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Last month rent usage

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Last month rent usage

Postby cameraguy[12] » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:26 pm

Hello everyone

I have a question regarding the last month's rent for nyc apartments in relation to the new rent laws. I live in lower Manhattan and 8 years ago I signed a lease, where I gave the landlord first month, deposit and last month's rent.

Through the subsequent years whenever renewing my lease he has been asking me to give him the additional deposit whenever he increases the rent. For example when the new lease is signed and the new rent is 2200 and the old one was 2000 I would give him $200 extra for deposit. But he never asked for extra rent for the last month's rent to match the new rent and that money for last month's rent has stayed there, banked with him for 8 years.

Question is: considering the new rent laws where landlords can only ask for first month and deposit - can I now ask to spend that last month's rent that I payed him for my next rent payment plus the difference (2000+ 600 extra dollars) without getting evicted? I don't want to move and make that a notice of me moving out, I just want to know if I can spend that money that I have parked with him for 8 years.

As a side note: this is a non-stabilized old building, 3 stories tall in downtown and he has been mostly an absentee landlord, where I have had to do repairs, staircase cleaning etc.

Thanks in advance for your advice
cameraguy[12]
 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: Last month rent usage

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:17 am

Yes, the laws did change in that regard. See this post and the PDF files for summaries of the provisions of the new rent laws. viewtopic.php?f=24&t=13981

Keep in mind you appear to be unregulated. (BTW, there are no such things as "stabilized buildings;" there are buildings that have stabilized units in them) Look at the first of the Lebovits summaries and page 13 of the file (page 44 of the document) for Limits on Security Deposits and Pre-Paid Rent.

This is not the actual text of GOL sec. 7-108 (1-a), but you can look that up. But it's a summary.

It does appear to abolish last-month rents, but doesn't address how you would go about getting it back, or even if it applies to someone who gave the LL the money years ago. You would have to look at the text, and also see if there is any case law since the provision was enacted.

Deposit increases are sort of normal in NYC (at least for RS tenants the code allows it), but I would look in your lease for the exact language. Does it say you would pay $XXX.XX (a certain amount) as your deposit, or that the deposit would be at the level of the rent, allowing it to change. If it says the first (and many leases do), then the deposit does not have to be increased.

I have heard that one of the new laws signed by Cuomo in response to the COVID situation does allow tenants to use their security deposits for current rent, and then they would have to repay the deposit over time. That does not appear to allow the last months rent ($2,000) for that purpose, but only the deposit. (still, look at the text of the new law).

Some landlords might be willing to go along with using the deposit or last month's rent in the current climate, and avoid a fight with a long-time tenant. Other's might not. How litigious is your LL? If he's not too nasty, you can just ask him (you should get it in writing).
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Re: Last month rent usage

Postby cameraguy[12] » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:41 pm

Thank you for the files and description. You are right, on page 13 (Part 1) it says new 2019 law:

Abolishes pre-paid rent advances. No more first and last month’s rent accepted or required at beginning of tenancy.

However, I am still not sure how this would relate to an existing lease from a non-regulated building.

How would one go about researching closed case where a judge ruled on a case similar to this without having to spend money on a lawyer.

Thanks again,
cameraguy[12]
 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:00 pm

Re: Last month rent usage

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:52 pm

That's why I hesitated, as that is how LLs will react. I also do not know how it deals with an existing lease. You can talk with the LL (but don't spill your cards completely), You could take it out of current rent (and risk a non-payment) or you could look at more complete legal strategies.

To be honest, I don't think there are cases on this exact subject yet.

A lot will depend on the LL's disposition.
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Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
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