TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 years)

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

Moderator: TenantNet

Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 years)

Postby bk_rent_question » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:30 pm

I recently found out my unit is rent stabilized - I've been living at the same unit since Oct of 2014.

After request my apt info from Div. of Housing and Community Renewal, it shows the first years of my tenure at current apt was under a completely different tenant name (don't recognize - was never a roommate), and my rent should've been $200 less than what i was paying monthly. The following 5 years are each under one of my older room mates names (we were all on the lease), but rent should've been around $200-100 less each month. My name only shows up in 2018, though I've been the only stable tenant across 6 years. No rider on my lease stating anything regarding rent stabilization.

Is there any $$ reason the name of the apartment keeps being switched between tenants? I'm the only person to communicates to my landlord. Utilities have always been under my name

Any advice? Do i have any legal course to recoup previously paid rent? I have most of my leases (not sure if i have all 5/6 of them), and my monthly payments.
bk_rent_question
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:27 pm

Re: Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 ye

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:40 pm

Given your description of things, it seems to raise more questions than answers. Start with how many tenants were actually on the lease at any given time? Was or is this some sort of rooming house where the LL rented out rooms individually? That would be a HUGE red flag. You should set up a list of who lived/lives in the unit, and for how many ears.

Was all this on the DHCR rent history? If so, did the LL actually register the unit every year?

Utilities don't matter.

The actual registration (and actual lease) should indicate all who are on the lease. What is on the DHCR printout might be different. I assume you kept copies of the lease that you signed, yes?

I can't offer an opinion to what you might be entitled. One would have to look at the documentation and get a clear idea as to the unit layout.

You can file with DHCR, but I would hold off until you do more research. Do not let the LL know you are sniffing around.

You can also consult with a tenant attorney who has experience with DHCR issues.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9604
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 ye

Postby bk_rent_question » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:03 pm

Thanks - at the beginning it was a three person lease, but after a few years its only been two person lease. All my prior room mates were close friends of mine, and i can easily ask them for any documents (i.e. check statements). LL did not rent rooms out individually, and yes i can set up a list of who lived between whats days.

None of this was on teh DHCR rent history. The first year were under a name a did not recognize (at a rate $200 less what we were paying), while the following 4 years were switched between a single person on the lease. My name appeared once around 2018 for 1 year.

I'm not sure if i kept all copies if i the lease i signed - where might i find the "Actual registration?" Open to reaching out to a tenant lawyer after I'm more organized/gather as much info as i could off online forums.

Thanks in advance.
bk_rent_question
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:27 pm

Re: Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 ye

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 10, 2020 8:05 pm

It's my understanding that all persons on the lease need to be listed on the DHCR registration, otherwise it would be a bad registration. Not doing it correctly can lead to many issues, like succession, or who gets copies of the registration. Of course, in court if you had copies of all the leases, you could get it sorted out, hopefully. You could ask DHCR to correct the registrations based on all the evidence you have. Hard to say if that's wise or not.

Even with the new laws, given the Regina case (Google it), there is still a 4-year statute of limitations on overcharges. But there should be No SOL on rent stabilization status and setting of the legal rent. Google "NYS housing Regina overcharge stature of limitations" and you should see a bunch of articles on Regina.

DHCR has the registrations, but they might not have been sent to you (to me that's an irregularity). If the LL intentionally failed to put your name on the registration, my opinion is that might be fraud.

At a certain point DHCR folds the registrations into their databases and might not have the original paper, or it's possible the LL filed electronically.

Either way, you should FOIL the registrations for each year from DHCR. Also FOIL the "apartment detail"

If you don't have the lease or the renewals, ask your former roommates.

The LL should have the leases, but they might resist. One way (and I have not tried this) is to get the LL to sue you in court, and then challenge his claim there is/was a lease, essentially forcing him to submit the lease and the renewals to the case file. that could be tricky and I'd ask a lawyer first. Don't go to court unless you know what you are doing.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9604
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 ye

Postby bk_rent_question » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:40 pm

Hi, I've done some more research, I have all my leases in order, and I've spoken to someone at the DHCR (rent investigator). None my leases state anything about rent stabilization, and the "legal rent" being received at DHCR is much lower than what I've been paying for the past six years.

The individual i spoke with at DHCR recommended 1) I reach out to a Non Profit that could help me get everything in order and 2) Submit a claim at ORA.

Does anyone have a non profit who could assist, or a resource that could help? Like i said, I have my documents in order and i think theres a pretty solid case.

Thanks in advance.
bk_rent_question
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:27 pm

Re: Found out my unit is rent stabilized (been here for 6 ye

Postby TenantNet » Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:07 pm

Things seems a bit strange here.

Normally DHCR does not allow its rent investigators to speak with the public? Are you sure it wasn't just someone at the DHCR Public Infoline?

You say, "the "legal rent" being received at DHCR..." -- DHCR does not receive rent. Did you mean on the current registration?

So you have all the leases. Do you have all the registrations that the LL submitted to DHCR for each year?

While this does not appear to be about rent, it always helps to have proof of rent payment just in case the LL makes a stink about that (but remember, DHCR cannot order you to pay rent, that is what the courts do). DHCR can determine an overcharge, and can set the legal rent.

You say none of the leases mention RS; does that mean that none of the renewal leases are on DHCR RTP-8? What about the original lease. Did that mention RS?

While a NFP could help, it's not needed. You can file with DHCR all on your own. You can also hire an attorney, but that gets expensive. There are many NFPs all throughout the city, so it depends on where you are. Some might help; others might not. Many can just offer advice; others might help write up the papers.

As for resource, what do you think this is? Geez!
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9604
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City


Return to NYC Rent Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 20 guests