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Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

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

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Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

Postby regulate222 » Thu Oct 22, 2020 12:56 pm

I requested the rent history for my apartment and discovered that it was almost certainly illegally deregulated. In 2008, the long-term rent stabilized tenant obviously moved out (or died) while paying a rent that was a tiny fraction of what would have been needed for a "high rent vacancy."

Since there have probably been 2+ other tenancies between that time and my move in date, what happens? Could I still pursue overcharges/get it re-regulated?
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Re: Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:50 pm

Unless you can show some evidence of fraud, it's probably not possible to contest deregulation. The statute of limitations is now 6 years, but before that 4 years (see the Regina decision). Just doing some IAIs and increasing the rent substantially is not enough to show fraud. If they didn't do it, or inflated the work or the cost, that would be a starting point. But even then, it would be difficult.

Here's a case that crossed our desk today. I've only scanned it (not in depth), but it seems to address the IAI issue.
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Re: Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

Postby Landlords Boy » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:15 pm

Interesting case, TN. Broadly speaking, the tenant tried to apply the HSTPA requirements retroactively to 2004. The "Matter of Regina" and "Fuentes v Kwik realty LLC" rulings from earlier this year are referenced. The tenant lost, illustrating the difference between pre-HSTPA and post-HSTPA environment: the current law can't be applied retroactively, so the burden of proof is upon the tenant to prove an allegation, not upon the landlord to disprove it.
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Re: Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

Postby TenantNet » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:24 pm

Not necessarily. The burden to prove/disprove can still be on the LL, only the time frame is different.
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Re: Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

Postby Landlords Boy » Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:37 pm

The details of the tenant's Warrant of Habitability claim are not discussed in the case, but it would seem that the apartment is quite habitable if the tenant is a holdover. So I suspect the tenant will lose out there, too.
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Re: Discovering illlegal deregulation several tenants in

Postby TenantNet » Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:36 pm

You can't make that assumption. You don't know (and neither do I).
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