DHCR issues new air conditioning surcharges.
In buildings where tenants do not pay electricity (electrical inclusion buildings), owners may charge tenants $349.53 per year per air conditioner ($29.13 per month per air conditioner).
This is an increase from last year's surcharge of $321.94 per year per air conditioner. Owners should check their records and make sure to adjust the amount that tenants are paying to comply with the new surcharge. The increased charge reflects an 8.57% increase in the price of electricity for electrical inclusion buildings.
In buildings where tenants pay for their own electricity (electrical exclusion), an owner may charge a tenant $5.00 per month per air conditioner, if the air conditioner protrudes beyond the window line and the tenant purchases and installs the air conditioner between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2012.
Finally, where a new air conditioner is purchased and installed by the owner with the written consent of the tenant, the owner may increase the rent by 1/40 of the cost the of the new air conditioner (in buildings that contain 35 or fewer apartments) or 1/60 of the cost of the new air condition (in buildings that contain more than 35 apartments).
For rent-controlled apartments, owners must apply for approval from the DHCR to collect the air conditioner surcharge. However, for rent-stabilized apartments, no DHCR approval is necessary. Owners should be aware that the surcharge does not become part of the base rent and should NOT be included in calculating any increases to the base rent.
Most importantly, the monthly charges remain collectible during the entire year, even if the air conditioner is removed by the tenants during the winter months. The Update is effective October 1, 2011, and covers any air conditioners installed from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.
BY MARTIN HEISTEIN BELKIN, BURDEN, WENIG GOLDMAN LLP
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|Publication:||Real Estate Weekly|
|Date:||Jan 4, 2012|
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