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was my brooklyn unit illegally deregulated?

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

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was my brooklyn unit illegally deregulated?

Postby peachi1 » Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:24 pm

Hello!
I moved into a Brooklyn unit in June 2021. I recently requested my rent history from the state and need a bit of help figuring out if there is something sketchy going on, and if my unit was possibly illegally taken out of the rent stabilization system.

From reg year 1984-2018, the unit is listed as "RS" or rent stabilized, with the last rent (filing date 4/29/2020) bring $1171. In 2019 the status changes to "RS-V" with $1185, and for 2020 and 2021 it says "REG NOT FOUND FOR SUBJECT PREMISES."

On Streeteasy, when looking at the rent history, the unit was reportedly rented for $2899 in April 2015.

Is my unit still legally regulated? Do we have a case here to get back into the stabilization system? Something definitely seems fishy here but I am at a loss to figure out what is/what I can do about it. Thank you.
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Re: Deciphering apartment rent history

Postby TenantNet » Sun Dec 05, 2021 4:13 pm

We could write a book on this - but we won't. In general look for big jumps in rent and try to figure out why. It could be regular renewal leases, vacancy leases, IAI or MCI improvements, or just fraud. Regular renewal increases are governed by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB). Also see what items in the unit might have been upgraded and when, what areas of the building were upgraded, and when.

Ask RS tenants if they had any MCI increases. You can FOIL a building detail and apartment detail from DHCR showing complaints and docket numbers and then FOIL decisions from those dockets.

Talk to as many other neighbors to see what has been going on and their experiences.

Deregulation for RS units was done away with in June 2019.

I don't know what RS-V means - maybe vacancy?

You need the complete rent history from 1984 showing what the unit was registered as for each year. Remember though, registration is what the LL claims, not a determination by DHCR and you can challenge that. There is a 4-year limit on overcharges, but not status.

Streeteasy is notoriously incorrect.

It does appear that something is going on here. I would do a lot more research and then decide if you wish to file a complaint. You didn't say, what does your lease say about RS? And you didn't say what you are being charged.

Try to create a timeline of lease periods from 1984 if possible, listing events and the name of tenants (if possible), and list what evidence you have to prove or disprove any fact.

You can go to DHCR or to the courts. Both have pros and cons. You can do it yourself, or with an attorney.

For now, don't speak to the LL about this and keep your research low-key.
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Re: was my brooklyn unit illegally deregulated?

Postby peachi1 » Sun Dec 05, 2021 6:36 pm

Thank you. I'll try to respond to everything with the info I have.
It does seem like the possible deregulation coincided with a renovation to the unit, as well as the 20% vacancy bonus. The last reported RS rent was $1171 in April of 2019.

Yes, RS-V means vacancy.

I'm well aware Streeteasy is very incorrect, our unit is listed on streeteasy for much more than what we are paying for it, it just seems odd that in a year where the legal rent would have been $1171, it is on streeteasy for $2899. ours is currently listed higher because we managed to negotiate lower rent (rent listed is what they asked for) which, if that was the case then, means they were asking for $2000 more than what they legally were able to.

i have emailed DHCR with my concerns, and will consult a lawyer who is a family friend, definitely will not contact LL until i am 100% sure something has happened.
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Re: was my brooklyn unit illegally deregulated?

Postby TenantNet » Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:08 pm

Just remember that DHCR is essentially a landlord protection agency. For an attorney, talk to a TENANT attorney, not someone who is a family friend. You could get a lot of incorrect information from an attorney that doesn't practice in the LL/T arena. Lawyers that are not LL/T practitioners have little background or knowledge of all this.

Do not assume any renovation was complete, was fully paid for at the amount they claim or that any vacancy bonus applied on that particular year. You need to verify everything. See if any other tenants filed RS status complaints ... it can give you an idea of any defense the LL might bring.
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Re: was my brooklyn unit illegally deregulated?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:05 pm

The first post says that the last RS rent listed was $1171 for 2018, but that the apartment was rented for $2899 in 2015. Is there a typo, or is that correct? If so, then my first guess would be that the LL was renting the apartment for far more than they were reporting to DHCR.
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Re: was my brooklyn unit illegally deregulated?

Postby peachi1 » Wed Dec 08, 2021 5:53 pm

Not a typo! That is what they said it was listed for on Streeteasy. I also agree that I think they had it rented for above what was allowed. However, I was not the tenant at the time so I'm not sure what I could do about that.
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