note that 6.7% plus 4.9% is only 11.6%, which is less than 12%.  This is because the rent control year 2024 rent increase – and the 12% two-year cap – must both be calculated based on the rent control year 2022 rent level, and not the 2023 rent amount (i.e. the current rent).

Put simply, for a non-elderly, non-disability tenant, the rent control year 2024 rent increase should be no more than 12% of the total rent on April 30, 2023 (i.e. the last day of rent control year 2022) minus the dollar amount of the rent increase taken in rent control year 2023

For example, if the rent on April 30, 2023 was $1,500, then the two-year cumulative cap for rent control years 2023 and 2024 is $180; therefore, if the rent increase for rent control year 2023 was $134 (the full 8.9% increase that was allowed), then the maximum increase in rent control year 2024 would be $46. 

c.  Qualification for elderly / disability surcharge protection: Elderly tenants and tenants with a disability who are registered with the Rent Administrator as lower income are exempt from rent surcharges due to housing provider petitions that have been approved by the government (i.e., Capital Improvement, Services and Facilities, Hardship, and Substantial Rehabilitation petitions). The RHC published the relevant maximum incomes to qualify for this exemption: $63,900 for a household of one; $73,000 for a household of two; $82,150 for a household of three; and $91,250 for a family of four; plus $9,150 for each additional person in the household.

To view the RHC's notice, click this link and then click “View text.”



1 CPI-W = Consumer Price Index – Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.

2  Act 25-151 and Law 25-42, the “Rent Stabilized Housing Inflation Protection Emergency/Temporary Amendment Acts of 2023”.

3 Under Rent Control, the maximum annual rent adjustment for elderly tenants and tenants with a disability is the lesser of the CPI (2.9% for 2024), the Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (3.2% for 2024) or 5%. Therefore, for rent control year 2024 the maximum will be 2.9%.

4 The 2024 CPI-W will be 2.9% – a decrease of 4% from the 6.9% CPI for rent control year 2023 (which ends April 30, 2024). The new CPI will apply to standard rent increases that become effective during rent control year 2024.

5 Act 25-151, which imposed the 12% two-year cumulative cap for rent control years 2023 and 2024, did not affect rent increases that took effect prior to July 1, 2023.