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Re: Help me understand my rights!

Posted by TenantNet on February 07, 1997 at 18:09:10:

In Reply to: Help me understand my rights! posted by Alex on February 07, 1997 at 17:22:10:

: I and my family have been renting an apartment (which we like very much) in Riverdale, Bronx, since December 1991. Based on what I hear about rent levels in our neighborhood, I think I am seriously overcharged. In addition, which is a real irritant, my lease has so far been extended on a 1 or 2 year basis (not more) in addition to contiual talk of the landlord rather wanting to sell the apartment. In fact, on the eve of each lease extention, the sales office in our apartment house complex (three buildings) has always reminded me that the landlord would rather sell the apartment (which I doubt since I am a very lucrative and diligent tenant). So, I have to talk the sales office into another extention every time the lease expires. According to the sales office, I am what they refer to as a "market tenant". I have to admit that I am not well educated in tenants' affairs. This raises a couple of questions: 1) What rights do I as a market tenant have compared , say, with rent-controlled or rent-stabilized tenants? 2) Is there a way of more or less accurately finding out what the actial (legally allowed) rent for this specific apartment should be? The point is that if I go with these questions to the sales office, they will take note of my unexpected curiousity and may not extend my lease next time (Who needs a troublemaker?). Also, their policy is NOT to allow tenants to speak directly with the landlord. I would greatly appreciate it if someone advises me on these things because I feel helpless in a way and have to go along with whatever the sales office suggests.. I should add that I am not a US national, I have been here legally since early 1980s and work for a major intergovernmental organization. Thanks a lot in advance.

The first step for you is to read the material we have on the web site.
In NYC, if you are in a building that a) has six or more units, b) was
built prior to 1974, and c) is not a co-op/condo, then there's a good
chance it is "subject" to rent stabilization, even if the landlord denies
it. There are other more complicated exceptions, but the first step is
to see if you are really a market-rate tenant or potentially a
rent stab tenant. ALso take a look at out database of rent regulated
buildings. But even if it's not on there, you could potentially still
be subject to the rent stab laws. Most of your rights will be determined
by your status, so find that out first. Your nationality has no bearing
on this. If you are not stabilized, your rights are covered by the lease
provisions and also certain other non-rent-regulation laws (i.e., the
Real Property Law). If he sells the building or unit, in many cases that
will have no bearing on your tenancy rights. THe new owner takes you on
for the term of your lease (or longer if rent stab).

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