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Re: Luxury Decontrol

Posted by satori on March 15, 1999 at 00:46:45:

In Reply to: Re: Luxury Decontrol posted by Lou on March 14, 1999 at 23:36:16:

No its not legal.But who wants to fight over these things? If you or I did,
it will cost a small fortune in legal fees, then all the landord has to
do is say i want to put in a new bathroom at a cost of $5000, so the rent has to go up
according to RGB statute. I think it's all a fraud. when i was a squatter, I put in a
new bathroom labor new bath, new tolet , new floor, new shower,, new
plumbing ectera for a total of $500 total.Oh now the union thugs are knocking on my
door. frankly my dear I don; t give a dam

: : Question: The rent laws say that upon a vacancy if the landlord charges $2000
: : per month it is considered deregulated. The question is whether this is automatic
: : or whether the landlord must file the proper paperwork to decontrol the apt.

: : For instance, say you have a rent stabilized tenant, he or she moves out, and then
: : the landlord bumps the rent to $2100 per month on the new tenant. This is done without
: : any improvements or filings.

: : The rent laws seem vague on this point.

: I'm not an authority on the subject, but my understanding is that with both rent control and with rent stabilization, the landlord must file papers with DHCR for any increase.

: However, read Mysterious et al: landlords cheat in very creative ways. There's a case here on TenantNet where the landlord went from under $2000 to luxury deregulation... and a good discussion by TenantNet.
: Try searching there. Also: note that the 1993 and 1997 amendments to the RSC/RSL/EPTA/etc laws are separate here: to read a revised version in one piece you might have to go to the library.

: Here's one to start you off: searched under 'decontrol' in HC Decisions, but note the keywords:

: Case Caption:
: Townan Realty Co. v. Posner
: Issues/Legal Principles:
: Landlord must file initial rent registration upon decontrol of premises, which tenant may
: challenge, before apartment can be eligible to luxury deregulation exemption from
: stabilization laws.
: Keywords:
: initial rent registration; fair market rent appeal; luxury deregulation
: Court:
: Civil Housing Court, New York County
: Judge:
: Hon. Ruben Martino
: Date:
: September 9, 1998
: Citation:
: NYLJ, page 22, col 4
: Referred Statutes:
: 9 NYCRR 2521.2 & 2523.1
: Summary:
: Tenant sought to dismiss the petition based on landlord's failure to file and serve an initial
: rent registration form. The landlord claimed the form was not required because the rent of
: this previously rent controlled apartment is over $2,000.00. The tenant leased an
: apartment at a rental of $3,100 per month pursuant to a lease which stated that the owner
: advised the tenant that because the rent was over $2,000, the apartment became
: decontrolled upon becoming vacant after 1997, and was not subject to the rent stabilization
: laws. The landlord allegedly made extensive renovations which brought the rent over
: $2,000. The tenant withheld rent on grounds of overcharge which prompted the landlord's
: nonpayment proceeding. The legal issue before the court was whether a landlord must file
: an initial rent registration form with the DHCR and serve it on the tenant for a rent
: controlled apartment which becomes vacant and immediately rents for more than $2,000
: per month. Normally, the failure of a landlord to serve an initial rent registration form within
: 90 days after the apartment is decontrolled limits an owner to collection of the last
: collectible rent under rent control. The court cited one case that a landlord is obliged to
: follow this procedure even if the apartment is rented at over $2,000 a month (which would
: take it out of the stabilized protective status). The reason this procedure is required is
: because a tenant has the right to challenge the fair market rent before a unit is deregulated
: and only after the initial rent set by the landlord survives a challenge by the first tenant or
: remains unchallenged for more than 90 days does the apartment then become formally
: deregulated.
: The landlord argues that the new Rent Regulation Reform Act of 1997 excludes from rent
: stabilization laws any apartment which is or becomes vacant after the effective date of the
: law where the legal regulated rent is $2,000 per month or more. The court noted that the
: Rent Stabilization Code's initial registration requirement only applies to apartments which
: become subject to rent stabilization after the vacancy. If the deregulation in the new law is
: automatic, then the apartment is not subject to any regulation and no registration is
: required. The court held that in this case where the apartment was formerly rent controlled,
: the process is not automatic. This is because the high rent exclusion applies to apartments
: which have a legal regulated rent of at least $2,000. When an apartment leaves rent
: control because of a vacancy the legal regulated rent for the apartment is determined
: through the fair market rent appeal procedures which require the filing of an initial rent
: registration. The court noted that the current high rent exclusion statute still contains the
: qualifying language that the legal regulated rent must be over $2,000 to qualify for
: deregulation. In this case the prior rent controlled rent was under $2,000 and was
: increased to over $2,000 due to improvements, according to the landlord. However, the
: new $3,100 rent is not yet the legal regulated rent according to the court because the
: tenant is allowed by law the right to contest the validity of the amount set by the landlord
: (through a fair market rent appeal). The court held that the filing of an initial registration is
: the only mechanism under the Rent Stabilization Code for establishing a new legal
: regulated rent for a previously rent controlled apartment. The court held unless there is a
: legal regulated rent of over $2,000, the deregulation statute, by its own terms, does not
: automatically apply.

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