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Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipts?

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Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipts?

Postby structure01 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:09 pm

I managed to get back four years worth of overcharges with 9% interest, not calculated using the DHCR formula as required and without the triple damages required because the overcharges by our LL were intentional. The LL refused to pay correctly.

IN 06/18,I filed a complaint with DHCR for the rest of what was owed going back to 11/10, as I claimed fraud involvement.

I included 4 years front/back rent checks in my 06/18 as that was what DHCR would accept.

I also submitted a LL rent ledger on LL letterhead going back to the commencement of the prior period.The rent ledger is a month by month accounting of the amount of rent received each month by the LL, covering the entire 2 year period DHCR is now requesting.

Because of the new rent law, DHCR just wrote to me that I need to provide proof of rent for two more years as the 4 year period has been changed to 6 years.

DHCR already has those additional two years in the LL rent ledger I submitted in my original complaint.

I am away from the city and did not bring my front/back rent checks with me.

QUESTION: Should that rent ledger directly from the LL ALSO qualify as rent receipts, simply in a cumulative form? Is not the rent ledger the equivalent of individual rent receipts from the landlord?
Last edited by structure01 on Wed Aug 28, 2019 2:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:15 pm

When I write not calculated properly by the eviction lawyer the LL is using now, I mean their outside lawler did ot use the formula used by DHCR to calculate. IN addition, they do not admit to the overcharges being willful ,despite years of statements by their lawyers, and refused the pay the triple penalties I had demanded.

The tenants signed no kind of agreements upon receipt of the monies but wrote we consider this to be partial payment, and i enumerated the rest.
Last edited by structure01 on Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:18 pm

Sorry. Typo. not 19. 10 ten year period
Last edited by structure01 on Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:14 am

Normally I would ask a poster to continue posting in the same thread instead of starting a new thread. See the forum rules. This is because we don't want to ask the same questions all over again. Even if a new topic, there is always overlap when it's the same tenant, the same apartment and so on.

I would also normally ask a tenant to keep it short. We don't need every little detail and tenants need to focus on the main issues.

But it's midnight. Maybe I'll get around to reading this later today, or maybe not :)
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:19 am

I did edit my posting to make it shorter.

I look forward to some ideas in response. Thank you.
Last edited by structure01 on Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:49 am

For purposes of this forum, shorter is better, as long as the main points are covered. If more information or clarifications are needed, we will ask.

It also helps the poster, helping them focus on what is important - and what is not. If an issue ends up at DHCR or the courts, they will also want just the salient facts.

Shorter also helps the reader(s) doing research, where they won't have to read an entire book.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:03 am

Implementation and interpretation of the new rent laws is fluid and an ongoing process, not only with how DHCR sees things, but the settling of ambiguities within the law itself and how the courts will resolve those questions.

As you point out, DHCR is required to order treble damages on overcharges as there is a presumption of willfulness, and it's the LL's burden to disprove that. Yet DHCR still breaks the law on that.

You say the LL refuses to pay correctly. How so?

You have options. Yes you can file another overcharge complaint, but that just creates a mess. You already have an order. You can file a judgment (see the order for details), or you can deduct the amounts from your rent. I usually do the last option as then I can control things. Yes, the LL might take you to court on a non-pay, but the order itself is a defense on that.

You say you filed another complaint in/on 6/18, but you don't say if that was an overcharge or enforcement complaint. In our view, DHCR enforcement is a joke. (and you don't specify if you mean June 18, 2019 or June 2018 ... we're not mind readers).

As you probably know, the law prevented DHCR from looking back more than four years on any claim of overcharge. Now that is six years. That applies to any "pending" case.

You don't say when your case was resolved (when was the decision made - was it after 6/14/2019?) If not, why would they be looking at two more years?

A ledger is not the same thing as a receipt, but it might serve the same purpose, acknowledging receipt of your payment(s).

The ledger supports your claim, but they probably want to see your checks to prove you paid more than what was legal. If you're still out of town, I would write then and say that -- that you are out of town and you will send them (the checks) to the agency when you get back in town. Give them an approximate date. Ask for an extension to reply up to that time.

Can you send us a copy of the letter DHCR sent to you? You can attach a PDF using the upload option when you use Private Mail (the PM icon to the left of this post). Watching what the agency is doing is important.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:38 pm

I meant I filed an overcharge complaint in June 2018 for rest of what the LL owes. My case is pending.

The law now says six years or more to determine a base date rent. I am asserting LL fraud, which permits a longer look back.

The 4 years I obtained for the tenants was not the result of an order.

I had enlisted my state senator and city council member and managed to get back 4 of the 8 years the tenants are owed after an illegal eviction attempt in 03/2018.

The LL was pressured into the refund because a long ugly history was brought to light.

I always had included a written demand for refund with each rent check and wrote the amount of the overcharge in the memo section of each rent check from 11/2010 through 05/2018.

I had no knowledge of the DHCR overcharge complaint process until I retired.

The LL's attorney calculated the four year refund of "overpayments" @ 9% simple interest (not the formula utilized by DHCR) and did not include treble damages for willful overcharge. That is why I am saying it was calculated incorrectly.

"Overpayments" was the term the LL's attorney used in the letter accompanying the refund checks. I am using the attorney's use of "overpayments" as an admission of willfulness, as I also submitted 4 years' worth of my demands for refund of overcharges. Clearly, that many monthly "overpayments" by all the tenants were not mistakes.

Without going into too much detail,there also was a DHCR rent freeze order in effect from a prior case, which the LL disobeyed for 6 years. I think that makes it willful.

In my current overcharge complaint, I am utilizing another LL's attorney letter to demonstrate willfulness in which the LL's attorney justifies charging increased rent while reducing services.

I made arrangements to have my rent checks sent to me. Thanks for your suggestion.

I will make an attempt at scanning( I am not good) and sending you a PDF in Private mail Thanks.


Thank you for responding.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:30 pm

It's a bit hard to really react without having seen the decisions already issued (if there were any decisions .... it seems now there had been no DHCR decision at all).

As I said above, filing a new complaint on top of an old one seems to us to be a bit pointless. The original order should declare the amount of the overcharge. If the LL fails to make good, well you have options. A new complaint allows the LL to try to re-litigate the matter, and give them opportunities to appeal the new order.

If DHCR accepts that there was fraud, there is no limit on the look-back, i.e., Grimm. But if the overcharge case was already decided, you can't just come up with a new claim (i.e., fraud) and hope to redo it all over again.

The new six year limit on look-backs is only for pending cases, not really meant to reopen cases that were already decided. Your explanation of what happened in what order, well it's confusing, at best.

And you say "for the tenants." Was this a case where you were the tenant-complainant, or something else? State Senators and City Council reps have no legal standing to get back overcharges.

Over all, I'm not following what happened and in what order.

Also, please don't erase most of what you wrote before. I had to restore two of your posts. See the Forum Rules on our policy of maintaining prior posts. Occasional edits are OK (and a shortening is OK as we asked for that), but please do not erase the guts of what you had written. That leaves our posts meaningless if they are reacting to nothing.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:50 am

I am sorry I misunderstood what you were asking me to edit.

I also should have put my post in the rent regulated forum.

I hope this gives you the proper timeline:

a )I had been making demands for refund of overcharges with each rent check since the overcharges began in 11/2010. I did not know about the DHCR rent overcharge complaint process until very late in the game.

b) Because I got my elected officials involved in stopping an illegal eviction attempt in 3/2018, I was able to use political pressure to obtain 4 years' refund of rent overcharges for all the tenants in 5/2018.

c) When LL's outside counsel ( the eviction attorney from 3/2018)) only paid us 4 years of the 8 years demanded, did not used DHCR's formula to calculate the 9% interest, and did not pay the treble damages as demanded, the tenants cashed the 4 years' checks as partial payments of the full amounts owed.

d) In 6/2018 I filed a rent overcharge complaint for the rest, which also asserted fraud for reasons I will not go into here. Fraud permits us to go back beyond the 4, now 6 years.

e) My 06/2018 rent overcharge complaint for the rent of what the LL owes is pending. There never was a prior case.

The LL's 4 year refund would be considered to be a case, I think, of the landlord "voluntarily," refunding of four years in 5/2018 prior to my filing the DHCR rent overcharge complaint in 06/2018.

The new law states that even if the LL "voluntarily" refunds overcharges to the tenants, the LL is still liable for treble damages. I already had filed for these damages in 6/2018 with documentation for willful overcharge.

c) As the 06/2018 rent overcharge complaint for the rest of what the LL owes is pending, DHCR wrote to me asking for proof of two more years rent history for a total of 6 years. There is no prior DHCR case being reopened. The 4 years I managed to get from the LL in 5/2018 was "voluntary."

You are correct now. To date, there have been no DHCR decisions at all in the matter of rent overcharge.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:54 pm

That's better. The earlier posts implied there was an earlier DHCR decision that you were hoping to appeal or reopen, or just filing a new matter citing the old matter. That would have been insane.

It does seem strange you didn't know the DHCR process, but you knew of other DHCR policies (i.e., 4 years, treble damages).

Demand ... do you have a tenant association? How were you representing the other tenants?

If you knew of overcharges, why not just deduct those from the current rents?

Elected officials can't do anything, except perhaps write some letters.

Why would a LL lawyer even add the 9% if not in court?

How can you file overcharge for the other tenants? You would not have standing unless you are an attorney or designated representative. Are all the other tenants RS?

As for fraud, courts differ on what constitutes fraud. Just claiming fraud is not sufficient to establish fraud in order to pierce the 4-yr SOL. There was a thread on this forum about exactly that some time ago, citing decisions and columns from the NY Law Journal. Search the forum for Grimm and fraud.

OK, so the current pending case is not an appeal, so you can make assertions and can go (at least) 6 years as the case was pending when the new laws became effective. And if you show fraud, you can go back even further.

Where is that language that treble still holds if there was a voluntary refund?

Seems DHCR's request for what you were billed and what you paid is appropriate.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:55 pm

Thanks for responding.
a. I did not think to research it until I retired. I worked very long hours. I am 70 now. I filed other complaints that I knew about in earlier years.

b. Once I retired, I learned about the specifics e.g. 4 years, treble damages what I needed to do to establish fraud. I wrote to tenantnet and learned about Grimm.Thanks.

c. Yes, we form an ad hoc tenant association each time I file a complaint against the LL.All the tenants are rent stabilized, although the LL did lie to several of us, including me, about our tenant status for a number of years.

d. Why we would never deduct from our current rents... even though we have had an order,for instance, from DHCR that permitted us to deduct.... the minute we would underpay one dime, our LL will move to evict us. We will never take our chances in housing court even with the evidence on our side. That is our collective position.

I used to state this in every demand that went along with the rent checks, that we were paying overcharge amounts on threat of eviction and why the amounts were overcharges.

We waited for when I had time to figure out what to do to obtain our refunds.

In another financial matter of contention the LL did, indeed, hire a notorious eviction law firm and tried to evict us illegally in 3/2018 , as the demand letters that went along with rent checks predicted. I contacted the elected officials and stopped the Terminations within a few hours. The tenants are now terrified all the time. Everyone is older and disabled at least in part ( we are a small group and our LL wants us out).

e. With regards to the elected officials- for a brief moment with so much of the harassment and illegal actions against the tenants in plain view, the elected officials called meetings with LL at which I was present and the LL with the various agencies involved HRA, DHCR, HPD. Yes, that was very hard to achieve. I had been knocking on the elected officials and several of the agency doors for years asking for help with our tenant issues. Letters are worth nothing. A tenant has to be very persistent and make calls to anyone and everyone in government to get any help.

f. Why would the LL lawyer even add the 9%?

The LL already was caught red-handed on this and many other issues for which I have filed and for which I am pressing in other arenas in which the LL has not relented. HCR does not enforce their orders, why not?

Since this is a case of financial misconduct, the LL appears to have decided along with their General Counsel, who hired the outside eviction attorney, to utilize the minimum that DHCR was going to require in the end. Therefore, the 9% calculated to give the tenants as little interest as possible. The LL chose to refund voluntarily, but not completely. So, I filed.

g. The language about treble damages if voluntary refund. I do not know exactly where in HCR regs. I will quote to you here from Met Council on Housing to which I belong referencing the new rent law:
Extends Rent Overcharge Four-Year Look-Back Period to Six Years:
o Extends the four-year look-back period to six or more years as reasonably necessary to determine a reliable base rent, extends the period for which an owner can be liable for rent overcharge claims from two to six years, and would no longer allow owners to avoid treble damages if they voluntarily return the amount of the rent overcharge prior to a decision being made by a court or Housing and Community Renewal (HCR).

o Allows tenants to assert their overcharge claims in court or at HCR and states that while an owner may discard records after six years, they do so at their own risk.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:05 pm

d. Why we would never deduct from our current rents... even though we have had an order,for instance, from DHCR that permitted us to deduct.... the minute we would underpay one dime, our LL will move to evict us. We will never take our chances in housing court even with the evidence on our side. That is our collective position.


Of course he will, and it's not a lot of fun. But it might be quicker than waiting for DHCR to act -- could be five years. And when DHCR acts (they are much more pro-LL than the courts), the LL can then appeal to higher courts.

Yes, being in court is a pain, but in the long run, it might be better than DHCR. I've done both. In the last six times I've been in court with my LL, I've beaten him six times. Myself, no lawyers. Not every tenant will have that experience, but compared to DHCR, it's much better.

If you write the LL saying pursuant to DHCR order #____ you are deducting $____ from your rent, if he takes you to court, then he might be liable for a bunch of stuff.

Which eviction mill did the LL use?

Yes, older tenants are afraid. That happens all the time.

HCR does not enforce their orders, why not?
Because the pols don't see tenants as a group that matters. That's not only Republicans, but also Democrats. Look who has been governor going back until at least 1982.

Most LLs, even if caught, will ignore letters from the electeds, and would not add 9% interest. Don't see why they would do that.

The quote from Met Council ... that's just spin. You need the actual language from the newly enacted law.

And Met Council, are you kidding? That's the number 1 sell-out group in the city. They are part of the Dem. establishment, which will do anything to cower to landlords and developers. Don't look at their rhetoric; look at what they actually do.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby structure01 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:10 pm

Good for you. Yes, On other matters, not housing court I have been a winning plaintiff. Fear of housing court is a different matter.

If possible somehow in private mail, I can tell you what else I am trying not to be dead before DHCR gives us the refund. Let me know if that is possible and what to do. I appreciate your interest and comments. Grimm was a big help.
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Re: Isn't a rent ledger from the LL the same as rent receipt

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:29 pm

Not sure what you are seeking, but you can send us private mail - use the PM button to the left of each message. For anything that has personal information on it, use the PM, but otherwise use the public forum.
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