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Re: This is confusing, I know.....

Posted by EGH on July 25, 2000 at 17:26:43:

In Reply to: This is confusing, I know..... posted by phil on July 25, 2000 at 15:39:43:

Ignore what I said above. Sign the lease renewal offer and return it.
Your new legal rent will be $1400 plus either 4% or 6%.

If DHCR reduced your rent to $1300 for lack of services, then that
is what you pay until the landlord gets permission to restore it to the full legal rent.

The way you originally described the problem, it sounded as if the reduced
rent was in the top part of the lease renewal offer -- that the landlord
was confusing your reduced rent with your regular rent stabilized rent. This does happen from time to time when landlords are careless. When this
happens, the reduced rent then becomes the new legal rent, upon which
all future increases are calculated.

From what you now describe, your landlord did not do this. He filled in the
top part of the form correctly, and then filled in the reduced rent under
the section "lower rent to be charged." To cover himself completely, he
should have noted something like "per DHCR rent reduction order."

You could try to argue that the "lower rent to be charged" should last
through the new lease term. I doubt you'll get very far with this argu-
ment if this lower rent is clearly derived from a rent reduction order.
The purpose of this clause in the renewal lease form is to allow a landlord
to charge a tenant a preferential rent -- rent below the legal maximum --
while preserving his right to charge the legal maximum in the future.

If the landlord can show that the "lower rent to be charged" is clearly
derived from a rent reduction order, and that both you and he understand
the terms of that rent reduction order, and that it is not some other
form of preferential rent, then I think you would have a hard time
convincing anyone that the landlord cannot charge the full rent after
repairing your apartment and removing the rent reduction.

I am surprised that the reduced rent is exactly $100 less than the
current rent. Usually DHCR reduces rent in these cases to the rent
level in effect prior to the legal rent when you made the
complaint. What does your rent reduction order say exactly?


: My concern is that the landlord may discover his mistake, and I'll get stuck with a two-year lease at the regular amount--which I wouldnt want. If it wasn't for the possibility of two years at the rolled-back rent, I would want a one-year lease.

: See, my rent is supposed to be $1400, but was rolled back to $1300. At the top of the lease he fills in the blanks with the right amount (1400 plus 4% for one year and 1400 plus 6% for two years). Just as usual.

: Then, where it says "lower rent to be charged," he has my rolled back rent--$1300.

: Since the right amount is one part of the lease, it is not clear to me how he will react if I write in $1300 and then "two" years. He may cross out $1300 and put in the right amount. So then, if services are restored, I get a lousy 6% increase from the old rent. No?


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