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Re: changing the lease: increasing the rent is illegal

Posted by Anna on September 02, 1999 at 11:05:18:

In Reply to: changing the lease posted by Tenant on September 02, 1999 at 07:28:56:

: If you have a lease and it says that the resident will pay electricity and
: cable and the apartments will pay gas, water and garbage, can the landlord
: make you start paying part of the water bill? Understand that there is only
: one water bill per building and not per apartment. Also, the landlord is
: making each apartment pay $45.00 regardless of what size the apartment is.
: Also, anyone who is on housing, the elderly or an employee does not have to
: pay the $45.00 extra. I need an immediate response because this is mostly
: an Hispanic property and I feel the landlord is taking advantage of them
: because alot are illegals and therefore, are afraid of being deported. I say
: as long as they are paying rent each month, they still have rights as
: tenants.

The deportation fear is very rational: as is the fear of being sued for non-payment of rent.

In general, the landlord can only increase the rent when this lease ends and a new one begins. If some tenants are month-to-month (no written lease, only an oral one), he can probably do it with 30-days notice. In NY state, if ANY of the tenants are rent-controlled or rent-stabilized, he can't raise their rent UNLESS he applies to DHCR for the increase and they approve it (not very likely).

If any of you are RC or RS, you can help all the tenants by reporting this violation to DHCR: they will investigate and order refunds. Read about DHCR and about organizing the tenants on TenantNet Home . Click on NY Tenant Info.

If any tenants are rent-subsidized (like Section 8), ask those tenants to call their contacts. Also: if one tenant qualifies (someone receiving Aid to Dependent Children??), she could get help or advice from a place like Legal Aid or Northern Manhattan.

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