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DHCR Decreases Air Conditioner Surcharge for Third Straight Year

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DHCR has issued its 32nd annual update of permissible charges for the use and/or initial installation of an air conditioner for both rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments in New York City. As a result of decreased electrical costs, the air conditioner surcharge has been decreased from $26.65 per month to $26.02 per month, or $312.27 per year, effective October 1, 2017 where electricity costs are included in the rent.

The decrease is a direct result of a 3.2% decrease in the price of electricity for electrical inclusion buildings as contained in the 2017 Price Index of Operating Costs issued by the City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB). This is the third consecutive decrease in charges issued by DHCR. For air conditioners installed between October 1, 1985, and September 30, 2018, in rent stabilized apartments in buildings providing electricity, the new monthly charge will go into effect October 1, 2017.

Where a new air conditioner is purchased and installed by the building owner with the written consent of the rent controlled or rent stabilized tenant, 1/40th of the cost of the unit, or 1/60th of the cost in buildings with more than 35 apartments, including any cost of installation but excluding any finance charges may be included in the base rent. The increase for rent stabilized apartments becomes effective on the first rent payment date following the installation of the air conditioner.

Where the rent controlled or rent stabilized tenant pays for their own electricity, and the tenant installs the air conditioner(s) between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018, a $5 per month per air conditioner charge will be payable to the owner only if the air conditioner(s) project beyond the window line.

Except for the 1/40th or 1/60th charge for the owner purchased and installed air conditioner(s), charges for these appliances do not become part of the base rent for the purpose of computing any guidelines or other increases under the Rent Stabilization Law or Code.
To continue collecting the air conditioner charge, owners must apply to DHCR by submitting Owner’s Notice of a Rent Increase Based on Increased Services/New Furnishings/Equipment/Painting; and Tenant’s Statement of Consent – Owner’s Application for Air Conditioner Charges,” form RA – 79B. The charge is not collectible until an order is issued by DHCR. Please be aware that owners will be penalized by the total elimination of the AC surcharge if they fail to file for the reduced air conditioner charge with DHCR.

The full text of the 32nd annual DHCR Air Conditioner Bulletin can be found HERE

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