Posted by brenda on March 27, 2000 at 17:53:58:
In Reply to: 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.
Suggest you go to the tenant.net home page, and click on "Are you rent stabilized?" That is a link to a database. Plug in your address, and it will spit out if you are rent stabilized. If so, contact the DHCR for apt. registration information.
You're probably not rent stabilized because the building is too small (I think some smaller buildings were rent controlled years ago, but no longer). Assuming it isn't rent stabilized, you are basically at the landlord's mercy. I once was in a non-rent stabilized, owner-occupied building, and the landlord was able to increase the rent as much as she wanted.
I dont think the real estate agent thing means anything, except that it tells you that the landlord will replace you if you don't pay the increase! I dont know the market for apts. in that part of Brooklyn, but if the rent is reasonable I suggest you pay it. You have no right to a lease and frankly if I were you I would not press the point, though you could ask nicely and drop the subject if she's not inclined.
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