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Rent Increase for Unregulated Apartment

Posted by Mark Smith on August 13, 1999 at 21:05:58:

In Reply to: rent stabilization basics posted by emily on August 13, 1999 at 19:45:52:

Generally, vacancy rents over $2,000 a month are not not regulated. A three-month security deposit is high, but is legal for an unregulated apartment. The rent increase is $175 a month, so a $525 increase in the security deposit would keep it at 3 months of the new rent. If you have paid your rent on time, you could ask to have the security deposit reduced to one or two months' rent. You should also check to see if $2,200 is the current market rent for your apartment, and, if not, possibly negotiate a lower rent.

You should also get the rental history of the apartment from DHCR, and also find out what improvements, if any, the landlord made in the apartment. Does the old stabilized rent, plus a minimum increase of 20% for a two-year lease, plus 1/40 of the cost of the improvements come to more than $2,000. If not, you might consult a lawyer about challenging the rent and the rent regulated status of the apartment. A rent overcharge complaint at DHCR costs nothing to file, but can take a very long time to resolve, and you may end up having to go to state Supreme Court to challenge DHCR's decision. And all the while, you will have to pay the $2,000+ rent. A lawyer would probably suggest that Supreme Court, Civil Court, or Housing Court might get quicker and better results.

: What is the percentage by which landlords can increase the rent of a rent stabilized apartment? If they increase the rent, can they also ask for more money towards an original security deposit? Is there a maximum amount that a landlord can hold as a security deposit?

: My roommate and I signed a one year lease for a 2-bedroom apartment for $2025 (with a three month security deposit). Our lease renewal notice indicates that they're raising this to $2200, and they're now asking for an additional $525 security deposit. Is this as OUTRAGEOUS as it seems? Or do we just not know the laws? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

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