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Re: Vacancy Decontrol Issue

Posted by chelsea on July 17, 2001 at 07:42:16:

In Reply to: Vacancy Decontrol Issue posted by Gregg on July 16, 2001 at 20:39:30:

Preserving affordable housing is every tenant's business. If vacated apartments are illegally decontrolled and become luxury apartments, the rest of the building and the neighborhood suffer. For example, it will be risky for new tenants to ask for repairs, painting or correction of safety problems because the landlord might not renew their lease next time. (That's happened to me and lots of people on this forum.) The building becomes more transient, and many landlords like to play off stabilized tenants and "free-market" tenants against each other. What you are going through is the terrible fallout from the $2,000 limit in the 1997 rent law debacle, which has meant vacancy decontrol for thousands of apartments. (I could elaborate but then we're getting into a general discussion on rent regulation.)

Yes, contact the new tenants. Let them know of the rents paid by the previous tenants. Encourage them to take action as soon as possible -- in DHCR, Housing Court or Civil Court -- as soon as possible. They shouldn't wait four years just because they can.

In a DHCR case, the failure to register is part of the overcharge case, because there's no penalty for failing to register unless there's an overcharge.

The only other deadline other than the four years would be for any units just now moving from rent control to rent stabilization. Once the landlord files an initial rent registration, there's a 90-day time limit for the tenant to appeal. This is a crucial deadline.

Carry on, and keep us posted!


: I'd like some help on advising Tenants in our building about what the Landlord has been doing. We are a rent-regualated building, with about 100 apartments. The LL held vacant several apartments in the building, for several months. Then, he did some "renovations" and has begun renting them for $2000 or more, WITHOUT a rent-stabilized lease! Basically, the LL is decontrolling the apartments, acting unilaterally! These were all rent-stabilized apartments, initially.

: We've recommended that the Tenants get an Aparment Detail from the DHCR, and check to see if the previous tenant's rent was less that $2000 ( We know of NO apt. in the building that has ever rented at $2000; Most of the rents are between $800 - $1400). Then, they could file a rent-overcharge complaint. Should they also file a Complaint for not receiving a Rent Registration Statement? Or is this covered in the filing of the Rent-Overcharge Complaint? Are there any time-limits that we should be aware of, other than the obvious "4-year rule"? Thanks for your suggestions & help!

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