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What happens re: rent when LL doesn't return renewal lease?

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

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What happens re: rent when LL doesn't return renewal lease?

Postby sr77 » Tue Nov 03, 2020 11:45 pm

If a landlord fails to provide a copy of a countersigned renewal lease to the tenant, does the rent still increase?

My understanding is that if a landlord doesn't execute a lease renewal by returning a countersigned copy of the renewal lease, the rent doesn't increase until such time that that occurs (presumably meaning in the month following tenant's receipt of the countersigned lease).

Looking on form RTP-8 (9/19), I see the provisions regarding 'rights' and barring the landlord from commencing an action based on non-renewal, but nothing about the rent.

I would appreciate information as to what happens with the rent in such a circumstance and where that is documented.

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Re: What happens re: rent when LL doesn't return renewal lea

Postby TenantNet » Thu Nov 05, 2020 6:46 pm

Sorry for the delay. The current (June 2020) RTP-8 form is at https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... /rtp-8.pdf

The pertinent instructions are:

The owner must furnish the tenant with a fully executed copy of this Renewal Lease Form bearing the tenant's and owner's signatures in PART B, and a copy of the DHCR New York City Lease Rider, within 30 days of the owner's receipt of this Form signed by the tenant. Service of this fully executed Form, upon the tenant, constitutes a binding renewal lease. If the owner fails to furnish the tenant with a fully executed copy of this Form within 30 days of receipt of the Form signed by the tenant, the tenant shall continue to have all rights afforded by the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, and the owner will be barred from commencing any action or proceeding against the tenant based upon non-renewal of lease.

The process has three parts:
1. Offer, when the LL send the renewal offer
2. Acceptance, when the tenant accepts the offer for 1 or 2 years and returns it to the LL, and
3. Execution, when the LL returns one of the copies back to the tenant with his/her signature.

However, there is case law (don't ask me to find it) and many attorneys have told me that the lease becomes binding once the LL send the initial offer to the tenant. Even so, I don't know how true that is since the tenant will not have indicated his/her acceptance for one or two years at that point.

I believe it's in the Rent Stabilization Code (again, please don't ask) where it indicates failure of the LL to complete the process results in no rent increase. If not that, then failure of make the offer would result in no rent increase. Now you have me wondering.

While we have the RSC online, the more current version can be found here.

Look here: 2523.5 Notice for renewal of lease and renewal procedure.

Also see 2522.5(b)(2) Lease agreements ... which seems to condition no rental increase on a) the LL refusing to provide the executed lease, and b) the tenant making a complaint to DHCR. I do not know if making a complaint to DHCR is necessary, especially as DHCR can take a year or more to make a decision. I would agree with your general conclusion that no executed lease means no rent rent increase.

You say the LL has accepted your rent, but is still showing it on your rent bill. First, on any check or money order you send to the LL, make sure you earmark it to a specific month, i.e., "Rent for November 2020 and for no other months." Many/some LLs will take the part they think is unpaid and use current rent to pay off the outstanding amount furthest back. Earmarking can stop that practice, but from there it gets complicated. If your old rent is $700 and the new rent the LL is billing you for is $800, and you pay the $700, then he would show on the bill past due of $100. But if he sues you, he has to say what months he's suing for. If that happens, let us know and I have more information on how that works.

As for your letter, if I were doing it, I would not send a letter, but that's your decision.
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