Posted by JJ on June 25, 1999 at 00:01:27:
In Reply to: Re: I stand corrected... posted by Phil on June 24, 1999 at 11:15:21:
Phil: do you really believe what you're saying? that a NYC landlord who breaks the law and overcharges will simply let the tenant take the money out of the rent?!!
Suzanne: If you do what Phil says, you'll be sued by your landlord for non-payment of rent AND, having filed the O/C complaint with DHCR, the court will make you pay all the money now & wait for a refund after DHCR's ruling: which will be against you because the landlord will have filed all the missing registrations by then.
You can withhold your rent, let the LL sue, and COUNTERCLAIM for the O/C: it's right there on the Oral Answer form (posted earlier this month: look for it). But Hawk is right: file a lawsuit! How many years have you lived there? $500 per month for 4 years is $24,000.
: Well another option is to stop paying rent, but make sure
: the apartment is really rent stabilized. Get certified copies from DHCR of the
: rent history.If you stop paying rent till you get the money back
: you were overcharged it would be easier then housing court. Or just start
: paying the legal rent stabilized rent. The landlord will get
: the message. And file a complaint with DHCR.See if he would be
: open to a rent reduction. He has to give you a lease to
: for the rent stabilized rent. Request one from the landlord.
: What a scheme you probably are living in the same building as me
: , for I was paying the same rent $675 until I got my rent reduced
: in a stipulation and so ordered by the court. I now pay half the rent I
: : But like I said before even if the landlord filled out the forms retroactively AND corrected the rent...there would still be an overcharge to get back.
: : sorry if I was misinformed about DHCR...this is best taken to court.
: : Will
: : : :Has anyone tried filling the "new" (since 1996) overcharge forms lately?
: : : It is now very complex, designed to discourage filing:
: : : 1) You have to document what you paid the past 4 years, month by by month.
: : : 2) You can go back ONLY 4 years: if the overcharge occured more than 4 year from filing date, then DHCR will not touch the case.
: : : 3) You have to document that, BEFORE you submit the form, you have discussed your complaint with your LL, and given him the opportunity to make amends. Only if the LL disagrees, can you file the overcharge.
: : : (sort of, if a bank robber is caught, the police asks him if he agrees that in fact he robbed the bank, and if so would he please return the loot; only if the robber disagrees, would the police take any action.)
: : : 4) You will wait forever for DHCR to take any action: my tenant organization is still waiting for DHCR to take action on 50 cases of parking overcharges (parking is an ancillary service) that we filed, on the old forms, back in 1995!)
: : : 5) Watch then for the LL to submit questionable documentation. Even if you win, you would most certainly lose on LL PAR appeal.
: : : DHCR entices you to go thru the process, with the lure of "triple damage". Forget it. Better to hire a lawyer and take your case directly to court.
: : :
: : :
: : : : : : My apt is rent stab. I pay $675, which is a low rent considering the current market. But I looked into my rental history and the last registered rent until this year was $175 in 1986. There have been absolutely NO renovations done -- its a classic EV tenament with tub in kitchen. Some "real estate" guy at a party told me that I can't sue for overcharge b/c a rent stab apartment like mine had a min legal rent established in some year (for 3 rooms he claimed about $400) and my particular history would be irrelevant. Was this guy talking out his *ss?
: : : : : :::::::::::::::::::::::
: : : : : Think for a minute: if there EVER had been an across-the-board minimum rent stab rent in the past 15 years, WHY would the RGB keep awarding bonuses (poor-tax to us tenants) on apts renting below $xx/mo??? add $15 to the 2%/4% for apt under $450 in 98-99, $15 if under $400 in 94-95, $20 under $400 in 95-96, etc etc.
: : : : : Sounds like you do have an overcharge: do not file a complaint with DHCR: read the messages here from the past 6 or so months: IF the ONLY reason you have an overcharge is that the LL has not registered the apt, then LL can simply file those registrations before your hearing date and the overcharge disappears!
: : : : : So much for what some guys will say at a party! Read more about it, do the math, & note: some lawyers will take on an overcharge case in court on contingency sorta like a personal injury case.
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