How to Submit a Fair Market Rent Appeal
A Fair Market Rent Appeal (FMRA) is a one-time challenge to the existing rent when a municipality first opts into the state Emergency Tenant Protection Act. Both tenants with leases and tenants without written leases can file a FMRA. Tenants who file a Fair Market Rent Appeal can possibly win a reduction in the Initial Legal Regulated Rent.
You should file a Fair Market Rent Appeal if your rent increased more than 16% since January 1, 2019. If you do not take action, the rent that you were paying on or before the effective date of the law (August 1, 2022) will be fixed as your base rent.Your landlord is required to send you a RR-1 form by certified mail that declares your base rent.
You have 90 days from the postmark date of the RR-1 form to submit a Fair Market Rent Appeal.
This is a one-time opportunity: if you do not file a Fair Market Rent Appeal by the deadline, you are forever barred from doing so.
SUBMIT A RA-89 FORM
Your landlord is required to send you a RR-1 form by certified mail that declares your base rent. Even if a landlord fails to register their rents and services, tenants can file a FMRA. You have 90 days from the postmark date of the RR-1 form to submit a Fair Market Rent Appeal.
Submit the RA-89 form online: https://rent.hcr.ny.gov/RentConnect/Tenant/Overcharge
Recently DHCR added a checkbox to its RA-89 form (“Tenants complaint of rent and/or other specific overcharges in a Rent Stabilized Apartment”). Tenants should check this box, “Fair Market Rent Appeal (FMRA) (For Kingston Only).”
Form RA-89 is used for rent overcharge complaints and asks for a great deal of information, much of which might not be applicable to a Fair Market Rent Appeal. Tenants should not be discouraged from filing FMRAs because of this complicated form.
The tenant may complete Form RA-89 online, or can mail the completed form to the DHCR Office of Rent Administration at its main office in Jamaica, Queens (address is on the RA-89 form). The agency encourages tenants to file online.
Both the online form and downloadable form have a space for tenants to describe how their rent has increased by 16 percent or more between January 1, 2019 and August 1, 2022.
What to Expect
A judge has temporarily blocked implementation of Kingston’s rent reduction and Fair Market Rent Guideline for buildings with 6 or more units built before 1974. This means that the state has also paused processing Fair Market Rent Appeals. However, the 90 day window to submit an FMRA from the postmark date of the RR-1 form is NOT PAUSED. Once you have received an RR-1 form via certified mail, you have 90 days from the postmark date of the RR-1 form to submit a Fair Market Rent Appeal.
A final court decision regarding the rent reduction and Fair Market Rent Guideline is expected in early 2023. If the Fair Market Rent Guideline is upheld by the judge, the state will begin processing Fair Market Rent Appeals again.
The normal time it takes a rent examiner at ORA to render a decision on a FMRA is 7-10 months. If the rent examiner has to obtain rent history information from the landlord, it can take longer.
GET LEGAL ADVICE
Wednesday, December 7 | 6:30-8:30pm: Learn how to file a Fair Market Rent Appeal and get legal advice from housing lawyers. In person at the For the Many office (13 Grand Street Kingston NY 12401) or on Zoom. Food + childcare are provided.
Contact Justin 828-707-5711 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom link.