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SCRIE: The Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption(SCRIE) offers assistance to eligible seniors from having to pay certain rent increases. Senior citizen tenants who reside in rent control or rent stabilized apartments can apply for SCRIE through the NYC Department of Finance (“DOF”) and may be entitled to an exemption from future rent increases (click here for the application).If the tenant is approved, the owner of the building will receive a corresponding credit against their real estate taxes from the City of New York.  Applicants must meet ALL of the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Be 62 years of age or older;
  2. Rent an apartment that is regulated by the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) (i.e. rent controlled or rent stabilized apartments or hotel stabilized);
  3. Have an annual household income of $29,000 or less;
  4. For applications received in 2010, income eligibility is established by the applicant’s income from calendar year 2009; and
  5. Pay more than one-third of the household’s aggregate disposable income for rent.

After receiving the application, the SCRIE office will send the tenant an acknowledgment letter with an assigned docket number.  The landlord will also receive a notification that the application has been filed.  After going through several layers of review, the Department for the Aging (“DFTA”) will notify the tenant that the process has been approved or denied.

If the tenant is approved, a notification stating the effective dates of the exemption period, the amount the tenant is responsible for paying, and the amount of the Tax Abatement Credit (TAC) will be mailed to the landlord.  This is known as an Order of Approval.  The landlord will receive an Owner Approval Order.

When the landlord receives the Owner Approval Order, it must repay the tenant any retroactive portion of the rent that is due. The tenant will stop paying the full collectible rent and begin paying only that portion authorized under the SCRIE Program.

The DOF maintains a SCRIE account for each landlord to track the tax abatement credits and debits. The DOF will apply credits from the landlord’s account to offset any taxes due the next tax period. The landlord will receive a quarterly Statement of Account reflecting credit or debit activity.

A landlord who believes that a tenant does not qualify for the SCRIE benefit may appeal that tenant’s SCRIE approval. An Appeal must be filed within 60 days of the date of the Owner Approval, Denial or Revocation Order, with all required documentation to the support the appeal. The landlord must also notify the tenant, in writing, that the appeal has been filed and the reason for the appeal.

After reviewing the Appeal, the DOF will notify the landlord if more information is needed.  If not, a hearing will be scheduled, or a decision will be made regarding the Appeal.

Nahum Palefski, Esq.

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