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Re: liability for rent increase after lease expires

Posted by DK on November 15, 1998 at 15:08:31:

In Reply to: liability for rent increase after lease expires posted by dsb on November 13, 1998 at 17:03:35:

Real Property Law section 223-b prohibits a landlord from evicting a tenant in retaliation for exercising any legal rights, such as seeking to enforce your right to receive a rent abatement because the landlord breached the warranty of habitability. If the proposed rent increase is unconscionable, then raising the rent to such a high level would be the same as refusing to renew the lease. (Be careful, you'll have to show that the proposed rent is above market rent.)

RPL 223-b says that a successful tenant is entitled to recover legal fees. So you might be able to find a lawyer who would represent you on contingency. In any event, if you can show that the proposed rent is unconscionably high, you have a chance of winning in Housing Court. The Housing Court judge would probably try to get you to settle the case by agreeing to some increase less than the amount your landlord is proposing. The Housing Court would also give you some time to move, although the court might make you pay market prices for staying in the apartment after the lease expiration.

If the landlord rents to someone else for less than $2900 after forcing you out, you would have a claim for damages.

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