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Failure to notify tenants of false registration information

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Failure to notify tenants of false registration information

Postby structure01 » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:28 pm

I have obtained a number of DHCR orders against our landlord one of which was an unlawful lease renewal.


You probably mean failure to offer or execute a lease renewal.

The landlord refused to comply with the DHCR order. For a variety of reasons I did not bother to file a non-compliance complaint.


As long as the LL fails to offer/execute a renewal, then your rent doesn't go up (and you still maintain your RS status). I assume that would be considered a good thing. Filing a non-compliance complaint with DHCR is not always the best option.

My landlord, a non-profit, pays all fines/penalties with your tax dollar. They hardly care. We have overcharges, all kinds of complaints to file.. a full time job for me. Yes, this is harassment for which I also can...file a complaint. Now, we will be seeing assistance from the TPU and the AG.


We haven't heard a lot of positive things about TPU or the AG's initiative. Don't get your hopes up.

I received yet another unlawful renewal lease.


If you received a renewal offer, then how is it unlawful?

You've thrown in too much information, and I can't follow it all. If the LL failed to properly file a registration, then that is actionable by DHCR. As you probably know, there is a 4 year statute of limitations on rent complaints, but case law is that clear fraud by the LL allow you to go beyond the 4 years.

You should have the other tenants in the building also get their rent histories and see if there are patterns of non-registration. Does the not-for-profit own or manage other buildings? If so, look at them as well.

Understand if the LL has a lot of units, they usually have a person send out all the registrations at once, and have records of that. They might have cert. mail records or certificate of mailings, or statements by a professional mailing house. You can FOIL DHCR for any records that mailings of registrations were actually done.

Can you get a good lawyer who can give the NFP agita? A lot of tenants can help get an attorney from Legal Aid or Legal Services. That depends on what part of the city you are in, how many low-income tenants are involved and which agency you approach.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:43 pm

Thanks for the response. No, the terms of the renewal lease are unlawful

E.g one renewal option was to charge us the 7.5% for 2 years that was in effect in 2011 when our last lease expired.

They never obtained authorization from DHCR to charge the last 12/09 increase per the last DHCR orders, so how can you increase the rent legally based on a rent that you never applied for or received authorization from DHCR to restore?

We all have incomes slightly too high ( no kids) for legal aid. In 2010 we went to MFY and were refused, MFY wrote, because of their relationship with our landlord.

Back to my question if you could. Yes, we now know all registrations are the same ( except for amounts rent which vary by unit size).

In 2003 My landlord lied and did not tell me that i was rent stabilized for the first 6 years of my tenancy.

May I add to the grounds on which we are filing the complaint that they landlord failed to provide the tenants with the registrations for the prior 8 years and that the tenants would have challenged the false registration information the landlord filed in all 8 years?

The last time they raised the rent in 12/09, the landlord "back filed" several years worth of registrations prior to filing the new 12/09 lease with the rent increase.

This time they registered false information for 8 years and failed to notify any of the tenants in any of the 8 years. May I add this as grounds for their not being allowed to increase the rent now?
Last edited by structure01 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:58 pm

xxxxxx
Last edited by structure01 on Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:58 pm

Can you reformat this so it's readable? Spaces between paragraphs please. And please make it a lot shorter. Stick to the facts, not the history of the world.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:25 pm

Thanks about the mailings of registrations.I will check with DHCR. My landlord is too cheap to pay any outside vendor

Sorry about the length. I wanted to include what else I have tried such as my City Council member for this and other issues, so that people have an idea of what they face over time trying to get assistance from government agencies/officials.

My question: Yes, all tenants did not receive notification of the registrations for 8 years.

Given that we would have challenged the false registration information had we known, is failure to send us notifications of the statements they registered a reason I may use for why they cannot increase the rent?

I will go back to the last entry.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:49 pm

I know what Agita means but what is NFP?
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 19, 2018 5:53 pm

You've changed a number of posts - including the first post - that the thread itself is near impossible to follow.

If the LL is changing terms of the lease, that is not an "unlawful lease" per se. It's an impermissible change in terms of a RS lease. RS lease renewals must be offered on the same terms and conditions of the expiring lease.

Of course you can add the lack of registration to any complaint. Getting DHCR to follow the law is something else entirely.

Remember the 4 year statute of limitations is only about the rent level, not the RS status. You can challenge that any time.

Look at the Grimm case in the forum (search for it). It details how fraud can give cause to go beyond the four years.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:10 pm

Thanks. I will look at the Grimm case.

I am sorry I do not know how to refer accurately to what is wrong with the lease renewal. I do not know what to call the one option I cited from the new lease renewal, namely, offering us a two year renewal at 7.5% which was the percentage increase at the time our last lease expired in 2011.

I guess I will call DHCR, with whom I went over all the new provisions in the lease and who told me why each was not "legal" in my words to find out what to call everything that is not in compliance with current RS guidelines.

If you are willing to offer one more opinion on what I am describing about what is wrong with the lease renewal, I would appreciate it.

I am successful in my fights, but everything my landlord does always is new and confusing to me. I have to ask many questions before I write our complaints.

Thanks.I will throw in the failure to notify the tenants of the false registration statements for the past 8 years.

It is very hard fighting a highly politically connected landlord on many fronts for all the tenants.

I started when I was 54. Now, I am turning 69. I was hoping the TPU would provide a resolution for us. I am very alone without tenant.net in the actual doing for my group.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:01 pm

They did register for the 8 years with false information. We did not know as they did not send us annual notifications of the registration statements they filed. I would have challenged the false registrations for my tenant group.

It is the failure to notify us that i wish to cite as a reason they should not be permitted to raise the rent, not the failure to register.

Each of us that is old of us for SCRE misses the income qualification by very little income. There also are other issues with the lease other than the rent increase. I do not want to bother you with all of them.

I
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:04 pm

Your terminology isn't correct here. The failure to notify you IS failure to register.

Registration is a two-step process. LLs must file with DHCR by July 31 of each year showing the status and rent of each unit as of April 1. The second step is that they serve tenants with the document. If either step is not done, then registration is incomplete and theoretically the rent cannot increase. Of course LLs will claim the registration was sent to tenants.

DHCR does not make this easy for tenants, and allows landlords to file late registrations (as many years going back as weren't properly filed). Look at DHCR's Fact Sheets and Policy Statements as how they deal with late registrations.

That's why it makes sense for tenants to show non-receipt (a near impossibility), But if you get tenants to sign notarized affidavits attesting that they did not receive the documents, that will go a long way in making your point.

You could send in the affidavits at the outset, but I would wait until the LL claims they sent it, then send in the affidavits. You will have to be vigilant for DHCR sending you the LLs response to your complaint. And you should FOIL the file every so often to see what's in there.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby structure01 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:27 pm

Now, I understand. We always have followed your advice and it has been key to our success. Thank you so much for explaining.We will sign affidavits.Our landlord claims a lot ( such as the amended lease lowering our rent that never existed) to DHCR. We have been very fortunate that DHCR, thus far, has not believed them.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby TenantNet » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:35 pm

Always remind DHCR of the LLs past lies, it lowers the LLs credibility. Include past decisions. Do it just enough to set the stage of the LLs lies, but don't overwhelm DHCR with irrelevant stuff.

As I said, I would wait until the LL lies and then catch him in the act. But that presumes your vigilance. If you're concerned about that, then submit all the material up-front (but that gives the LL the opportunity to frame his lie to undermine your assertions.

You can ask DHCR what documentation it usually receives from LLs showing service of registrations on tenants. Then you can FOIL that information.
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LL tried to terminate/evict all RS tenants

Postby structure01 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:49 pm

I responded to the LL within the 60 day response period with a lease renewal complaint letter as the terms/conditions were impermissible including the rent increase. Conversation with DHCR confirmed that all provisions I thought were impermissible are. I sent the LL our invalid lease renewal complaint letter ( the LL has not complied with the last DHCR order re: their last lease- another part of the story).

The response we got from the LL, 3 days after their receipt of our detailed complaint letter, was hand delivery of Notice of Termination documents to all the RS tenants in the building on the basis of failure to respond. I have all the certified mail documents etc... to prove that this is a false claim.

I immediately got on the phone to my City Council member and State Senator with whom I have be working on LL issues for some time. Both elected officials called the LL who backed down. LL said proceeding with Termination/eviction was a "miscommunication." LL said they were immediately rescinding the Notice of Termination.

The LL is mailing a letter to each RS tenant to verify that the have rescinded the Notice of Termination "mistake."

This is the worst retaliatory action of harassment by our LL yet.

QUESTION: What do people do with this once a landlord has tried to retaliate with the Termination/eviction?I will provide documentation of the Termination in our complaints. Anything else I can do?

The LL is now stating that the renewal lease does seem to have "errors." LL asking for time to review. They will never fully comply with what is required because of the issues of longstanding involved. Why should I give them time to partially correct some of what is wrong to try to increase the rent? I am afraid DHCR will give them slack even though the LL is a habitual offender with outstanding orders against them. Other lease issues would prevent them from increasing the rent even if they applied to DHCR to "unfreeze" our rent from the las DHCR order.

I would rather DHCR sees that they tried to Terminate us and what my original list of invalid items were.

They just tried to evict us in retaliation. I see no reason to be "fair" to my LL.
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Re: Failure to notify tenants of false registration informat

Postby TenantNet » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:18 pm

Again, you have removed or changed some of your earlier posts, so it's impossible to re-read this entire thread and understand everything that is going on. See the Forum Rules item #3.

As you are not specific, and as we are not mind readers, we don't know which changes in the terms and conditions are considered by DHCR to be permissible. ("Conversation with DHCR confirmed that all provisions I thought were impermissible are.")

And I have no idea what a "lease renewal complaint letter" is. You have 60 days to respond to the offer by accepting it or not.

You can complain in writing, but you must also renew the lease offer, or not. Otherwise you will see that LLs will hit you with a Notice of Termination (although legally he can only do that after the current lease expires). A Notice of Termination applies to the current lease, and a failure to accept a lease renewal offer does not apply to the current lease.

What to do? You can see if the LL corrects the renewal offer. You can go to DHCR's Tenant Protection Unit (but I hear they're like the rest of DHCR - not too good). But you can try anyway. The anti-retaliation law is really for when the LL takes you to court and you assert it's retaliation, but only if there are no other reasons for the LL to take you to court. You might get somewhere with that. But the LL has to take you to court for that. That he "rescinded" the termination would work in his favor.
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Landlord tried to Terminate all RS tenants

Postby structure01 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:53 pm

I should not have added the new Termination event to my prior chain. I see it confuses.

Our last lease expired 11/30/2011. It was deemed invalid by DHCR in 2012. LL refused for past 6 years to amend as ordered. They just issued a next lease renewal anyway now in 2018.

Are you saying that even though I responded within the 60 days ( my 60 days is not yet up)
with the reasons that the lease is invalid ( I was trying to keep this short and not include) as we are only required to sign a proper lease and the lease had multiple impermissible terms, that this is not a valid response to prevent the trigger of another Termination Notice? LL's reason was failure to respond, which I did with invalidity issues prior to filing an RA-90

Should I sign/return the new invalid renewal lease while my 60 period is still open to insure that the landlord can not come back and say I did not sign and issue a Termination later?

IIf that will keep them off my back until we file the RA-90 and get the new lease order against them, I will do that.
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