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Landlord sent offer letter to vacate. Help!

Posted by georgygirl on January 12, 2001 at 12:30:29:

I live in a rent stabilized railroad style apartment in Queens, NY (6 unit building). I've lived there for six years and it's my primary residence, I'm a quiet tenant with no kids and I've paid my rent on a timely basis. I received in the mail what looks like an offer letter from the new landlord that took over several months ago. LL says he will be "modernizing" apartments and the building in terms of "roofing, windows, etc., etc." (his exact wording). He says he will "be doing this in order to receive rent increases as per housing laws." ?? He also goes on to say he is "offering" the tenants an "opportunity to vacate" in return for several months rent, in this case, five, paid in one lump sum. LL adds that it can be used to "upgrade your current living standards and/or to apply as a downpayment for an apartment where ownership is attainable." Does the first part, "upgrade your current living standards" mean that I can still stay and have ownership of my apartment, and that the five month "offering" will off-set the repair costs for the LL? He goes on to say : "Once again, I stress to you that there will be significant rent increases." Is he trying to scare me? How much can a landlord charge? Isn't it like a really small percentage? Is there a limit he can charge on repairs per year or can he do multiples? My lease expires April 1 of this year. As a rent stabilized tenant don't I have some kind of automatic option for renewal of my lease? He doesn't indicate in the letter WHEN this repair stuff, etc. is all going to begin. Is there any reason I couldn't stay? And if I can't, should I take the money and run? Or negotiate for a better payoff (which is what this is, he wants me to move out so he can bring the apartments up to the level that the neighborhood goes for, which is currently double what I pay now). Should I negotiate the pay as well as moving expenses and/or real estate agent fees for a new apartment? Ask for more time? Ask for my security to be used as last month's rent? Will my rent go up through the roof if I stay only a month or two after my current lease expires or do I lose all rights once the lease time ends? All, some or none of the above? Sorry for all the questions, I'm new to this board. Thanks in advance.

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