TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Vastly overcharged? Am I missing something here?

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

Moderator: TenantNet

Vastly overcharged? Am I missing something here?

Postby bolt77 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:51 pm

My roommates and I are in the beginning of the second year of our two year lease.

A couple weeks ago, a tenant of 6 years on my floor in a similar unit caught up with me and told me to check my rent history because, he said, many units are RS in this building. He told me he is paying 2,000. I am paying 3,000.

I obtained my rent history and the last couple years look like this:

--2014--RS--Legal Regulated Rent: $1250--Preferential Rent: $1070
--2015--RS--LRR: $1285--PR: $1102
--2016--VA--LRR: $1285

The specific date for the 2016 rent ($1285) is also 25 days AFTER we moved in. We signed a two year lease for $3000. THERE WAS NO RIDER OR DOCUMENT ABOUT RENT STABILIZATION. No mention of RS, and certainly no document regarding how they came to $3,000.

I called DHCR and on their end, our unit appears to still be RS, however, the owner has not reported the rent for the past year.

Since there was a vacancy, 1285 + (.2 x 1285) = 1542 for the 20% vacancy increase.

Now, there was a decent amount of renovation done here. But even if there was $40,000 worth of renovations, which is highly doubtful, that still puts our rent at $2542 accounting for 1/40th the costs of IAI.

This does not appear to be a J-51 building.

Something seems off here, but I've only been truly researching this topic for a couple days so I'm wondering if I'm missing something.

Any ideas on how to proceed?

Thank you.
bolt77
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:31 pm

Re: Vastly overcharged? Am I missing something here?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:12 pm

These days the trigger for high-rent vacancy is $2,700, so depending on it IAI, it could still qualify for being RS. Keep in mind the 4-year statute of limitations for rent level and overcharges, but RS status has no statue of limitations.

Try to get a list of obvious improvements made, and see what they might cost in the real world. Of course the LL would inflate them if/when asked. For example, get the model number of the new appliances and check their price at various locals.

Also - and this is harder - if the appliance that was replaced with itself within its useful life, then it might not qualify for an IAI. For example, if the refrigerator had previously been replaced in 2007 (10 years), then check with DHCR useful life schedules.

If there had been no vacancy in recent times, then the appliances might be older (and there might be a longevity increase - figure that in). Consider the same analysis when looking at things like new flooring (which might not be an IAI altogether), windows, kitchen cabinets and so on.

When you're ready, you can file with DHCR, but I'd recommend to do as much research beforehand as the LL will lie. I would even cough the complaint in general terms, then let the LL lie in his answer, and then you can submit evidence to show the lie.
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: 8467
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Re: Vastly overcharged? Am I missing something here?

Postby bolt77 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:31 pm

Thanks for the swift reply.

I'll make a list of all the obvious improvements and get pricepoints on them.

How would I even go about finding when the appliances were last replaced before this most recent replacement?

Does labor cost count toward IAI? Or only the value of the improvements themselves?

Could you go into a little more detail about coughing the complaint in general terms?

Thank you
bolt77
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:31 pm

Re: Vastly overcharged? Am I missing something here?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:43 pm

Major appliances - stove, fridge, etc, usually have a model number somewhere on them. You might have to look on the back. Then you can Google that model number and see what year they were sold. It's an inexact science, but it narrows things a bit.

Was any of the IAI work done after you moved in? If more than a month or two, you can argue that those items or work should not apply. I remember an old case where the tenant took occupancy in December, but (on the tenant's complaint) the fridge and stove were not installed until February. They got removed from the allowable IAIs.

Labor cost can count unless it was done by someone close to the LL, an employee, relative, etc.

The complaint would be with DHCR on the overcharge forms.
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: 8467
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City


Return to NYC Rent Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: FAST Enterprise [Crawler] and 4 guests