Posted by Phil on June 10, 1999 at 14:12:05:
I have a FMRA now active at DHCR. On 11/7/95, I became the first stabilized tenant in a prev. rent-controlled apt. Registration was filed on 12/27/95. MCR was 187.04, MBR 237.72, and rent 190.56. My rent was set at $833 in the East Village. I have done lots of research, but would greatly appreciate any help on these things that still aren't clear:
I've gotten as many formulas for calculating the fair rent as people I've asked plus documents I've read. The landlord uses MCR+45% for $271.20. I think that's correct. But then for comparability, he says only apartments with initial registration 4 years before or one year after mine are usable. Based on that, he disqualifies my line, then inexplicably jumps to the building next door, and finds a line with just two such apartments which average $851. I've gotten conflicting advice about whether this is even the right way to do comparability. Secondly, he seems to have intentionally picked the line of apts. that was most advantageous. Third, averaging already-increased-and-renovated apartments that were never contested, then adding the increase and the renovation costs makes no sense. That's double-counting the increases. Anyway, is this the right formula? Or is it supposed to be one or the other, comparability or the 45%? And is the comparability done wrong?
Secondly, the landlord's claims of renovations are blatantly wrong. I've offered extensive evidence to DHCR, but I'm wondering how likely they are to accept my claims. Since he's claiming $17,500 and I can justify about $2,500, this represent the bulk of the disagreement between us.
Thirdly, is it true I could have done this in Housing Court instead with likely better and speedier results, as I've read and been told by Housing Court judges, or does that advice not apply in FMRA cases? And if so, is there any way I can change it now?
Finally, someone at Housing Court said he recently worked at DHCR and that my case had no chance. He said they are using a de facto starting point there of about $650 now no matter what the MCR and comparability, and that they would probably allow at least half the landlord's claimed improvements despite my evidence. Is he right? Or was he just making that up?
Sorry for the long message. I've met all my deadlines and done all the research I can, but still feel overwhelmed. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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