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Re: REALLY FRUSTRATED – Clearing up facts

Posted by me on August 12, 2001 at 02:43:21:

In Reply to: Re: REALLY FRUSTRATED – Clearing up facts posted by yudesca on August 11, 2001 at 16:51:51:

I should have qualified to say that-- re DHCR adhering etc.-- that is my understanding. Too early to say at this moment. No harm to find out. Quite a bit of money at stake, and no downside.
Absolutely, positively DO object to basing the increase on the legal rent. The rent clause is objectionable.
You dont have to file the improper lease complaint before signing the lease.

: Funny you should say that "DHCR is still adhering to its old policy" after I mentioned to the councelor that I was aware that pref. rent increase is in the courts. He told me that the old law was done away with last month. What a jerk......

: Thanks for your advice. I will sign the renewal after confirmation I will send the Managing agent a letter that I've written re: the increase. I did not however state anything re: pref. rent increase because of the clause added in my lease. Do you really think it's wise for me to question him re:that?

: In my letter I added that all responces should be sent by certified mail as all my comments and questions will too.

: How can I find out the outcome of the Pref. law? Is this something that will take years?

: Lastly if I file the improper lease renewal I need to do that before I sign the renewal lease? Please understand that I am a little apprehensive when it comes complaining before I sign the renewal. Although there are many laws that protect tenats rights - the justice system really sucks and I feel that I might get evicted one way or another.

: BTW - I live in Manhattan.

: : Thanks for clarifying. OK, NOW we can meaningfully address your problem--which is an interesting one, concerning an issue that has been discussed a great deal in this forum, preferential rent.

: : He wants to base your new rent on the legal registered rent not the preferential rent. Regardless of the agreement you signed, the DHCR is adhering to the view that your old rent must be based on the preferential rent.

: : You dont say where you live. An appeals court for Manhattan and Bronx ruled that the rent should be based on the higher rent, in situations such as yours. HOWEVER, the DHCR is still adhering to its old policy, so a DHCR case seems to be your best bet. So you need to file two complaints:
: : 1. Improper lease renewal.
: : 2. Rent overcharge.
: : In the rent overcharge complaint, you have two grounds--using the legal rent to calculate your increase, and the '99 increase. It seems too high. Forget about increases before '97. By law the DHCR cant look before 97.

: : You should first write the landlord a letter saying he is overcharging you, that the lease is incorrect, and that he can get hit with treble damages. Send it certified, return receipt requested.

: : Keep it as simple as possible. The DHCR is awful, as you know from dealing with their "counsellor." If you get a ruling against you, appeal--sometimes the people hearing the case initially are complete morons, while the people handling the appeals are better.

: : And go ahead and renew the lease. Just be sure to notify the landlord that you are signing it under protest, etc., as indicated before.

: : : I apologize for the confusion.

: : : Since 84' to now 3 tenants have occupied this apt.
: : : Maggie - 84'-99' last rent @ $498.50
: : : Cely - 99'-00' rent @ $823.59 (sigend a 2yr but left before the 1styr)
: : : Me - 10/00 to present legal rent $971 but pay $875 (preferential)

: : : My current legal rent is $971. The LL gave me preferential rent so I've been paying $875 from 10/00(when I signed the 1yr vac. lease) to now. There is a clause on my lease that sats he can do away w/th pref. rent whenever he likes. Now my renewal states that my rent will go up 4 or 6% of the $971. Therefore, If I sign a 2yr lease my rent will be $1030

: : :
: : : : Some basic facts aren't clear from your post, and people seem to be guessing about them. How much rent are you paying? Why do you feel you were overcharged?
: : : : You are not going to get very good responses if you are not clear. Instead you go on about feeling disappointed, etc. Keep in mind that the DHCR is a state agency staffed almost entirely by morons and mediocrities. However, you can get a fair decision from them now and then, and when it comes to overcharges the penalties are severe. If you feel you were overcharged, then complain. Disregard idiotic suggesitons that if you are happy you should forget about it. If you are being ripped off, file a complaint.

: : : : : I was advised to get a rent history because I felt that my landlord was overcharging me. On the rent history, I noticed a jump from $498 to $823 on a rent stabilized apt. I called DHCR and they advised me to come in and show my papers for a counselor to review.

: : : : : I just got back from the DHCR office in Manhattan very disappointed. The counselor was not very supportive and in certain instances he “shut me down”. I felt like I was having a discussion with my landlord. I thought they were there to help me not make me feel like I was an idiot!!!

: : : : : Anyway his comment was that there is no way of him finding out whether or not the jump in rent was legal until I file a complaint because the history only went as far as 84’. I told him that I was not going to lose anything filing the complaint and at least I would be at ease with whatever decision was granted. He told me to keep in mind that I would be pissing the landlord off!! I told him I was sure of that but am willing to suffer the consequences.

: : : : : I was on’s site and came across a vacancy calculator and plugged in all my dates and #’s. I went back as far as 1970 with the $498 rent and even included $2000 for oven and fridge (which I doubt he spent!). According to that calculator, he is entitled to raise the rent 46.5%, which comes up to $724. So if the tenant paying $498 when she left occupied this apt after 1970 why is he raising the rent so much?

: : : : : My lease is up for renewal now so I will sign it and return it before I file my complaint. It’s worth a try!!!

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