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Re: 55% rent increase: TN said the bldg is J-51

Posted by JJ on January 16, 2001 at 16:44:22:

In Reply to: 55% rent increase posted by Bill Marsilii on January 14, 2001 at 06:31:28:

You sound surprised: I'm betting that your leases don't contain the required notices, or if they ALL do, you did not read an/or understand them.

Remember: you are not alone: your whole building is involved. get other tenants organized: get help for this on NYC info pages.

Find: all your leases; bring them to your neighborhood Tenant Clinic:

Village Independents Democrats (VID)
26 Perry St (basement)
(leave msg before 5pm before showing up)

call Met Council M,W pm for more info.

Even if your landlord did everything according to law and your apartment really is going to be deregulated, I believe that the RSL or RSC requires him to notify that your Rent Stab lease will not be renewed 120-150 days (may be 90-120 since 12/20/00?)prior to its expiration.

If your apartment really will be deregulated, you do what any 'market rate' tenant does when their lease expires: learn to negotiate, learn the law (e.i.: lease expires, no new written lease = month-to-month at old lease rates and terms until he evicts you with required 30-day notice and trip to Housing Court...). He can't increase your rent unless you agree to it.

Get and keep today's NY Times: front page news (!): overpriced rents decreasing rapidly!

some info (goto these cases and print them: bring them to the clinic)

found by using the search box for 'j-51' (more are under 'j51'):

J-51 rules:

NYC Administrative Code 11-243 & 11-244; RSL 26-504(c); RSC 2520.11(o); 9 NYCRR 2522.5, 2524.2; 28 RCNY 5-03(f)(1)

from the J-51 administrators' handbook:

B. Rent Regulation

A rental unit which receives J-51 exemption or abatement benefits must be registered with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and subjected to rent stabilization for the full term of the J-51 benefits, regardless of whether the rental unit would otherwise have been subject to the Rent Stabilization Law.

In the case of newly stabilized rental units, the initial registered rent is the amount for which the owner rents the unit at the time of initial registration. The J-51 Program does not impose a limit on this amount.

A rental which was not rent stabilized before receiving J-51 benefits will remain rent stabilized only for the period of J-51 benefits if the lease gives the tenant notice that rent stabilization will expire at that time. If the lease fails to contain the required notice, the unit will be destabilized only at the time of the first vacancy after J-51 benefits expire.


from HPD's info page:

All rental units in the building become subject to rent stabilization or rent control for the duration of the benefits. In rental buildings, the landlord must also waive 50% of the rent increase which would otherwise be allowed under rent stabilization as a result of the work.


recent case:

Case Caption:

Spaeda v. Bakirtjy

Issues/Legal Principles:

Landlord cannot deregulate stabilized apartment based on expiration of J-51 tax abatements if notice of approximate expiration date of said benefits was not contained in each renewal lease.


J-51 tax abatements; renewal leases


Civil Court, New York County


Hon. Lucy Billings


April 19, 2000


NYLJ, page 27, column 6

Referred Statutes:

CPLR 2104; 9 NYCRR 2522.5, 2524.2; NYC Administrative Code 11-243, 244, 26- 504(c); 28 RCNY 5-03(f)(1)


The landlord brought a holdover proceeding against the tenant on grounds that the tenant's lease expired, but the tenant claimed rent stabilization protections. The landlord claimed that J-51 tax abatements expired and that therefore the premises are no longer rent regulated. Tenant first took possession of the apartment at a time when the apartment was not subject to rent stabilization. During the period the apartment received tax benefits, his tenancy was covered by rent stabilization. Upon expiration of the tax benefits, the landlord maintains the tenancy reverted to the unregulated status in effect before the tax benefit period. The relevant law provides that upon expiration of the J-51 status (i.e., the tax exemptions or abatement benefits to the landlord), the apartment remains rent stabilized throughout a tenant's tenancy unless each renewal lease he entered during the tax benefit period included a notice explaining the premises' rent stabilized status and giving an approximate date when the benefits were scheduled to expire. In this instance the initial lease would not have had a provision relating to tax benefits because the landlord had not applied for them at that time, and therefore the original lease was not required to give notice that the unit would become destabilized upon expiration of the benefits.

The landlord also never gave the specified notice in each of the tenant's renewal leases during the tax benefit period. The landlord argued that it could not provide such a notice because by doing so the landlord would vary the terms of the initial lease and this is not permitted under the Rent Stabilization Code, section 2522.5. The court, however, noted that section 2522.5 contains an exception at paragraph (g), which requires a change to the original lease "to comply with a specific requirement of law or regulation" relating to Rent Stabilized housing. As noted, various laws required that notification language be included in each renewal lease. The court also noted that the notice warns and alerts tenants that their stabilization status expires at the end of the renewal lease, and therefore, such a notice is for the purpose of protecting tenants and its inclusion would be permissible even if section 2522.5 did not explicitly authorize such language. Since the statute prohibits destabilization unless specific steps are taken, such as the notice provisions in the renewal leases, and since the landlord failed to take those steps, the landlord cannot deregulate the apartment and the tenant remains protected by the rent stabilization laws.


In cases where J-51 tax benefits have expired, once the rent stabilized tenant vacates the apartment, then the apartment is subject to a market rent with any new tenant. It would not be surprising if rent stabilized tenants residing in "J-51 apartments" are subject to more harassment than other rent stabilized tenants in an effort to induce them to leave so that the landlord can jack up the rent to whatever the market will bear.

other cases:

Green Properties v. Warr

April 22, 1998 NYLJ, page 26, col 3

Landlord cannot evict tenants who took possession during a period landlord received J-51 tax benefits; the tenants remain rent stabilized because their leases lacked a statutory notice informing tenants that their rent stabilized status would cease after the benefits expired.


Pamela Equities Corp. v. McSween

April 16, 1997, NYLJ page 27, col 2

Tenant asked the court to stay the holdover against her pending the outcome of her DHCR complaint which was filed before the holdover began. Tenant's DHCR complaint challenged the landlord's failure to permit her to sign a two-year renewal lease and asserted that the building did not undergo substantial rehabilitation sufficient to make it exempt from the rent stabilization laws following expiration of J-51 tax benefits in 1995. If the DHCR grants the tenant's complaint, the holdover against her must fall. The tenant moved into the apartment in 1990 and signed several renewal leases.

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