By JAY ROMANO  of the New York Times

Q. – I live in a rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan. I have heard that rent-stabilized apartments become “destabilized” when the rent reaches $2,000 or the renter’s income exceeds a certain amount. Is this correct and, if so, is a landlord entitled to know a renter’s income?

A. – David Ng, a Manhattan lawyer who represents tenants, said that for a landlord to de-regulate a rent-stabilized apartment under what is known as the luxury decontrol provision of the rent laws, the landlord must apply to the state’s Division of Housing and Community Renewal for an order of deregulation.

He says the law allows for deregulation if the regulated rent is $2,000 or more and the tenant’s federal adjusted gross income — as reported on the New York State tax return — exceeded $175,000 for the two years before the application.

“The landlord is only entitled to ask the tenant if his federal adjusted income exceeded $175,000 for both years,” Mr. Ng said, adding that the division can ask the state’s Department of Finance to verify only whether the reported income exceeded the limit.

— I (Lorenzo) would add to this that should this tenant move out, and the rent is over $2,000 the landlord can much more easily have the apartment destabilized. After that happens, the next tenant will no longer be entitled to a rent stabilized lease, but rather, a prime lease, regardless of the tenant’s income.

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Written by Lorenzo

Lorenzo has been hanging around the RDNY.com office for the past 20 years, and, in the process, has become the president of RDNY.com, Rent-Direct.com, and Acmelistings.com. His mission is to build RDNY.com into New York's largest no fee apartment rental service. Before RDNY.com, Lorenzo was a Regional Sales Manager for Time Equities, Inc., one of New York's largest converters of rental buildings to coops and condos. Lorenzo was once a part owner of Swift & Watson Real Estate in NYC's Greenwich Village.

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