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Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2014?

Rent stabilzed lease renewals and how to apply Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) percentage increases

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Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2014?

Postby Cornflower » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:03 am

Is there a renewal lease game that we are not aware of? We're rent stabilized in NYC, pay rent on time and landlord takes the money every month-- but we haven't had a renewal lease since 2014. When time for renewal in 2016, we asked about it -- but was told, "just hadn't got around to it". We asked again a couple of more times since then and were told pretty much the same thing, but the Landlord said "not to worry about it because it worked to our advantage as the rent had not increased, and it was his loss." Because the landlord takes the monthly rent, we're told we are safe -- but what is going on? Is there some game we are not aware of? Of course we are happy that the rent hasn't increased -- but should we demand our lease once and for all? There are two of us on the lease my husband and me. Can they drop one of us off the lease? Or are they waiting for laws to change? What advantage is it to the landlord? Thanks, Baffled!!!
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:18 pm

You say the LL "takes" the money every month, but does that mean he accepts rent increases as well?

Not having a lease does not absolve you from paying rent (unless you have other valid reasons to not pay rent). If a LL fails to give you a renewal lease, that does prevent him from getting an increase. So yes, it's true, it's his loss and your advantage. You are still rent stabilized and still have all RS protections, even without a lease.

This has happened to me and I paid the same rent for years, without any increases.

You do need to document your payments, either by check or money order. Make copies of all checks/MO and pay by certified mail or by Certificate of Mailing. I use the latter as it's cheaper. Get a receipt from the post office. Make copies of everything.

I would also "earmark" each payment by writing on the check/MO (in the memo field) something like "rent for January 2020 only; no other months"

What's going on? Don't know. You could speculate, but why bother? Is this also happening to other RS tenants in the building?

You can file a complaint with DHCR, but unless you really want a rent increase, I would not do so. There are some instances where a lease is needed, for example if you are applying for SCRIE, they want a lease. But in normal circumstances, I would not do anything.

They cannot drop one of you off the lease.
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby Cornflower » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:39 pm

Thank you for your reply --we pay rent each month, at the rate it left off in 2014 -- we want to pay rent, and we keep good records of paying it. It's just that otherwise the landlord is a penny pincher about ridiculous things, so seems odd he is not wanting to get the rent increase over the years. So, I'm putting it out there to see if anyone knows of a motive we are not aware of -- the Scrie thing is a possibility. We are the only RS in bldg, but there is another RC -- he hasn't received a lease in years either. Thanks again.
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:17 pm

Don't mix-up RC and RS. RC tenants do not get lease renewals. Some have initial leases from the 1960's, but most do not. RS do get lease renewals.

Good records? You need records that will help you in court, if it ever comes to that. If the LL gives you a monthly bill and/or receipt, that will help. But if not, I would not nag him to do so. In general, be able to prove that you sent the check or M.O., and that it was sent in the mail. I would not pay in person, and certainly not in cash.
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby Cornflower » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:46 pm

Thank you for your comments. However, I'm in interested in what a landlord's motive might be.
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:56 pm

Why not ask him?
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby Cornflower » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:55 am

OK -- thanks, I guess I'm not communicating very well. Of course we have asked him the motive and he has responded "just haven't got around to it". Without going into it, if we trusted that answer, I wouldn't have sought out other tenants on this forum. Thanks anyway
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:02 am

You're not going to get any better (or truthful) answer from elsewhere. It's either greed or laziness. Obviously it's not greed as he's not seeking more rent when he could do so.

Maybe it's some tax related issue, or something with a sale or inheritance.

The point is no one knows. And why bother? Your rent can't go up. In NYC, you must accept the fact that little makes sense. So just enjoy it.
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Re: Why does Landlord take rent but no renewal lease since 2

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:53 pm

Bottom line, so long as you're maintaining documentation that you continue to pay the rent on the apartment at the level in the last lease, there's no real downside here. If you have something in writing (email, text, etc.) where you ask about the lease, and the LL says he hasn't gotten around to it, that would provide even more insurance, but you're pretty well insulated as it is.
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