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Is this an Illegal Overcharge on Sublet?

Posted by Kay on July 21, 2000 at 13:57:54:

I live in a 4 bedroom rent-stabilized apartment in Manhattan. All 4 of us moved in on April 1st, 2000. Two roommates (A&B) found the apartment and signed a 1 year lease. My other roommate and I (C&D) signed a 1 year sublet from A&B. A&B are charging us $1250 each per month for rent.

Recently, A&B decided they want to move back to New Jersey. They offered us the choice of
(1) continuing our sublet and they would sublet their rooms to 2 new roommates
(2)discontinuing the lease & sublet and we (C&D) would start a new lease with the landlord.

I asked A&B how much their rooms were renting for, so I could look for additional roommates to sublet their rooms. A&B told me their rooms were the same rent as mine - $1250 each. That makes the total rent $5000.

I contacted the landlord to get information about starting a new lease. They told me that the current rent amount is $3730 and would increase to $4100 with a new lease.

So... this means my current roommates/sublettors were lying to us about the rent. A&B only paid $615 per month, while C&D paid $1250.

Is this legal? Do I have any rights? How can I get a refund on the overcharge for 5 months?

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