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unregulated lease.....HELP ME PLEASE!!!!! Time sensitive!!!

Posted by mer on June 21, 2001 at 13:02:53:

i have been living in an unregulated apartment for the past 6 years. There are only 3 units in the building in midtown manhattan. my landlord has not been especially good about renewing the leases, so when the leases were up, i assumed we were going month to month since he accepted our checks. We have been without a lease for about the past year and a half. Recently, we were told by our superintendent that the landlord was going to raise the rent(by a whopping $350!) . we were told this verbally by the super the last week in may. My assumption was that even though we are an unregulated apartment, you at least had to be given 30 days notice to accept or reject the offer. I told the super I accepted it, and assumed that since we were told the last week in may, that the new increase would begin in july. Yesterday I was handed a new lease by the super. The new lease states the beginning date as may 15. attached to the lease was a piece of scratch paper which basically said that we owed $350 for may, $350 for june, and $350 for security. As far as I am concerned, the landlord has a $3000 security deposit from us. Here are my questions: can he back log the lease—by starting it in may when we were only told verbally the last week in may and expect us to pay the new rent difference? Doesn’t he have to give us 30 days notice or doesn’t that apply to unregulated apartments? Can he ask for more security? What are my rights?? And how should I proceed with this? Should I call him or write a letter if the laws are in my favor? Starting the lease from may seems audacious to me. It sounds completely illegal. So what are the rules for unregulated apartments?? My situation is made worse by the fact that I only have a week to deal with this since I am going out of the country for a month and the rent is due in a week!!! PLEASE!!! SOMEBODY HELP ME! P.S. I am a poor actor, so I have no money to get a lawyer if that were a possibility—anyone know of any free help out there for a girl in trouble?????? Thank you.

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