Posted by Anna on June 22, 1999 at 12:45:59:
In Reply to: Re: Filing overcharge complaints: get real! posted by isaac on June 22, 1999 at 10:18:46:
To Suzanne & other overcharged tenants:
ONE MORE THING: you can't do both, file at DHCR AND in court: 3 of us agree: do not go to DHCR with this!
here's one link: http://tenant.net/forum/board/messages/arcs99/arcs9904/5042.html
: :Has anyone tried filling the "new" (since 1996) overcharge forms lately?
: It is now very complex, designed to discourage filing:
: 1) You have to document what you paid the past 4 years, month by by month.
: 2) You can go back ONLY 4 years: if the overcharge occured more than 4 year from filing date, then DHCR will not touch the case.
: 3) You have to document that, BEFORE you submit the form, you have discussed your complaint with your LL, and given him the opportunity to make amends. Only if the LL disagrees, can you file the overcharge.
: (sort of, if a bank robber is caught, the police asks him if he agrees that in fact he robbed the bank, and if so would he please return the loot; only if the robber disagrees, would the police take any action.)
: 4) You will wait forever for DHCR to take any action: my tenant organization is still waiting for DHCR to take action on 50 cases of parking overcharges (parking is an ancillary service) that we filed, on the old forms, back in 1995!)
: 5) Watch then for the LL to submit questionable documentation. Even if you win, you would most certainly lose on LL PAR appeal.
: DHCR entices you to go thru the process, with the lure of "triple damage". Forget it. Better to hire a lawyer and take your case directly to court.
: : : : My apt is rent stab. I pay $675, which is a low rent considering the current market. But I looked into my rental history and the last registered rent until this year was $175 in 1986. There have been absolutely NO renovations done -- its a classic EV tenament with tub in kitchen. Some "real estate" guy at a party told me that I can't sue for overcharge b/c a rent stab apartment like mine had a min legal rent established in some year (for 3 rooms he claimed about $400) and my particular history would be irrelevant. Was this guy talking out his *ss?
: : : :::::::::::::::::::::::
: : : Think for a minute: if there EVER had been an across-the-board minimum rent stab rent in the past 15 years, WHY would the RGB keep awarding bonuses (poor-tax to us tenants) on apts renting below $xx/mo??? add $15 to the 2%/4% for apt under $450 in 98-99, $15 if under $400 in 94-95, $20 under $400 in 95-96, etc etc.
: : : Sounds like you do have an overcharge: do not file a complaint with DHCR: read the messages here from the past 6 or so months: IF the ONLY reason you have an overcharge is that the LL has not registered the apt, then LL can simply file those registrations before your hearing date and the overcharge disappears!
: : : So much for what some guys will say at a party! Read more about it, do the math, & note: some lawyers will take on an overcharge case in court on contingency sorta like a personal injury case.
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