TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Am I being overcharged?

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

Moderator: TenantNet

Am I being overcharged?

Postby national_kandinksy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:57 am

Hello,

So I recently moved into an apartment rental that is at or below market, and I was very excited to find it. Upon signing the lease, I signed a rider that mentioned my waiving of the right to rent stabilization. I was confused by this, but I assumed that because the apartment was at/just below market that it had more to do with renewing my lease next year than what I was paying for this year. Management has still not given me a copy of the lease signed by them...I just contacted for the third time asking for it.

Anyways, after contacting DHCR for the rental history, it seems that there was a 400 dollar increase in the monthly rent since the previous tenants. The unit is registered as rent stabilized. What can I do? Is this legal?
national_kandinksy
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:46 am

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby Flipflops506 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:14 am

Hoping someone answers here. My daughter just rented in a rent stabilized unit. New to renting, she signed the lease without noticing a rent stabilization rider was missing. I too feel she is being overcharged though I haven't received the rent history yet. It was on realizing rhe rider was missing and research that led me here. I think most people are not aware of the rules of rent stabilization. I'm so upset for her. The apt hasn't been renovated in the way the realtor said it would, the rent is on par with most 1 bedrooms on the neighborhood except this is a very old building and not kept up well either. Her situation forced her to find a place quickly which led us here. I wonder how difficult it is for the 'little guy' against the landlords though to actually bring an overcharge case and win. It's almost like you have no options.
Flipflops506
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:08 am

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby TenantNet » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:18 am

First off, no one can legally "waive" their right to rent stabilization. That's something landlords do to intimidate tenants into not challenging the alleged non-RS status. There are many court cases on this point.

Being "at or below" market means nothing. After all, what is a "market rent?" There's no such thing.

Do you have a copy of the lease from before it was signed by you? If not, then from now on you need to take photos of everything, or scan documents into your computer. Get CamScanner for your smartphone.

Also record all conversations. You can do so without the LL knowing and in NYS that's perfectly legal.

I would continue to press the LL for a copy of the executed lease. Put your request in writing. Just say you are worried. Don't be threatening.

At the same time quietly get a rent history from DHCR to get a better idea what is really going on. (seems you've done that already).

Were there any improvements made to the apartment before you moved in? Make a list. For a vacancy the LL can take a 20% increase plus 1/40th or 1/60th (depending on how many units are in the building) the cost of any improvements. Talk to you neighbors to see what really happened, and if you can, get in touch with the tenant who vacated.

Chances are this is all bogus. Once you get more information, you can file a complaint with DHCR on two counts: a) the RS status of the unit and b) any overcharges. But do all of this quietly.

If you wish we can take a look at the rent history. Upload a PDF using the Private Mail facility (PM). Do not upload it to the public area of the forum.
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: 8462
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby TenantNet » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:21 am

Flipflops506, we answered you on your own thread.

Many of these questions - including yours - we've answered hundred of times. There are over 50,000 posts on this forum ... please research them.
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: 8462
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby national_kandinksy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:25 pm

Ok great. So from my understanding, since it is a 1-year lease, they were allowed to increase the rent by this amount:

"For an incoming tenant who opts for a one-year lease, the vacancy allowance is 20% minus the percentage difference between the Rent Guidelines Board's (RGB’s) then-current guidelines for a two-year and a one-year lease."

This comes out to [ 20% - (20% - 18%) ] which is 18%.

So of the 400 dollar increase, it seems only 250 dollars was legally valid. Assuming that my math is correct, and there were no improvements done on the apartment.

I know that there are no improvements done, but I guess that can be a "he said, he said" thing. It comes out to 165 dollars per month argument, and I'm not sure I can win because of this improvements issue.

I will talk to a lawyer.
Last edited by national_kandinksy on Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
national_kandinksy
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:46 am

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby TenantNet » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:33 pm

When you quote something, make a link to - and identify - the source.

And as you didn't state the rent being charged, we can't react to your calculation.

A LL needs to prove improvements were done when a tenant files a challenge. See http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/OperationalB ... o20161.pdf

If the LL claims there's a new refrigerator, in addition to having to supply cancelled checks and an invoice, if you can show the current fridge was manufactured in 1972, then in my mind, DHCR should rule in your favor.
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: 8462
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby national_kandinksy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:51 pm

My apologies.
The most recent rent on the rent stabilized form supplied by the DHCR was 1385.00 for the year 2016.

Then I signed a one year lease beginning the summer of 2017 for 1800.00

The source I got for the 18% allowed increase was this link:
http://www.nycrgb.org/html/guidelines/vacancy.html

So 18% of 1385 is 250.00

So this becomes an issue of 165.00 per monthly rent I believe

Nice to hear about the improvements -- seems like the laws in this case favor the tenant.
national_kandinksy
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:46 am

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby TenantNet » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:55 pm

Not really. DHCR often rubber-stamps these things and ignores the law.

Was the previous rent exactly $1,385 even? No odd cents? If so, that's a sign of possible illegality. RS rents are calculated based on percentages to the penny.
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: 8462
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Am I being overcharged?

Postby national_kandinksy » Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:58 pm

No, it is not 1385.00 even. There are cents involved.
I was just a little wary of giving too specific of information on a public forum.

Thank you so much for your help btw.
national_kandinksy
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:46 am


Return to NYC Rent Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest

cron