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Lease riders- to sign or not to sign?

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

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Lease riders- to sign or not to sign?

Postby wiivile » Thu May 20, 2021 12:32 pm

My building was sold and the new owner sent me my renewal lease with some riders containing terms that were not contained in the original lease- no smoking, requiring renter’s insurance, etc. They said they will not process the renewal without the riders. Is it better for me to return the riders unsigned or just sign them knowing they will be unenforceable?
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Re: Lease riders- to sign or not to sign?

Postby TenantNet » Thu May 20, 2021 1:35 pm

I'm assuming you are rent stab as that's the sub-forum where you posted.

For RS tenants, generally the LL cannot change the terms and conditions of the original lease - it would be illegal for the LL to do so.

But there are things that can be changed, things that you might consider to be in House Rules. For example if a laundry room would be open from 7 AM to 11 PM. It would not be illegal for a LL to change the hours to something like 8 AM to 10 PM. Overall that's a minor change and would probably not be seen as a diminution of service.

From what we've seen elsewhere, the things that you raise are not enforceable. Smoking is not a good thing and there are plenty of reasons to stop, but within their own units, a LL cannot force a RS tenant to change. They can enforce this in public areas of a building, i.e., hallways and the lobby, but not within your apartment.

Also renters insurance is a very good thing and reasonably inexpensive, but the LL can't force you to acquire it. Same is true for moving in/out rules ... the LL can't require you to obtain insurance, but they can make it difficult for you. And honestly, if you are moving out, you don't want to be slowed down.

If the LL refuses to process the renewal, if it were me, I would ignore it. You still retain RS rights, but the rent can't go up. But make sure you send the signed renewal back to the LL by certified mail.

If it were me, I would sign the DHCR RTP-8 form (the renewal) and return that by certified mail, and ignore the other things. Keep copious records of what you return and of mailing. But just toss all the other garbage, or keep it on file. The only rider that's permissible is the DHCR informational rider (and even part of that is improper). I would not return anything from the DHCR rider either, no matter what the LL says..
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