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Re: What to do when agencies fail to remedy problems

Posted by TenantNet on January 04, 1997 at 22:20:11:

In Reply to: Re: What to do when agencies fail to remedy problems posted by Nina on January 04, 1997 at 17:20:57:

: Thank you for your feedback. Re organizing tenants; over the years the
: landlord has loaded the building w/young, apathetic transients so
: organizing seems like it would be difficult at best if not downright fruitless.

Yes, and they think it's a bargain to get a small studio for $1,500.

: I understand that MetCouncil offers free legal counsel Tues. eves. in
:the East Village. Is this still available? Any other suggestions re
:legal advice?

I don't know if they do this or not. Call 693-0551 for info.

: Additionally, I am told that I can file for a rent abatement via
:DHCR for the period of time w/o gas? Is this true? What form do
:I need? I have also been told that I can escrow my rent under these
:circumstances as well.

DHCR can grant a rent reduction (not abatement which is a one-time deduction)
Usually the service has to be reduced to get this and ever since DHCR
was taken over by landlord interests, it's virtually impossible. If your
gas is restored, you can seek a rent abatement in housing court (you
withhold the rent and let the owner sue you and claim the problem as a
defense). In essence, that's "escrow" whether you keep it in your bank
pending a case or either held by a lawyer or paid into court. ONLY pay
it into court if the judge orders it, no time else.

: I should also add that my landlord has failed to return a countersigned
:lease for over (2) years. I have filed all appropriate complaints as well
:as Affirmation of Non-Compliance w/DHCR.

What the LL is doing is illegal and your rent should not go up (no
guideline increases until he offers a lease AT THE LEGAL RENT and then only
from the last level of the last lease). He cannot recover guideline
increases even if he eventually complies. Leases must be at the legal rent
and on the same terms and conditions as the last expiring lease. If he adds
new provisions, that's not a legal lease offer. The owner must OFFER you
a lease between 120-150 days prior to the expiration of the current
lease. You then ACCEPT the lease offer if it's legal and return it to
the landlord via certified mail after you made a copy of it. Then, the owner
must EXECUTE the ACCEPTED lease OFFER and return it to you. Only after
these three steps are complete, is the process complete.

: I recently read in the NYT Sun.
:Real Estate sec. that failure to return a lease is also grounds for
:escrow. Is this true and if so, how do I go about doing this?

Not escrow, you have your terms mixed up. I didn't see the article, so I can't
comment, but if he does not do what I described above, then the rent
cannot increase. When he does make and return a lease, you can choose that
it will become effective have 120 days from when he offers it to you (although
you must return it within 60 days) and you can choose that any increase is
by the guidelines percentage then in effect or in effect at the time he
should have offered it to you. We have fact sheets on all of this.
to determine it's

: Thanks much again for your help.

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