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Extend 60 days to return lease if waiting for LL response?

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

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Extend 60 days to return lease if waiting for LL response?

Postby nyhome1 » Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:36 pm

I received my lease renewal for my rent stabilized apartment late which is the norm. About 40 days after receiving it I sent an email to the management company requesting a slightly lower rent. They said they would ask the owner but have not yet responded despite several attempts to contact them. This is not uncommon – it usually takes them a while to respond.

I’m coming up on the 60 days that I have to return my lease. Does the 60 day time frame get extended since I’m waiting for a response from them relating specifically to the lease renewal or do I need to give up on trying to reduce my rent and sign the lease as it was sent to not risk losing the apartment? Is there something that I can do (send an email, letter, etc.) to extend the 60 day time limit and not lose my rights to the apartment?
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Re: Extend 60 days to return lease if waiting for LL respons

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:22 pm

Was the lease renewal offer on the official RTP-8 form? See here for the form:
https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 6-2020.pdf

If so, look on the back of the form for rules and instructions as to renewal lease offers.

Without knowing more details, we can opine that the so-called official deadline of 60 days would not be extended if you are waiting for an answer for a question.

However, in our experience (30+ years), we have never seen a tenant lose an apartment if they missed the 60-day deadline. Courts are loath to evict tenants for such a minor transgression. If they did, then probably most seniors would be out on the streets. There are many decisions out there reflecting this view.

Has the LL sent you a reminder letter? I suspect not, and if not, that would add to your defense.

Also understand that any decision along these lines would have to be pursuant to a court proceeding. As you are probably aware, housing courts are essentially closed. There are moratoriums on cases for failure to pay rent, and any cases for lease violations such as this, while technically not stayed, from what we have heard, are at the bottom of the pile (and it's a huge pile, getting larger). OTOH, nuisance cases - which yours is not - have higher priorities.

I would sent the LL a certified letter (return receipt requested) with the same question. If it's a matter of loss of income, I would say that without getting into specifics and hope that at lease one LL might have some humanity in them. Some LLs will agree to a lower rent if other tenants are having problems paying rent. In short, they would prefer having a rent-paying tenant (even if at a lower rate) than an empty unit where no rent is paid.

And unless you have a real issue with habitability, I would continue paying rent to the extent you can, so the LL will see you as a good tenant.
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Re: Extend 60 days to return lease if waiting for LL respons

Postby nyhome1 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:29 am

Thanks for your response.

The lease renewal offer is computer generated and seems to have the same information as the RTP-8 form.

The instructions clearly state that that I must return the lease within 60 days of receipt however, the instructions also state that the owner must mail the lease 90 to 150 days prior to the end of the term. I was emailed (not mailed) the lease 10 days prior to the end of the term. The LL has not sent any reminder letter or email. The only email they sent was in response to my request for lowering the rent - that they would ask the owner.

I think sending a certified letter with my question is probably a good idea.
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Re: Extend 60 days to return lease if waiting for LL respons

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 19, 2021 1:40 pm

On the form, I do not know DHCR's policy on facsimile versions. I know that the RSA and Blumberg put out forms, and they probably get DHCR approval, but I would compare them closely to see if what you got matches the DHCR version, at least in terms of required information.

From what you are NOW telling me is that it was offered to you late. The instructions should also state that your time does not begin to run until you get a proper and valid lease renewal offer.

I do not believe email is acceptable for lease renewals, although I don't know if DHCR has a policy on that. They might accept an accurate RTP-8 form if sent as a PDF file.

However, check your original lease. It might say that any notices are required to be sent by certified mail. That is common.

So you could rely on that, I would think, and the delay in sending anything to you, where your time would not even start to run.

However, as I stated above, I have never seen any case where tenants have lost their RS units for being late in returning a renewal form (I had to deal with that about 25 years ago, and nothing happened).

Also understand, it really is only an issue if the LL wants to make it an issue. Here, you are seeking a reduction in rent due to pandemic. Unless the LL wants you out, they might be willing to negotiate and the 60-day issue is a non-issue.

Why are you going through the management company? Can't you just contact the LL?
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