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Rent Stabilized Month to month?

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

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Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby Shena99 » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:11 pm

Is it possible for a landlord to agree that, instead of a tenant signing a new rent-stabilized lease, to agree to a month-to-month agreement for a shorter period at a higher rent? This would be for someone who anticipates moving out during the new lease period. Is it even legal?
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby TenantNet » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:16 pm

Not legal
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:15 am

The right way to do this would be for the tenant to sign a standard RS renewal, and for the landlord and tenant to enter a separate agreement giving the tenant the right to break the lease after X months upon payment of $Y. This would have the same effect.

As an example, imagine the rent is $2000/month, and the tenant wants to be able to leave after three months. Instead of having a month-to-month at $2100/month (which TenantNet notes is illegal), the tenant and landlord could agree that, after three months, the tenant has the right to break the lease upon payment of $300, and the landlord will waive his right to collect rent for the full term of the lease.
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:02 pm

Bubba, technically side agreements as you suggest are also not legal. I'm not saying it isn't done, but that legally all leases must be on the same terms and conditions as the original lease. That's important as many such agreements are not to tenant's benefit, and often the result of LL intimidation and harassment.

The "legal" way for a tenant to leave mid-lease is simply to leave, and the LL accepts the tenant leaving without seeking rents for the rest of the lease. That is something LLs and Ts can agree to ahead of time, and maybe (talk to a tenant lawyer) even put on paper.

Yes, that sounds somewhat like what the OP and Bubba suggested, but there are distinctions as the original lease or renewals are not altered, not is the legal LL/T relationship. Buyouts can get complicated and I'm not even addressing that here.

If they buyout is significant, I would consult an attorney, but be aware that attorneys often get a percentage of a large buyout (I've seen 1/3) and then tenants might be liable for taxes as well.

Another way to approach this is to assign the unit to a new tenant, but that doesn't address a buyout, a time to renovate the unit.
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:59 pm

TenantNet wrote:Bubba, technically side agreements as you suggest are also not legal. I'm not saying it isn't done, but that legally all leases must be on the same terms and conditions as the original lease. That's important as many such agreements are not to tenant's benefit, and often the result of LL intimidation and harassment.

The "legal" way for a tenant to leave mid-lease is simply to leave, and the LL accepts the tenant leaving without seeking rents for the rest of the lease. That is something LLs and Ts can agree to ahead of time, and maybe (talk to a tenant lawyer) even put on paper.

Yes, that sounds somewhat like what the OP and Bubba suggested, but there are distinctions as the original lease or renewals are not altered, not is the legal LL/T relationship. Buyouts can get complicated and I'm not even addressing that here.

If they buyout is significant, I would consult an attorney, but be aware that attorneys often get a percentage of a large buyout (I've seen 1/3) and then tenants might be liable for taxes as well.

Another way to approach this is to assign the unit to a new tenant, but that doesn't address a buyout, a time to renovate the unit.


This doesn't sound like a buyout issue. If the LL wanted this tenant out, they would just say "leave when you want, I'll waive the rent to collect rent for the rest of the term." As described by the OP, this is a case, where the tenant wants the opportunity to be released from the lease early, and is willing to pay more than the legal rent in order to have that option. It's the tenant who wants something that's not part of the lease, not the LL.
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:58 pm

I thought someone mentioned buyout, but apparently not (there's another current thread on that issue).

Either way it's still not legal to have an agreement to pay more than the legal rent. Consider that this could also impact subsequent tenants.
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:04 pm

TenantNet wrote:I thought someone mentioned buyout, but apparently not (there's another current thread on that issue).

Either way it's still not legal to have an agreement to pay more than the legal rent. Consider that this could also impact subsequent tenants.


But this wouldn't be an agreement to pay more than the legal rent. It would be an agreement that says "If tenant wants to move out before the lease expires, tenant may pay $X and landlord will release tenant from any further obligations under the lease." It sets an agreed-upon price for the landlord waiving his right to require the tenant to pay for a full year, even if he doesn't want to stay that long.
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Re: Rent Stabilized Month to month?

Postby TenantNet » Thu Oct 26, 2017 7:22 pm

You just said it was.

For RS tenants, neither LL nor T may waive their rights. It's well-settled law. Any agreement to pay more than the legal rent is null as a matter of law. See Riverside v. Munroe.

Here's an article on this (and here are other cases as well)
http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/ ... otections-
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