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Re: NYC rent-control succession and SCRIE

Posted by TenantNet on April 19, 1998 at 18:48:48:

In Reply to: NYC rent-control succession and SCRIE posted by Mactabbish on April 01, 1998 at 02:28:20:

: I'm writing on behalf on an elderly neighbor in my co-op building -- let's call her Betty -- who I believe may be entitled to succession rights and a refund of rent overcharges. But before I encourage her to fight for her rights, I want to be certain that she's entitled to protected status.

: Betty lived in the apartment with her friend -- let's call her Alice -- from about 1960 until Alice's death in 1990. During that period, their household seems to have been almost a definition of "non-traditional family;" they were so close that many neighbors erroneously believe them to have been aunt and niece. I believe it's extremely likely that, under DHCR rules, their long-lived relationship would entitle Betty to succession rights.

Rent Control (and rent stab) does allow non-traditional succession rights,
but it can be difficult to establish, but it can be done. There is info on
this on the web site. She must do her homework and I would suggest she
consult with a tenant attorney who is well-versed in the succession
regulations and case law. It really depends on the ability of Betty to
estabblish a number of things used as criteria to establish a non-traditional
family arrangement.

: Sometime in the mid-1980s -- at about the time the apartment was purchased by an investor -- Alice, who was the tenant of record, successfully applied for a SCRIE. On Alice's application, she had stated a "household income" that did not include any contributions from Betty, who was in fact working, earning an income, and sharing all household expenses at the time. From the time the SCRIE was granted until just after Alice's death, the investor who owned the apartment charged only the legal maximum amount of rent as allowed by the SCRIE.

Alice should have reported Betty's income, and it might be possible for
the govt. to seek to recover the lost tax abatement from the owner.
This could be a problem in establishing succession rights, but goes
to the issue of SCRIE eligibility. Whether Betty is entitled to SCRIE
is a completely different issue. Even so, you might be able to establish
Betty's succession even absent that. You should be prepared to prove
the lack of reporting Betty's income as an oversight, and not an
attempt to defraud. Also remember, if succession rights are
established, then a new rent should be established and you may
need to make a separate complaint/proceeding on overcharge.

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