Posted by Chelsea on October 22, 2000 at 20:16:21:
In Reply to: Re: 20%rent increase posted by kim on October 22, 2000 at 19:18:44:
It sounds to me as if your landlord may be trying to pull a fast one, and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal may be helping him out by giving you bad information (not a surprise).
Just because a lease says an apartment is not stabilized doesn't mean it isn't. You should ask DHCR for a rent history of the apartment, which should show the past rent paid and the status of the unit. If it was stabilized when you moved in, it should remain stabilized (unless you earn more than $175,000 and there's luxury decontrol). Sometimes landlords will say apartments go free market if a J-51 tax exemption has expired; this is not automatic and is often abused. The tax exemption would have to be spelled out in your lease; is there any such language? Even if it is there, if the building was rent stabilized before the tax exemption, the expiration doesn't remove it from stabilization. If it's not stabilized, however, there isn't much you can do about the rent increase, unfortunately.
I think it would be a good idea for you to get legal advice, not exactly to help negotiate a new lease, but to determine if there's been an overcharge and if you have to right to remain there as a stabilized tenant. You could have a consultation with an experienced tenant lawyer -- a good place to start is with the lawyers who advertise on Tenant.net. Or you could contact a tenants organization in your area, such as Met Council. You may be entitled to have any overcharge paid back, trebled, with interest, though this is not a fun and easy process.
You should spend some time going through some of the information on Tenant.net, such as "New York Tenant Info" and "Are You Rent Stabilized?"
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