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you don't have to discuss it with your landlord

Posted by chelsea on April 23, 2001 at 15:38:31:

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

You should file a rent overcharge complaint with DHCR, even if you later decide to take another route, that is, going to Housing Court. Filing the rent overcharge complaint now will "start the clock" -- you'll be to go back four years from the date of your complaint to establish the overcharge amount. (Browse through the message archives and the rest of the web site for discussion of the advantages of DHCR vs. Housing Court.)

You should be aware of this: DHCR's overcharge complaint form implies that you have to notify your landlord, but you don't have to. Just cross it out the question about notifying the landlord and write "not applicable" or something to that effect. The landlord will eventually be notified by DHCR, and there's no need to go through an unpleasant confrontation. Though you can if you want.

A better idea would be to talk with other tenants, especially those who have moved in within the last four years, to get their rent histories and see if they're being overcharged too. There's strength in numbers.

: 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.

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