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Prime tenant lied/profiting off my sublease advice welcome

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

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Prime tenant lied/profiting off my sublease advice welcome

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:51 pm

Originally posted by wolfy83
24 Jun 2018 04:32 pm

Prime tenant lied/profiting off my sublease RS advice welcome

Moved to East Village in January and found/started renting a $2500/month (includes utilities) rent stabilized studio apartment, month-to-month. The prime tenant/real estate broker (her former job) left me a mattress, microwave, dresser, and a coat hanger. Everybody who started coming over said I was paying too much for this place. When I asked the prime tenant what she was paying, she kept saying $2800. I found out she's actually been paying $1900/month, which matches the past rent records online.

I hardly use the lights much and have a small laptop and I just don't see how on earth why she's charging me so much more, like I don't use $600 worth of utilities that's for darn sure. She's become really nasty on the phone and through text messages, telling me things like it's illegal for me to be living here/subleasing from her, telling me that this unit isn't rent stabilized, and when I pointed out that it says on the NYC Housing website, she'd just deny it and not be any bit interested in seeing that it is. Even the supe said it was when I asked. A couple weeks ago over the phone she threatened to keep my security deposit making-up/saying that I never forewarn her soon enough that I'd be leaving after her lease expires.

A couple months ago one of the locks on the doors needed replacing one night, I had to get it done right away, then after I told her I had to change the locks, she pretty much kept trying to blame me for doing that. For a couple of months now, when the person above me takes a shower water has leaked through the light fixture in the shower. I informed her of that and how serious it seemed to be, and she didn't even care. It's caused mold to continually build-up around it and in the shower. I've had to clean it a couple of times now because it gets so nasty. I informed her again and finally she informed the management, the "supe" guy came and all he did was put plaster around the light fixture, it didn't fix the problem. A week later new leaks formed and it still hasn't been fixed.

I'm wondering if I can get any money back for what seem to be like huge over-charges for rent. I'm worried she's just going to keep my security deposit, too. I have to move out of the state at the end of June in a few days and I'm wondering if I should consult with a lawyer about this?

Also, the sublease agreement she wrote states that she has to return my security within two days after I leave. Since I wasn't sure if I'd be staying until April, she included this part which makes it sound like the sublease agreement expired and is no good...
"This sublet lease expires at the end fo March 2018, at which point [name] will vacaate the premises. The option exists to proceed renting month-to-month after reaching agreement with [prime tenant's name] and a new sub lease agreement will need to be signed.

We never signed a new sublease agreement at the end of March though. I just kept paying her the $2500/month and she still has my security deposit obviously. I thought there were laws about much a prime tenant can charge if subleasing their apartment. I can't imagine utilities being even close to $200/month, but even if they were it's like I've been giving her $400 every month for free which is over $2000 she profits.
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Re: Prime tenant lied/profiting off my sublease advice welco

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:06 pm

From the description, this sounds like a sublet situation, not a roommate. If the latter, the tenant can only charge 50% of the legal rent (not including things like phone/cable/internet and gas/electric which should also be shared.

A RS tenant who profits from overcharging a roommate is liable for overcharge and in some cases could lose the apartment.

Rent records online? Are you sure? Rent records are not posted online, anywhere. The NY Housing site (which I presume you mean RGB) will post building that contain RS units, but not the specific units or the rents.

As for bad conditions, put it in writing, take photos and send it to the tenant. You might consider cc'ing the actual LL, but the shit would likely hit the fan. You can also call 311 and get an inspection.

You have a few options. You can withhold future rent and negotiate with the tenant. You can file with DHCR for an overcharge/profiteering (call them to see which is best). You can inform the real LL. He might take the tenant to court. You can even file in court yourself, but that can get complicated. You can also contact the NYS Attorney General's office re the deposit.

For a roommate (if you share the unit with the tenant), they can only charge you 1/2 the rent. IF you are a sublet, see the RGB apartment order at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/rentguideline ... er-49.page

The tenant can charge the legal rent + 10%. The extra 10% goes to the LL, not the tenant. If furnished, the prime tenant can charge another 10%. See http://www.nyshcr.org/Rent/FactSheets/orafac7.pdf

You certainly have options. It helps - through not mandatory - to still be in the city. It also depends it you're willing to follow it through.
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