Posted by Link on December 21, 2000 at 18:47:08:
In Reply to: Re: Here's help posted by J on December 21, 2000 at 16:19:08:
: I have since taken several courses of action. I have spoken with the real owner of the apartment, who informed me that the apartment is rent controlled and that as she has a "life-time" lease arrangement, she has a history of taking in young tenants who are not well informed of their rights on a month-to-month basis, overcharging them, and accusing them of theft when she wants to increase the rent or just get rid of them. My neighbor is a lawyer and referred me to a landlord/tenant lawyer. The lawyer informed me that I can sue her for rent overcharge. As she uses the apartment as her place of business as well, I utilize approximately 3/8 of the apartment space yet pay approximately 85% of the rent. I have never been involved in such a situation or a lawsuit. However, I think that because of her accusations of theft and treatment to me as a criminal and locking me out and harrasing me to move out at her will, I will be taking legal action to teach her a lesson.
Do not hire that L&T attorney: he/she's dead wrong on the overcharge issue. The only person who can overcharge you in this situation is that L&T attorney.
Until 12/20/00, there was no law, code, rule concerning how much a rent controlled or rent stabilized tenant could charge their 'roommates' or 'boarders'. They could legally charge you MORE than their rent. An overcharge would only happen if they charged their SUBTENANTS more than their legal rent (+10% for furniture). In a subtenant situation, the prime tenant does not live there. DHCR just adopted a new rule that does make your situation an overcharge, but remember that this is a new DHCR RULE, not a LAW, and some tenant will have to pay some lawyer enough money to take it all the way up to the Court of Appeals before any of us know if it will stick. Do you have $45,000 to do this?
Read this yourself in the tenant-lawyers response to the proposed DHCR amendments (adopted 12/20) on http://tenant.net.
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