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Shitty situation

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Shitty situation

Postby cheeseburger69 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 3:31 pm

Lived in same RS unit since 2016, all payments of over $100k in rent made timely.

When I moved in, I wrote a check for first last and security (this will be relevant shortly).

I replaced a toilet seat at $41 and deducted from rent, my mistake. Landlord wanted the $41 but I offered to split the difference. They declined and reported the balance to credit reporting bureaus, dinging my credit.

They insist the toilet seat is a wear and tear item, and they only have to replace the bowl if it breaks.

I do not want to pay them the $41 directly. I want them to give me back my last month payment I made when I moved in since 2019 made such payments against the rules, and take the $41 out of that. How should I do that?
cheeseburger69
 
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Re: Shitty situation

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 07, 2023 3:51 pm

$100k - that's a lot of rent!

You wrote a check for the last month in addition to the first month? I don't think that was allowed, even prior to 2019 (but would have to research it).

LLs must provide toilet seat. You can object to the credit report. Was the $41 claimed anywhere (i.e., rent bill) to be rent or "additional rent?" That could be an issue.

What you did was "repair and deduct." There is no law that allows this, but also no law that prohibits it. It's up to a judge (I was in that situation many years ago). And it might also depend on the nature of the needed repair ... I would say that needing to crap falls under emergency. Did you notify the LL right away, and was their response, if any, speedy?

Wear and tear means things break is used in the manner they were intended. If you sat on the seat regularly, it will eventually break. (happened to me once). They are responsible under Warranty of Habitability, and also under Rent Stab required services.

I would:
- object to the credit reporting agency
- check the rules, but if I'm right, I would withhold one month's rent for the pre-payment you made earlier
- do not pay them for the toilet seat.
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Re: Shitty situation

Postby cheeseburger69 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 4:09 pm

I neglected to inform landlord of the issue with the toilet seat and repaired and deducted on my own, which I should not have done without giving them a chance to fix on their own. That's why I offered to split the cost with them.

DHCR Factsheet 9 indicates that I should be refunded any excess amount of one month rent.

If two months’ security deposit was
collected from a tenant by the owner when the
apartment first came under rent stabilization, and
the same tenant is still occupying the apartment,
the owner must refund to the tenant any additional
security deposit which exceeds one month’s rent.


https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 0-2019.pdf

I'll do the following:
- object to the report
- complain about the practice to the AG
- referring to the DHCR fact sheet, write to landlord and ask my money be returned plus interest
- pay the $41 as a sign of goodwill out of that returned money
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Re: Shitty situation

Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 07, 2023 4:40 pm

Decades ago, I informed the LL repeatedly of a serious problem and finally brought in my own repair guys. The judge still ended up splitting the difference.

I think that fact sheet is for post-2019 rules. I meant to say look at pre-2019 rules. OTOH, if a payment for last month was paid, that's still a pre-payment, so it being from 2016 might not make a difference. So the Factsheet is correct.

Make sure you earmark all rent payments in the memo field of a check or M.O., "Rent for month of February 2023, and for no other months." They might freak, but that's OK. It's entirely legal and proper. If you earmark, they cannot apply it to some other month or purpose (they might try but there's mountains of case law on that).

For the credit report, see here:
https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfp ... rt-en-314/

You can find many similar pages on the web. And yes, the AG's office would be good. Just don't get too complicated with the facts.

I would absolutely NOT pay the $41. Even if you hadn't told them up front, it was still an emergency situation, unless you have more than one commode in your apartment. If you feel guilty, then maybe half, but I wouldn't do even that unless they refund the extra month and correct the credit report.
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Re: Shitty situation

Postby cheeseburger69 » Tue Feb 07, 2023 6:29 pm

Yeah, I won't pay it actually. I don't know why everything has to be so difficult. I also asked them to send me a statement of the money paid to them in 2016 and the interest it has earned, since I want that interest now.
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