TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



De Facto Multi Unit and Rent Stabilized?

NYC Housing Court Practice/Procedures

Moderator: TenantNet

De Facto Multi Unit and Rent Stabilized?

Postby reallucky1 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:22 pm

My landlord bought a holdover petition against me in housing court and I would like to get that dismissed. I currently live in a building that is registered as a two family house. However, I know that the basement is rented illegally and the floor I live on is an SRO (each bedroom is leased individually and tenants share the kitchen and bathroom. Two of the rooms are illegal since the landlord divided the living room with a wall to make it into two separate bedrooms). That means that there are at least 6 separate units within the house and the landlord is only trying to evict me. Is there any way I can argue that this is a de facto multiple dwelling and therefore subject to rent stabilization? Are there any other cases like this that I can use as defense? If not, then what kind of argument can I use to defend myself in court and get this case dismissed?

Also, the landlord didn't serve me properly, but the case has already been adjourned a few times. Can I still bring this argument up (that I wasn't served properly) or is there a statue of limitation on these kind of things?
reallucky1
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:03 pm

Re: De Facto Multi Unit and Rent Stabilized?

Postby TenantNet » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:34 pm

First, please don't duplicate posts in other parts of the Forum (I deleted the dupe).

In a 2-family house, there should be no way you would be rent stab. Remember that even if the LL doesn't get you out now, he can refuse to renew your lease and get you out after your current lease expires.

What you describe may be a defacto SRO, but is it registered as a SRO with the city, and on the Certificate of occupancy?

If there are multiple rooms rented individually, then it's more than 2 families, right? Buildings are required to be registered with HPD if there are 3+ units.
See http://tenant.net/Other_Laws/HMC/sub3/art4.html#27-2079
http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/owners/com ... perty.page

If those occupancies are legal, the lack of registration itself should be grounds for dismissing the holdover.

And later ... it might be grounds for claiming 6+ units in order to be deemed rent stabilized, as you suspect. But it also might have HPD require the owner to stop renting in illegal units. So be careful as to what it might trigger.

Yes, claiming bad service then requires a Traverse. Make sure you put that in your Answer to the court case. If it's not, ask the court to amend your answer.

On the registration, occupancy and RS status issues, I would ASAP consult with a good tenant attorney (not just any attorney) that deals with these kinds of cases. If it makes sense, consider filing with DHCR that the LL has not given you a RS lease -- in effect, challenging the RS status of the building. That might also get the holdover dismissed pending DHCR's decision.

But make sure - in the answer - indicate the lack of registration and non-compliance with the Certificate of Occupancy.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8432
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: De Facto Multi Unit and Rent Stabilized?

Postby reallucky1 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 5:47 am

Thank you.

The lease is expired. The landlord told me that it would be renewed and then I was hit with a holdover petition notice so there is no current lease.
The building is registered as a two family house with the HPD. There is no certificate of occupancy because it was build before 1920. However, HPD has an i-card documenting that it is an illegal multi unit since the basement apartment is rented illegally.
The landlord converted my apartment to a four room SRO. They erected a wall in the living room and divided it into two bedrooms which is illegal. Thus there are now at least six separate units in the building--at least one in the illegal basement, one on the first floor, and four on the second floor. Would that be considered an illegal multi unit and therefore defacto rent stabilized?
Are there any cases where an holdover petition has been dismissed because it was a de facto multi unit?
reallucky1
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 12:03 pm

Re: De Facto Multi Unit and Rent Stabilized?

Postby TenantNet » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:59 pm

Assuming you are not RS, then when a lease expires you become month-2-month. In NYC for M2M tenants (f he had accepted rent the first month after the lease expired you would be M2M) a LL must give a tenant 30 day's notice. See the discussion in the forum's reference section on this. So if you got a written notice if termination on Sept. 10 (for example), then the termination is not effective until the first of the month following 30 day's notice, or in that case, November 1. And he can't bring a holdover until it's effective.

The conversion of the unit should have triggered a need to get a CofO. It changes the use. And it needs to be properly registered with HPD, not as a 2-family house, but as a multi-unit bldg.

All that should get the holdover dismissed. It must be registered properly and any CofO must be proper.

As I discussed, it might trigger RS status.

But be cautious as the zoning might not allow a multiple dwelling, so getting HPD and DOB all over the place might trigger a notice to vacate from DOB or HPD. That's why I would consult with an attorney that knows these things.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 8432
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City


Return to Housing Court - NYC

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron