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Rent gouging can be hard to define, and is often described vaguely as charging "unconscionably" high rent. For example, rent gouging may be defined as renting, or offering to rent a premises at an "unconscionable price". Laws vary by local area. The following is an example of a NY statute:
" A person is guilty of rent gouging in the third degree when, in connection with the leasing, rental or use of real property, he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from a person some consideration of value, less than two hundred fifty dollars, in addition to lawful rental and other lawful charges, upon an agreement or understanding that the furnishing of such consideration will increase the possibility that any person may obtain or renew the lease, rental or use of such property, or that a failure to furnish it will decrease the possibility that any person may obtain or renew the same."