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Re: Rent-regulated in a building converted to coops

Posted by Anna on July 27, 1999 at 00:01:07:

In Reply to: Renter in a building where most others are co op shareholders posted by Judy Harris on July 23, 1999 at 13:20:58:

Assuming you're apt is rent-stabilized (or -controlled):

: My building went co op about 15 years ago and I couldn't afford to buy.
: About half the tenants bought and many of these later sold to new people.
: These new people have over the years made major capital improvements to the
: building which have upped my rent substantially.
Your rent cannot be increased above the annual RGB amounts (e.g.:2%/4% this year) UNLESS DHCR grants their application. You, the tenant, can fight it at every stage. See the DHCR section on TenantNet or goto DHCR's website or office. No 'hardship' increases are allowed, ever. And no MCI increases are allowed IF they paid for the item from the Reserve Fund. Only MCI's paid for by special assessments to the shareholders can be passed along to non-purchasing tenants.

: They developed "house rules" which they didn't publish to us renters until
: just recently.
: I have a cat who I take in and out of the building on a regular basis, at least
: twice a day. They are making all kinds of unreasonable demands about this, and
They cannot reduce any services to, or remove any rights of, any rent-regulated tenant, whether they are considered 'essential' by DHCR (file a reduction of services complaint) or not, and whether they are written in your lease or not. In addition to the Rent Stab and/or Rent Control laws, the Martin Act guarantees it. You'll have to sue them, of coursse, or threaten to, the OAG won't do it for you. The Martin Act (General Business Law, Article 23a, Section 352-eeee) controls the conversion (and after-effects) to coop/condo: it's also called 'GBL 352eeee': goto the Attorney General's website for other helpful info: they have a CoopConversion brochure they can mail you.

Two important excerpts:
3. All dwelling units occupied by non-purchasing tenants shall be
managed by the same managing agent who manages all other dwelling units
in the building or group of buildings or development. Such managing
agent shall provide to non-purchasing tenants all services and facili-
ties required by law on a non-discriminatory basis.
4. It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in any course of
conduct, including, but not limited to, interruption or discontinuance
of essential services, which substantially interferes with or disturbs
the comfort, repose, peace or quiet of any tenant in his use or occupan-
cy of his dwelling unit or the facilities related thereto. The attorney
general may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for an order
restraining such conduct and, if he deems it appropriate, an order
restraining the owner from selling the shares allocated to the dwelling
unit or the dwelling unit itself or from proceeding with the plan of
conversion; provided that nothing contained herein shall be deemed to
preclude the tenant from applying on his own behalf for similar relief.

: I wondered if anyone knew of a real estate or civil liberties attorney I could
: consult as to what constitutes a "reasonable" demand of a co op board that a
: renter like me would be obliged to obey.
: Also, there are penalties for disobeying certain rules, $100 or $250. How
: would they collect such penalties?
They cannot invent NEW rules & NEW penalties.

Whatever happened to the Tenants Association and it's lawyer?: maybe it is time to revive it! You did have one during the conversion, didn't you? How many other renters are there: 10%, 40%?

: Thanks.

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