Posted by Anna on July 21, 1999 at 15:49:48:
In Reply to: Check your lease posted by isaac on July 21, 1999 at 11:28:49:
: :Check your lease to see if AC is included, as well as the annual registration form you get from the LL each spring.
: In any case, DHCR will send you a copy of the LL's MCI application, and you get 35 days to comment/object.
: Get together with the other tenants, and file objections to the MCI, no matter what. Include the AC matter.
: Check if all the work that the LL claims in his application was actually done (it may not be), and if the work was done to contract specification (it may not have been) - you can get a copy of the contract from DHCR. This will also force DHCR to scrutinize the application.
: Even if the MCI is granted, you and the other tenants should submit PARs (petitions for administrative review). Note that MCI rates are set per room, not per apartment; thus, tenants will be charged differing rent increases.
: Submission of PARs will delay collection of the retroactive portion of the MCI, and in the meantime the $$ is in your pocket, not the LL.
: The whole concept of MCI is a sham and a gift by our Legislators to the LLs, as the LL will continue to collect increased base rents, even after all (almost always inflated) MCI costs are paid for by the tenants. He also gets to amortize the costs, claiming them as business expenses.
Isaac: good advice re MCI's.
Remember also that replacing windows does not guarantee the LL a right to an MCI increase: DHCR has rules about how, when & where. Replacing rotting or broken windows or installing cheap windows badly won't fly. Find some guidelines in the DHCR opinions or operational bulletins in the DHCR section on TenantNet Home or on DHCR's website.
Security gates: whether they are listed on the initial or annual registration or not, they are (or could be argued to be) an essential service in apartments with easy access to intruders. The LL is, to the best of my knowledge, required to replace them.
Security gates & A/C: even if the tenant paid for these things, the LL should put them back if s/he removes them to replace the windows. And if they no longer fit, the LL should fix them or replace them with items of the same strength (security) or capacity (A/C). Think of it this way: you have them now, they work just fine, the LL removes them, you have a reduction of services... Why should a tenant pay for cleaning up the LL's mess?
Common sense approach: all windows in bldg? LL will apply for MCI? Get together with all of the tenants, or as many as will sign up, write a firm but courteous letter to the LL stating that the Tenants expect to have everything (list what is in each apt window) put back immediately after the windows are replaced. If someone finds a written law, it makes your negotiation easier; if not: go for it anyway! Take pictures NOW, to document what exists now.
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