Posted by Will on July 31, 2001 at 16:23:21:
In Reply to: DHCR Horror Story #13812 - 'preferential rents' posted by chelsea on July 31, 2001 at 07:45:30:
Can't see how you can base overcharge on previous preferential rents...its fact that once the apartment is vacated the landlord can immediatly charge the legal rent at the time the apartment was rented (by the vacating tenant) plus any % increases that occured over that time as well as the vacancy % increase...
You should be basing any overcharge on the actual legal rent the landlord could have charged...of course it sounds as DHCR takes the landlords word for this. Not good.
: A tenant I'm working with has filed for an overcharge in a case that involves, among other issues, preferential rents. In January, he requested a rent history by phone. He was sent a history that showed only four years back, with "actual" and "preferential" rents indicated. He's challenging that preferential rent, so he needed a complete, certified record. (The new RSC amendments allow examination of rents four years prior to the vacancy of a tenant paying a preferential rent, so that's beyond the usual four years.) This time, he went to the Beaver Street DHCR office, and was given a printout with a column marked simply "rent." Only it wasn't the actual rent paid but apparently what the landlord claimed was the legal regulated rent. There's no notation of preferential rent, so if he didn't already know that was the case, he'd have no way of knowing these rents were never paid and no way of challenging them. DHCR seems to be simply barring any examination of the prefential rents, and locking in whatever the landlord registered as the legal rent, though the previous tenant was paying many hundreds of dollars less (and the tenant before that, and the tenant before that, for 12 or 15 years.)
: In this tenant's case, we already have some of the information in another form. But I'm wondering if this is a policy change that is being applied to other tenants. If so, it needs to resisted in the strongest possible terms.
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