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ORA Requesting proof of payments

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

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ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby cheeseburger69 » Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:57 am

I filed an overcharge complaint years back. I received a request for "proof of rental payments from (date I moved in) to present date."

I am curious if this means my case has any promise, or if they are merely collecting up to date information since the case is 3 years old or so.

I should mention that I, of course, provided proof of payments as required with my initial filing, so I guess they want me to furnish them with all those receipts once again and all the new ones since that time.

It's a fair bit of work for me to pull all that together, but so be it.
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby cheeseburger69 » Wed Nov 17, 2021 12:02 pm

Also should mention that on the "Request for additional Information/Evidence Page" a box is checked which states "we are attaching a copy of the reply submitted by owner/tenant, please respond to it within 21 days" and following that there is a truthful statement of the most recent yearly rent increases from the landlord. Not sure if I need to say anything to reply to that in my submission.
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby TenantNet » Wed Nov 17, 2021 2:26 pm

I wouldn't read anything into it. DHCR is supposed to look at the legal rent (not necessarily what the LL may think it is), if there are any disputes of the legal rent, and what you paid. That way they can figure out any overcharges that you may have paid. Of course DHCR often doesn't do what it is supposed to do. And yes, they are lazy if you already gave them the proofs.

If you pay by check or M.O., I would scan them in as PDF files and keep them on your computer so you can always just print them out. I would also scan in your monthly back statements, but be careful about giving those to DHCR or to your LL. That's private information.

Remember to always earmark payments with the month & year in which they should be applied. LLs often try to apply them to other periods of time. In the memo of the check, just write, "rent for November 2021 only; for no other months"
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby cheeseburger69 » Wed Dec 29, 2021 12:40 pm

Thanks for the info.

Curiously, I got another communication from DHCR shortly after.

"We are attaching a copy of the reply submitted by owner/tenant. Please respond to it within 21 days."

There is a box that says I must supply evidence, but it isn't checked. I cannot decipher the point of this mailing and why I have 21 days to reply to it.
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby cheeseburger69 » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:07 pm

I called DHCR to clarify.

They said I should review the owner's response and reply to it, and look out carefully for any incorrect info. The cover sheet did not specify that I should do this and it feels like a bit of a runaround but I've submitted within the 21 days -- despite DHCR taking almost three years to ask me for new information.
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:10 pm

When you make a complaint to DHCR, they send it to the LL, who get a chance to respond to it (admit, deny or explain) and can offer their own evidence. Then they take whatever the LL sent and they send it to you so you can respond to that. And yes, you get 21 days to do that. You can ask for an extension if you need it (they often agree to one extension). If you need to get evidence, i.e., cancelled checks from a bank, explain that to DHCR and say you will submit those once you get them. Or you can submit bank statements (but I would redact information you don't want the LL to see).
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby TenantNet » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:11 pm

The problems with DHCR is that yes, they can take years to send you something. They say 21 days, but in my experience that's not a hard deadline. I've submitted stuff months later and it was OK. But you can't always depend on that.
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Re: ORA Requesting proof of payments

Postby cheeseburger69 » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:12 pm

Thanks, it's curious to me because I just furnished almost four years of rent payment receipts for them that I had already submitted in my initial application.

I simply said "The information the landlord sent appears to be correct. I would still like this to be looked into and for a determination of my current legal rent to be made based on all available evidence."
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