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Construction Surveying, Inc?

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

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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby Cazmia » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:26 pm

UJ covers so many legal areas. Have many tenants had bad experiences with the head? The lawyer we dealt with talked about our case with her superior and they touched on the idea of trying to reach the Attorney General to advocate on our behalf..but then our case was granted in our favor with the AD.
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby Cazmia » Fri May 26, 2017 10:31 am

We found a new deed online, which I think means we have a new owner.

Does anyone know what happens when a prior owner files a PAR, then is asked to appear at DHCR? I doubt the owner who filed the PAR would appear, since he no longer has an interest in the building.

If the new owner appears, does he even have the right to be part of the PAR proceeding? He wasn't the one who filed the PAR...

20 years ago, a tenant's PAR was dismissed when she could not be located. In DHCR's own words, "there was no longer a matter to be determined".

Shouldn't there be no matter to be determined if the old owner sold the building? Even though an owner is technically present, and should fill his shoes, this should be about who filed the PAR, because this new guy doesn't have any real knowledge of the case. What could he possibly have to contribute, even if he were given due process and allowed to join the proceeding? He obviously didn't do enough due diligence, because then he would have known that he purchased a building that was declared stabilized in 2016.
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby TenantNet » Fri May 26, 2017 11:26 am

New owners are usually deemed to have "stepping into the shoes" of the old owner, with all the same rights and responsibilities of the old owner.

New owners are supposed to file Notices of Appearance with DHCR, but that doesn't always happen. New owners are also supposed to conduct "due diligence" before buying a building, and that means becoming aware of any pending litigation. Old owners sometimes do show up at hearing to provide testimony or evidence.

New owners often claim they didn't know about the PAR. If they filed it, and if they don't pursue it, then DHCR should drop it, but they will likely send out notices. Don't remind the new owner. Tell everyone to be quiet about it.
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby Cazmia » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:58 pm

Thank you, we will.

Although scary for us, it is comforting to know that UJ is VERY interested in our case and intends to come with us to this conference and represent us. The representing lawyer has even said that her boss, with over 17 years experience in LT law, is happy to come to our aid as well, should things get sticky. They make the tenants feel very special.

They gave me a wonderful compliment in telling me that the intensive research I've done and the way I "unearth facts" is something they haven't seen; they said I should go into Law.

Even the experienced lawyers there have never heard of a conference such as this, and they don't seem to know what to expect any more than we do.
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby Sky » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:00 pm

FYI, UJ assisted me in a defending a SC case which was characterized by all sorts of legal shenanigans by my LL. Due to the nature of the lawsuit and it being in SC, UJ accepted my case and also arranged for an attorney from a private white-shoe law firm (extremely high-end) to handle my representation, pro-bono, which was entirely unexpected but perhaps warranted by the LL's legal antics. Although the law firm was not an L&T firm ... and in no way, shape, or form a 'tenant' law firm ... the attorney was exceptional: smart, fastidious, committed, thorough, and supported by the vast resources and research capabilities of their law firm. The law firm had very deep pockets and spared no expense in representing me which inspired tremendous confidence (in my experience money can be a touchy point with attorneys and often the level of representation, the legal strategy, and attorney's 'loyalty' to the client is based on the client's ability to pay). At court appearances, both the aforementioned attorney and also the attorney from UJ (who oversaw my representation) would appear. It was a team effort. I was in very good hands and never felt better represented in my life either before or since.

My legal team shut the LL down and won the case.

I'm sure the quality of UJ'S assistance and legal representation can vary greatly dependent on its resources, funding, personnel, caseload, commitments, and politics at any given point in time, but in this case they really rose to the occasion in representing me. I felt - and over the years continue to feel - much gratitude towards my legal team for their superior efforts in defending me.
Last edited by Sky on Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:13 pm

I know there are good people and good attorneys at UJ, but if you come across a lawyer named Harvey Epstein, then you should turn and run as fast as you can. Seriously, this guy is bad news.
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby Cazmia » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:54 pm

Haha, thank you for the advice. Thank goodness that wasn't one of the names I have ever dealt with!
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Re: Construction Surveying, Inc?

Postby Cazmia » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:05 pm

Hi, just an update. We had the pre conference hearing which was informal. After that, the oppostion's lawyer came back at us with a 153 page legal brief. To which our lawyers at Urban Justice returned with a 150 page brief.

The owner has 2 main arguments-that we can't prove anyone lived in the sixth unit, and that we are barred by administrative finality from fighting this case because DHCR determined in 2 orders 20 years ago that the building did not contain six units.

The hearing judge did not accept his argument on finality, because the building was found to have six units BEFORE those orders were issued. The 1999 order ignored a 1995 DHCR inspection that found six DWELLING units at our address! The judge wants us to prove that the sixth apartment was lived in by a tenant since the last order was issued. However, we can't find the tenant who lived there.

We only have testimony from three of the tenants who lived here during when that tenant lived in the sixth questionable apartment, who say they witnessed the tenancy..

The judge is asking for "indicia of permanency". How can tenants who did not live in the sixth apartment provide that?

We have already provided an inspection that the building had six units before DHCR issued an order that the building was not rent stabilized, because it had only five. In this order, DHCR was in ERROR, because they did not take that inspection into account. isn't there a phrase for that (vital error in law or fact, or something?)

We also provided:
1. A 2008 boiler installation report that said the burner was for a six unit, building and
2. The DHCR inspector has pictures of electrical meters, one of which was labeled for the sixth apartment!
3. The Dept of Finance is also taxing the owner for a six unit building.
4. We even found a court case involving the sixth apartment, where the owner was trying to evict a tenant for nonpayment..but it was before the order was issued.

This is all very frustrating. Meanwhile, the new owner is circulating vicious rumors among the tenants that he already won the case and that he will have our building vacant within four months. He's the worse ever.

The laws state that if the building was EVER found to have six units, then it is subject to rent stabilization, until the owner files proper application to deregulate. How can a 20 year old order that IGNORED a valid inspection finding six units be given deference? The order didn't deregulate the building (because you can NOT deregulate that which has never been legally regulated). It only stated that it relied upon an even older order from five years before it stating the building had five units in the 1980's!
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