What Is the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption
SCRIE, or the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, governs NYC renters who are at least 62 years old and live within the city. If tenants qualify for this program, they can have their rent frozen at the current rate and be excluded from future increases. Age isn't the only factor that is considered for this program, so both landlords and tenants must be aware of who is able to qualify for this benefit.
What Else Does SCRIE Consider?
Income is a major factor for the SCRIE program. Tenants who are within the appropriate age category must have a total annual household income of $50,000 or less in order to qualify. The amount of rent they pay every month must also be more than 33% of their total income. If either of these financial qualifications are not met, then they may not be approved for the rent freeze. SCRIE only applies to rental units that are governed by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal [DHCR]. The unit must already be rent stabilized, including hotel rooms which may be stabilized. Rental units outside of this governance do not need to follow SCRIE guidelines.
How To Apply for SCRIE
An initial application must be filled out by the tenant. This will determine their qualification for the program. This application can be filled out in person at the DHCR, mailed in, or completed online. SCRIE requires documentation which proves income totals and the percentage of rent to income and these must be mailed in even if the application is filled out online. Tenants who do qualify for SCRIE must continue to keep their application up-to-date. Renewals must occur before a tenant's current lease expires. DHCR typically mails out a renewal application within 60 days of its deadline, but it is up to the tenant to make sure their documentation remains current. SCRIE is designed to help senior citizens be able to stay in their homes after retirement. To find out if you qualify for this exemption, you will need to file your initial application as soon as possible.
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