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new landlord, MCI, eviction threats

Posted by amanda on September 19, 2001 at 14:45:36:

My landlord bought our 4 story, 7 unit, rent stabilized brooklyn building just over a month ago. He also bought an identical building next door. Immediately, one vacant apartment in the building was rented for 70% over what the last tenant had been paying. All he did was refinish the floors. He didn't even take down the half hung wallpaper, she had to do that herself.

Next, he told a family upstairs, large extended family living in one bedroom apartment, only the kids speak English, that they have to move. They are very scared and I have been trying to help them find someone who can speak Spanish and explain their rights. Meanwhile, he already told the new tenant that if she has any friends who are looking for a place, there will be an apartment in the building soon for just over twice what that family is currently paying. He has given them no written notice. They complained about their bathroom tub that does not drain and he told them that he isn't going to fix it since they have to move out anyhow. He says they have too many people living in the apartment. I believe it is a family of five, plus one grandmother and two of mom's brothers living in the apartment.

Then, he slapped us with a letter saying he intends to raise rents by 30% after he completes and MCI gut renovation of the bathrooms. Everyone in the building is spooked about this.

These are my questions:
How can the new tenant go about getting her rent reduced to the legal rate?

What are the parameters for an MCI rent increase? How is the increase determined?

Does he have to give anyone a written notice to cure before he can begin eviction procedings? Are their circumstances where he can evict you without giving you notice to mend your ways?

He has done other stuff, like immediately turn down the hot water so it is barely warm, and he hasn't done anything halfway courteous like introduce himself. I am worried that this is just the beginning.

If the new tenant who is overpaying doesn't want to rock the boat, is there anything the rest of us can do about it? He is trying to run us out because there are people like her out there willing to pay inflated rents -- so it is hurting us.


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