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rental increases

Posted by kathryn porter on March 27, 2000 at 17:18:12:

I have been living in an apartment on in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
from 1995, (4 1/2 years). It is house with 4 apartments. The landlady lives
on the premises on the ground floor. Her apartment would make it five.

The rent when I moved in was $565, $20 more than the previous tenant.
A great deal!The rent was not raised until 3 years later, when she verbally
told me the rent would be going up to $675. I talked her down to $650.

This year I received a notice that the rent would be increased
to $800, due to higher property taxes and maintenance of the building
(not my apartment specifically). This time the notice came through a real
estate agent in the neighborhood, and if I had any questions, to call them.
(The notice made sure I knew that I was a model tenant)

Up until now everything has been very informal and the communication has always
been through her. Why am I getting a notice from a real estate agent on behalf
of the landlady?

I have no lease, not even a written rental agreement, but intend to stay for at least another 2 years. Based on these huge increases how can I prevent the rent from going up another 20% next year?

Should I try and get her to give me a lease? If so, how should I approach her?
Are these increases valid? Also how can I tell if my apartment is rent stabilized?

If you could respond that would be wonderful.

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