MCI 101: What is a Major Capital Improvement?

When owners make improvements to rent regulated buildings, they can apply to raise the rent based on the cost of the work done.  This is called a Major Capital Improvement (MCI) rent increase, and it  is permanent.  As a coalition, we are working to make changes to current MCI regulations to make them fair to tenants. Below is one Coalition leader’s story going through the process:

Major Capital Improvements are almost a way of life for most tenants.   Landlords allow their properties to deteriorate from lack of maintenance and then decide to fix them and apply for MCI rent increases to recoup monies from tenants who are already at their limit financially.  I am a tenant whose building is in the process of going thru an MCI increase, and I find it quite disturbing to see the injustice that is being done to tenants by landlords who just take advantage because they can. Where are the inspectors to check behind landlords to make sure all work is being done fair and proper?  NY State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) must also be held accountable to check and verify all paperwork being submittted by landlords. I find my experience to be very depressing when long-time tenants receive inferior quality appliances & renovations than new tenants (e.g. smaller refrigerators), and everyone involved in the renovations are related, the landlord, the contractor and the notary who signed off on the MCI documents.  It’s time for change. Our voices must be heard by our government officials, enough is enough and we are not taking it any more.

Major Capital corruption is the only way an MCI can be explained.  We as tenants must unite together to stop this common practice and make a change in the rent regulations that allows landlords to recoup this money forever.  We must stand for something so landlords know we won’t fall for anything.

For more details on MCIs see:  http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac24.htm

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