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vacancy (sublet) allowance question- is landlord trying to rip me off?

Posted by andrew on June 08, 2001 at 10:27:13:

hi folks-
i am in NYC (manhattan) and have a rent stabilized apartment. my 1 year renewal lease is currently in effect--from Sep 1, 2000 to Aug 31 2001. I wish to sublet the apartment from June 15, 2001 to February 28, 2002, meaning that the sublet takes place over two renewal lease periods. I have gone thru the appropriate procedures with my landlord to gain approval on the sublet. i received a letter approving the sublet, but the the landlord has imposed a 10% "vacancy allowance" increase in the rent. the amount they say i need to pay is the amount of rent that i am paying in the CURRENT lease + 10%

Here's what I THINK i know from the research:
- order 31 from the RGB, called "Increases Allowed as Established by The Rent Guidelines Board of The City of New York," appears to define for apartments and lofts "rent levels for leases commencing October 1, 1999 through September 30, 2000." The order establishes that "No vacancy allowance is permitted except as provided by sections 19 and 20 of the Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997."
- order 32, which applies to leases commencing October 1, 2000 to Sept 30, 2001 provides for a 10% vacancy allowance

The imposition of a 10% increase in this case seems inappropriate based on the following:
- my lease commenced during the period of order 31
- since the sublet covers two periods, and if the vacancy allowance were really appropriate, why have i not been provided two figures: the lease amount for the current lease + 10% and the lease amount for the next lease + 10%?

The only ambiguity I find in this is the RGB definition of "lease." However, the DHCR Fact Sheet #7 says "The owner may charge the prime tenant a sublet allowance equal to the vacancy allowance in effect at the start of the lease, if the lease is a renewal lease. So i understand this to mean that the vacancy allowance applies to the date of the RENEWAL lease, NOT the sublease.

Am I wrong about this? if i am right, what is the best way to handle this with the landlord?

thanks for any help you can provide.

p.s. the building has about 20 units and is a rental building. not sure of the age, but my apartment is a rent stabilized apartment.

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