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Re: Questions about OVERCHARGE in Rent Stabilized Apt

Posted by Anna on May 19, 1999 at 19:16:00:

In Reply to: Re: Questions about Rent Stabilized Apt posted by David on May 19, 1999 at 13:42:10:

: : In 1993 the lease ran from 08/01/1992 to 07/31/1994 and the rent was $364.78. In 1994 the lease begins on 06/01/1993 and has no ending date because the apt is listed as Leas/Rnl, Vac/leas, Imprvt and the rent is 1056.25. In 1995 the lease begins on 09.01.1994 and goes through 08.31.1995 and the rent is listed as 1092.00. These are the figures from the apartment registration info sheet I received from the city. Thanks and hope this may answer future questions.


Your LL probably did pull a fast one: you see, DHCR does not require proof of the costs of these 'renovations' if they are done during a vacancy (until someone challenges them). Chances are, the LL did not spend $25,000.00 in your apt during that 'vacancy' which would allow a legitimate 1/40 or $650/mo increase. Read the DHCR section on TenantNet concerning "Substantial Rehabilitation": there's a couple of Official Policy Statements...

I think you can win an overcharge complaint but you must file it very very soon, probably in Supreme Court, with a lawyer.

Read more about this complicated subject on this message board: you can use the search feature on this message board but the links to archives won't work, so open a second browser window, bring up an archive, and use your browser's 'find' feature to locate them using the subject titles.

Then, find a lawyer who is experienced (and successful) in overcharges ASAP: it might cost to $200 for the consultation, but most will take the case on contingency & take their fees out of your winnings.

"The trial court noted that the rent registration filed with the DHCR effective April
1, 1991 was never amended and remained in effect through March 30, 1992. The trial
court found that it could examine this rent history because it is not more than four years old."

That is from a recent Appellate Term case confirming that what counts is THE REGISTRATION WHICH WAS IN EFFECT four years prior to your filing date: read the summary on TenantNet Housing Court Decisions, 4/99: 78/79 York Associates v. Rand.

By my calculation, today 5/99 minus four years is 5/95: the registration in effect was 6/94: the one with the huge jump in rent from 365 to 1056, so you can challenge that rent until the FILING DATE 6/??/95 plus four years of the next registration!

What is it worth to you? if LL proves 50% of the improvements: with 9% interest for two of the years and treble damages for two: $32,000.

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