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Help me decipher rent history

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

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Help me decipher rent history

Postby Ashley217 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:23 pm

We moved into an apt in Manhattan in fall of 2016. A neighbor mentioned there has a been a number of units who are rent stabilized (RS) and were being overcharged. We never quite looked into it but our lease is renewing at end of the year and started doing some digging. Our DHCR rent history from 1984 shows the following:

1989: 2011: same lady rented for rents ranging $802-1675
2012: amount missing
2013: new guy rented for 3402 for legal regulated rent but also lists a 2500 preferential and says its reason is rent vacancy lease
2014: same guy renews with legal regulated rent listed as 2687 but there is still a column for 2550 preferential rent (PR). Note that the amount increased $50
2015: same guy renews at 2655 (decreased), no amount in PR column anymore, reason listed as lease renewal
2016: same guy renews at 2679 , no PR, reason listed as lease renewal

We moved in the fall of 2016 paying 3000. Our lease is a standard lease, no mention of RS or preferential rent or anything. Just your usual rental lease. No documents provided explaining why it’s no longer a RS unit, no calculations given as to why its now 3k.

There are no IAI documents filed with DHCR. We have 3 MCI docs that total to about $80 that should be the increase in rent from those MCI changes.

The questions I have are:
1. Were the rent increases from previous tenants legal
2. Am I supposed to be in a rent stabilized lease paying less than the 3k I am?
3. Did something suspect happen from the ending rent in 2011 of 1675 to the 2013 rent of $3402 legal regulated rent/2500 preferential rent?
4. Do we not sign our lease renewal and continue to pay the 3k if there is indeed anything shady going on and we pursue a lawyer? They increased it for $100.

Thanks for your help in sorting through this as I determine needing a lawyer or not. Apologies in advance if there's info required info missing.
Ashley217
 
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Re: Help me decipher rent history

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:50 pm

Can you scan and send us the rent history? If so, send it by Private Mail (use the PM button on the top-left of the message). Do NOT send it - or put any personal information - on the public area of the forum. You can attach a PDF file to the private mail message. For scanning, best to scan as 200 or 300 dpi, true grey (not color or B&W), and save as a PDF file, not a JPG file.

You can ask fellow neighbors what went on before you moved in, but do so quietly and do not let the LL know you are looking into it.

The statute of limitations allows DHCR to look back 4 years on any overcharge complaint, but it's also important for RS status.
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Re: Help me decipher rent history

Postby TenantNet » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:48 am

OK, finally got the PDF via PM. Will look at them, but can't guarantee anything. What's important is the questions that are raised, not that it will necessarily supply answers.

Specifically what month and year did you move into the unit? Can you find out the month/year the prior tenant moved out, and how much time in-between?

If any of your neighbors are in touch with the prior tenant, see if you can contact that tenant and get copies of all their leases.

Get copies of DHCR decisions in the neighbors' cases to see what the neighbors argued and how DHCR or the court made their decisions.

I see possible problems already, i.e., legal rents don't go down, they are usually not an even dollar amount. And a jump from 1695 to 3438 after 2011 raises a lot of questions. Of course it helps to be able to show a degree of fraud as DHCR is normally not supposed to look at events more than four years ago.

In all this you are trying to establish a timeline of what happened and when. The history will give you a lot of information, but there are gaps, and of course the history only represents what the LL reports, not the actual truth.

Give me a few days to look at this, and add a 'bump' to the thread to remind me.
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Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
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Re: Help me decipher rent history

Postby Ashley217 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:54 am

Hello,

Thanks for taking the time to check it out.

We saw the apartment the day the last person moved out and signed the lease that night and moved in within a week or so. There were definitely no apartment improvements made during those few days. Our kitchen is a tiny box layout with 3 upper cabinets, one cabinet beneath the sink. Those appear to be new. White appliances, could be new but not sure. Either way, not sure if any improvements made in our kitchen or entire apt could cost anywhere near 40k. I'd say 10k tops but i'm not an expert in that.

We actually did try to track down the previous tenant but have not had any luck. Will look into other tenant histories with DHCR. I just know of 2 neighbors who the building settled with giving refunds and lowering rent back down to what it's supposed to be.

If you see anything else shady, thanks for letting me know.
Ashley217
 
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:13 pm


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