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RE: What kinds of tenant rights do I have?

Posted by Michelle on June 13, 2000 at 16:44:20:

I have been living in a 3 Bedroom railroad walk-up for the last 10 months, paying rent directly to my landlord. My apartment is rent stabilized under the current lease, and the building was built in 1920.

In February, when my roommates (who had been on the lease for the last 3 years) received their rent renewals, neither of them sent it back since they were going to be moving out. I verbally told my landlord I would be staying. I found 2 new roommates, who sent my landlord their applications for lease agreements and their deposits (which she cashed). Everything was all set for my 2 new roommates to move in.

A month ago, my landlord asked me to move to the apartment in the building next door (which is also her building) because she wanted to split my apartment into a studio and 1 bedroom. After a lot of negotiations, she verbally agreed to let us remain in my current apartment until the one next door was available (she had given those tenants an extension of their lease until Sept. 1). Last week, she called and said I had to be out at the end of June since I was never "on the lease".

We have since discovered that the apartment next door (which we were supposed to move into in Aug. or Sept.) is also being split into a studio and 1 bedroom. She has never told us any of this. What rights do I have as a tenant?

Here are my questions:
A) Since she has directly accepted my rent for the last 10 months, am I considered a tenant of this apartment with the rights to renew my current "lease"?

B) Can I register myself with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal provided that I show documentation of my rent checks from the last 10 months and my application for lease agreement?

C) Since she cashed my new roommates deposit checks and rent checks (for June), do they have the same rights that I do? If not, do they have any rights at all to the apartment?

Please give me some guidance. I am new to NY but I refuse to back down until all of my resources have been tapped.

Thank you.

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