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DHCR counselors can be morons

Posted by me on August 25, 2001 at 00:15:01:

In Reply to: Re:J5I - comments from DHCR counselor posted by yudesca on August 12, 2001 at 12:16:43:

Take what the DHCR counselor said with a grain of salt. Consider it--but not as definitive. I think the counselor is probably wrong re preferential rents.

Just the other day I got a WRONG answer on a question from the DHCR help line. The person checked with his supervisor before getting the wrong answer. (It had to do with the right of landlords to be present at inspections.)

: The lease date is 11/16/00 (the day I signed it).The lease term states it's from 11/01/00-10/31/01.
: I see nothing in the lease that states anything re:J51. I skimmmed through it but will go back and double check.

: The DHCR counselor told me that in order for them to know if the increase in rent from 498 to 823 was leagal, they would have to see how long the tenant that paid $498 lived there. He put it this way the longer she lived there, the more rights does the LL have to raise the rent. He went saying including the vac. increase of 20% he is entitled to .6% increase.

: Re:Pref. rent the councelor shut it down completly statiing I did not have a case and not to even try it.

: : 1. First, this clause is good for you because it states that the so-called preferential rent applies to your first lease and "all subsequent renewals of the lease with the undersigned tenant." It then goes on to say the higher amount will become the base for the next tenant, which is debatable but not really an issue for you.

: : 2. The only reason suggested for the preferential rent is that you were to take occupancy before 11/01/00. Was there any significance to that date? It's hard to see why that would become the basis for a preferential rent, but maybe there was some advantage to the landlord.

: : 3. On your rent history, lease and in your discussions with DHCR, was there any indication of a J-51 or other tax exemption? In one of your earlier postings you said something about DHCR saying they didn't have
: : records back to the '80s, and this is about the only reason I can see why they would be saying that.

: : : The clause added to the lease states this:

: : :
: : : If the amount of rent reserved herein & hereunder in th e lease is less then the last rental in the last lease for the subject apt or ths last rnewal thereof, then and in the event, the parties to this lease agree and acknowledge that in cinsideration for the tenant entering inot occupancy of the subject premises on or before 11/1/00 , the LL agrees that the mo. max. legal rent of $971, as computed in accordance w/the Rent Guidelines now in effect, will be adjusted down to the amt. of $875 during the intial lease term. This adj. amt. will be mop. rent owed under article 3 of this lease & that all subsequent renewals of hte lease w/the undersigned tenant will be bassed upon pref. amt. It is understood & agreed that this offer to adjust the tenants rent is not binding on the LL as a term & condition of the tenants lease. it is further understood & agreed that this offer shall in no manner affect LL rights to rent adjustments pursuant to Article 4, & that in all subsquent agreements by tenant sucessor in tenancy, the LL shall be entitled to all lawful rent increases based upon the max. legal rent of $971.

: : :
: : : I'm not sure if the pref. tenants had pref. rent. Is there a way for me to find out?

: : :
: : : Ok so I shouldn't let the LL know what I'm up to re:Improper lease & rent overcharge?

: : :
: : : I believe that even the recent Missionary Sisters ruling held there should be a reason and time limit for preferential rent. Was a reason given? If not, you should state this in your overcharge complaint.

: : : : 2. Did any of the previous tenants within four years receive a preferential rent? I haven't seen this litigated, but the definition of preferential rent in the newly amended RSC seems to suggest that the rent history of a tenant with a preferential rent can be examined up to four years before that tenant's vacancy, not the current tenant's complaint. May not help you, but interesting.

: : : : 3. There's no obligation for you to discuss your overcharge complaint with your managing agent or landlord, regardless of what it says on the DHCR form. You can just cross it out. Don't waste time and money on that, especially if you're nearing a crucial date because of the four-year rule. Don't inadvertently give them any ammunition to use against you.

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