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Reg not found for subject premises

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

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Reg not found for subject premises

Postby peabeline » Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:03 pm

I requested by DHCR rent history, and I'm having trouble figuring out if my apartment is rent stabilized or not. When I signed the lease several months ago, the realtor mentioned that the effective rate would apply "for the stabilization" which led me to suspect it might be, but the lease clearly states NOT RENT STABILIZED at the top.

In the DHCR history, the apartment is listed as RS in the "Apt Stat" column from 1984 to 2014. In 2014 the rent was around 1400. It also seems like the apartment was renovated around that time--it has a relatively up to date bathroom and kitchen, finished wood floors, washer/dryer, and dishwasher.

From 2015 on, the registration apartment information says "*REG NOT FOUND FOR SUBJECT PREMISES*". Does this mean it is stabilized or not? Should there be a "D" appended to the end of a registration year to show the "Vacancy Decontrol Registration" somewhere? (Not sure exactly what that is, got it from the first page of this document)

It is my understanding that the renovations could have pushed the rent over a certain amount but I'm having trouble figuring out what exactly that threshold amount is and how much would have to have been spent on the renovations in the year 2014/2015.

Thanks for any info you can provide!
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Re: Reg not found for subject premises

Postby TenantNet » Fri Oct 08, 2021 6:33 am

First, neither you nor the LL nor a broker/realtor (nor what the lease says) can determine the RS status of an apartment. That is a matter of law, often determined by DHCR (we don't recommend) or a court.

Three are things to get: rent history, rent registrations (for active RS units), and leases. It's often a measure of analysis over time. A lease that says "Not RS" does not make it so.

You have to see what renovations were done in 2014 and if the cost of those would allow the unit to go over the threshold at that time. Look here: https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 2-2020.pdf

So this says that in 2014 the threshold was $2,500. The LL would have had to spend enough in renovations (IAI) to bring the unit from $1,400 to $2,500 (about $1,100). Next look at https://hcr.ny.gov/apartment-improvements
and https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 16-1_0.pdf

IAI has gotten more complicated with the 2019 rent law changes, but back in 2014 it was simpler, It was 1/40th of the cost (or 1/60th of the cost depending on the size of the building) could be added to the rent. One reference to that is at a landlord law firm newsletter: https://www.rosenbergestis.com/wp-conte ... erview.pdf

Or just Google "NYS DHCR IAI 40th"

So to increase the rent by $1,100, the cost on renovations must have been at least $44,000.

IAI can be a number of things: new appliances, kitchen cabinets, renovated bathrooms, etc. IAI's are not items like painting or regular maintenance.

And wiith any calculation, also include increases do to building-wide MCIs, vacancy and renewal lease increases. Check the Rent Guidelines Board. See https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... 7-2021.pdf

That the unit is not registered in 2015 is the LLs belief it's been deregulated. They could be correct, but in MANY cases it's not. Even if the calculations reveal increases to go over the threshold, all may not be lost, but all those exceptions get very complicated.

You say that it appears a number of items might have been renovated seven years ago. But was all the work done? Many LLs claim for work that was never done. Who did the work? if done by a LL relative, it's not eligible. For some items were building permits obtained? That's usually plumbing and electrical.

And of course find out if a normal price for the work is what the LL's claim. Many LLs will inflate the costs. If you contest the spending, they have to show cashed checks. That usually happens with DHCR, but in a court you may need to use discovery to find out what was done. Normally you can't get discovery in Housing Court, but you can in Civil or Supreme Court.

Look to see if the first unregulated tenant actually received a lease. One pending case at DHCR revolves on this. Without a lease for the new tenant, the IAI increases can't be added. There are other exceptions as well, and all depends on the fact pattern of your case. Overall look for slam-dunk evidence. These things can get complicated and hard to prove. An attorney can usually tell you if you have a good case.
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Re: Reg not found for subject premises

Postby peabeline » Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:22 am

Thanks! This is very helpful.

Two more questions:

Look to see if the first unregulated tenant actually received a lease. One pending case at DHCR revolves on this. Without a lease for the new tenant, the IAI increases can't be added.


How/where do you look to find out if the first unregulated tenant received a lease? It's not me, so I don't know.

Is there any way to look up/verify if the landlord did the IAI they said they did? Did they have to submit any forms or anything I could check to prove they did it?
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Re: Reg not found for subject premises

Postby TenantNet » Fri Oct 08, 2021 11:25 am

Can't help you there. Ask your neighbors if they know where the prior tenant(s) went. LLs are also supposed to submit the Vacancy Decontrol notice, but LLs often don't and DHCR seems to look the other way. You have to be a sleuth.

IAIs do not have to be registered with DHCR. If a tenant challenges them (by challenging the deregulation), then LLs will have to cough-up the checks, contracts, etc.

You can probably figure out what looks like new as of 7 years ago, and you might need the services of a forensic expert as to what the cost should have been.

One place for some work would be the Dept. of Buildings. http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/bsqpm01.jsp -- But that's only for work that DOB would require filings, plumbing, electrical, moving walls, etc. Many things do not require filings. But it's a start.
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