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Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewal

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

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Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewal

Postby Nesisjohn » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:16 pm

Help Please!

My mother and I are going through a dispute with the landlord where we were tricked into signing a vacancy lease instead of a lease renewal My mother is a senior on fixed income with scir and rent stabilized who has been in the apartment for over 37 years. My mother old lease exp. on August 31 and the landlord refuses to renew the rent controlled lease We been trying to obtain help with little success.

If anybody has any advise that can help us, we would be truly grateful
Nesisjohn
 
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Re: Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewal

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:58 pm

There's a simple answer to all this, but I see different levels of confusion.

First, you do not have a rent control lease. There is no such thing. You are rent stabilized, not rent controlled. RC tenants do not have leases; they are "statutory."

Second, your mother remains RS no matter what the LL is doing, or what you think. All RS tenants must be offered a renewal lease by the LL on an official DHCR RTP-8 form. Go here: http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/Rent/rtp8.pdf

No other form is allowed. If the LL gave you a vacancy lease, it has no legal effect. In fact, without the RTP-8 form, the rent can't go up at all until the proper lease is offered and executed by the LL. Read the instructions on the back of the RTP-8 form carefully. That will tell you what can, and what can not be done.

If you wish you can file a complaint with DHCR for the LL's failure to provide a lease. You don't need to do that, but you can. If you are worried that the LL will take you to court, then go ahead and file with DHCR so you have something on paper.

Also be careful about your mother's SCRIE eligibility. SCRIE is supposed to find ways to deal with LLs who refuse to give leases, but they occasionally screw up.
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Re: Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewal

Postby Nesisjohn » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:02 pm

My Mother did a rent overcharge complaint with DHCR and she she also filed a renew lease failure form also with DHCR we have been paying the legal rent for 4 months now, we have received a rent payment failure 5 day notices but that was in July my mother lease is up on the 31st and she is worried. The landlord is still billing us under the void fraudulent lease.
Nesisjohn
 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewal

Postby TenantNet » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:22 pm

When you say "legal rent" be careful it's the RGB renewal rate (which is 0% this year for one-year renewals and 2% for 2-year renewals).

Your writing is not clear at all. You said the current lease ends Aug. 31, but that the LL is charging under the fraudulent lease. That makes no sense.

Have you consulted with a tenant lawyer (not some guy down the street, but a tenant lawyer)? If money is a problem I'd suggest contacting Legal Aid or Legal Services.

If the LL send you 3-days notice to pay, then the next step is court. If that happens you should tell the court there are two active DHCR cases and the court should not preclude DHCR's jurisdiction.

Make sure you can prove the rent that you HAVE paid, or tried to pay.
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Update Re: Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewa

Postby Nesisjohn » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:38 pm

I wanted to give an update on the vacancy lease dispute. My mother and I went to a local neighborhood housing association in Queens and they were really helpful, even though they didn't re deal with landlord and tenant disputes. The representative helped us with the language and filing the overcharge complaint. The landlord was able to twice to get my mother in the rental office in an effect to drop the overcharge complaints. In finding out the representative was able to file a complaint about the harassment and DHCR agreed and state that my mother dropping her complaint, was not in the fiduciary interest of my mother. DHCR twice ruled in our favor and then the Landlord took the DHCR to court under article 78 petition in the supreme court. DHCR advised us that we didn't have to go to the hearings, but we came to every hearing so the judge would see our faces. Zara the landlord lost the article 78 petition. Then there was the fight to make sure the landlord abide the DHCR ruling. MY mother ended up getting the illegal vacancy lease voided and here original lease was restored. If you are going through a dispute with your landlord please fight it. From what I was told most people don't fight.
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Re: Tricked into signing a vacancy lease not a renewal

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:52 pm

The original post on this thread was in 2016, so four years have gone by. While we're glad you found a group to help you, if their focus is not housing, they might have made mistakes in whatever they did for you. Well-meaning people can make mistakes. I hope not, but you have to be very careful.

A landlord (or a tenant) can file an Article 78 to challenge a DHCR decision. That's the system. After the A78, parties can appeal to the Appellate Division and then the NYS Court of Appeals.

Yes, you did good to show up at the court appearances. Has the LL further appealed the matter to the Appellate Division or above?

Getting enforcement, unfortunately, can be as difficult as the underlying issue.
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