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Re: Landlord is overcharging you

Posted by Anna on July 21, 1999 at 20:57:44:

In Reply to: Landlord does not acknowledge DHCR Orders posted by myrna on July 20, 1999 at 01:49:27:

: In 1993, DHCR found landlord responsible for "willful" rent overcharge after I charged a complaint in 1989. Our rent was reduced and landlord was required to pay back treble and a new lease was to be renewed in 1995. Landlord filed PAR.
: Years later and without a lease, treble charges were reduced by DHCR's review. All throughout this period of years of disputing with landlord and awaiting DHCR's reviews, my rent continued to go up and each rent bill showed a balanced owed
: and a fee of $10 dollars for each month of "late" payment. DHCR assured me that I was to continue to pay the reduced rent until landlord renewed lease. Today, according to landlord's records, I owe over $4,000 dollars of rent and for the July rent bill
: he attached a $75 fee for an eviction. I called landlord's office and was advised I would not speak to him, but to a manager. Manager said the eviction was to go through because I owed money. I explained I had the documentation to prove
: that the eviction would be unsubstantiated, and that I had the documents to prove. She asked for copies and told me she would remove the eviction fee and place the procedure on hold. A few years ago, another "manager" asked for the documents.
: I never heard from her and she no longer works there. The landlord continues to bill me for raised rent without a lease. But, he has never refused any of my rent payments. Any suggestions? There is more to this saga, but I have highlighted
: most outstanding features that underlie my worry for my future in this apartment.

The $75 "eviction fee" is a concern: this sounds like landlord-speak for "lawyers fees" or "process server's fee". Did you receive something called a 'Rent Demand' or '3-day notice' or '5-day notice' requesting payment? If yes: do NOT take the LL's manager's word that they will look into it... this is the first step in an Eviction proceeding. Go to Housing Court, ASAP: check the computers under your name as Respondent to see if they filed any papers yet. (today! if you also received a Petition or Notice of Petition) NOTE: sewer service is alive & well in NYC! go to Housing Court even if you did not receive any of these papers. (Sewer service is when they don't bother to deliver and/or mail you court papers, but lie to the court & swear under oath that they did!)

If the LL has not started eviction proceedings, three suggestions: 1. write a strong letter insisting that they remove all the $10 late fees from your account immediately; 2. file a complaint with DHCR for LL's failure to offer you a renewal lease for 4 years; 3. check the Housing Court computers again in a couple of weeks.

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