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sublet charge

Posted by chelsea on June 10, 2001 at 17:10:09:

In Reply to: vacancy (sublet) allowance question- is landlord trying to rip me off? posted by andrew on June 08, 2001 at 10:27:13:

Okay, my apologies, I get it now. He's trying to charging a sublet allowance, not a vacancy allowance per se.

The RSC says for a sublet of a rent stabilized apartments, the landlord can charge the equivalent of the vacancy allowance in that year's RGB order. The cost applies to the renewal lease only, can be passed on the subtenant and the surcharge is removed at the end of the sublease.

The DHCR fact sheet also refers to a 10 percent charge for rent-controlled tenants.

So if the vacancy allowance is 10 percent for leases starting Sept. 1, the landlord can charge that for the period of the renewal lease starting at that time, but you can pass it on to the subtenant.


From the DCHR fact sheet on sublets:

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. The prime tenant may pass this sublet allowance along to the subtenant.

If the prime tenant sublets the apartment fully furnished, the prime tenant may charge an additional rent increase for the use of the furniture. This increase may not exceed ten percent of the lawful rent.

The prime tenant may not demand "key money" or overcharge the subtenant. If the prime tenant overcharges the subtenant, the subtenant may file a "Tenant's Complaint of Rent Overcharge and/or Excess Security Deposit" (DHCR Form RA-89). If the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) finds that the prime tenant has overcharged the subtenant, the prime tenant will be required to refund to the subtenant three times the overcharge.

The sublease may extend beyond the prime tenant's lease term. The prime tenant retains the right to the renewal lease. A tenant may not sublet the apartment for more than two years out of the four-year period before the termination date of the sublease. For example, a tenant seeks to sublet the apartment for two years starting January 1, 1995. The sublet would expire December 31, 1996. If the tenant has already sublet the apartment for any period of time between January 1, 1993 and December 31, 1994, the tenant would be exceeding the maximum two year sublet rule. The owner could bring an eviction proceeding against the prime tenant.

From the RSC itself:

e)(1) Upon the consent of the owner to a sublet, the legal regulated rent payable
to the owner effective upon the date of subletting may be increased by the
vacancy allowance, if any, provided in the Rent Guidelines Board order in effect
at the time of the commencement date of the lease, provided the lease is a
renewal lease. Upon the consent of an owner to an assignment, regardless of
whether or not the lease is a renewal lease, the legal regulated rent payable to the
owner effective upon the date of such assignment may be increased by (i) the
increase provided for in 2522.8 of this Title; and (ii) which may be further
increased by the vacancy allowance, if any, provided in the Rent Guidelines
Board order in effect at the time of the commencement date of the lease. Such
increases shall remain part of the legal regulated rent for any subsequent renewal
lease. However, in the case of a subletting, upon termination of the sublease, the
legal regulated rent shall revert to the legal regulated rent without the sublet
vacancy allowance.

lks-
: 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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