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Posted by gary on April 23, 2001 at 14:45:51:

In Reply to: RENT OVERCHARGE posted by ADAM on April 23, 2001 at 09:01:16:

: I recently moved into a rent stabilized apt. in NYC. It came to my attention that the previous tenants were paying roughly $500 and I was paying $1700. I ordered the rental history from the HSRC and it was true. My question is: Do I talk to the landlord first and try to reach an agreement with him or do I just go ahead and file the complaint and start the paper trail? I'm not sure how to drop the bomb.
: Any pointers would be very helpful.

What was the basis of the rent increase? It should say in the rent history. Presumably it was justified on tbe basis of improvements to the apartment. Often the charges are grossly overstated. I have no experience fighting such things, but maybe someone who does can address your problem.
What I do know, which is very little, is that if you can prove he inflated the charges, you can get a refund, and possibly additional damages. But can you prove it?
If he's saying a new stove cost $80,000 that he's amortizing--OK, you have an overcharge. I see no point in talking with the landlord over that. Keep in mind, by the way, that you have limited time to challenge the rent.

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