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Was my apartment legally destabilized?

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

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Was my apartment legally destabilized?

Postby squid8755 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 1:10 pm

My lease is up in January but my downstairs neighbor who essentially pays the same rent as me has received their 60 day notice for a rent increase of 25%.

I requested my rent history and had him request his as well and while it looks to me like his was likely properly destabilized (rent over $2K in 2009), something seems off on mine. Probably nothing, but it seems a little odd.

I got my RS history from 1984 through 2006 when it was exempt due to a "High Rent Vacancy". What I don't understand is how this was applied to my apartment when the legal regulated rent at the time was $1,586/mo, and the threshold at the time was $2,000. The last unit improvement listed on the history was done in 2000. My kitchen and bathroom are very old and in poor condition, especially in comparison to others in my building which might make sense considering my downstairs neighbors history shows improvements every year between 2001-2005.

How could my apartment have been legally destabilized due to high rent vacancy when the legal rent was 26% below the threshold and it doesnt seem to have experienced any significant improvements? I'm sure I am wrong here but something doesnt add up to me.
Maybe it has to do with the fact that he officially bought the building around that time in 2006-2007 and he didnt have to keep the apartment stabilized under new ownership?

Any insight from someone knowledgeable on this subject would be much appreciated!

Also, my landlord just gave my neighbor written notice of the 25% increase and has required him to turn back around the notice in less than a week so that he has notice 60 days in advance. Is there no law or rules that requires a certain period of time for the tenant to consider the increase before responding (even if it is destabilized)? It seems unfair to give him only a few days notice but expect 60 days notice for himself.
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Re: Was my apartment legally destabilized?

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 13, 2021 4:53 am

First, in issues of lease notification, check the small print of your lease and see if it addresses notifications.

Second, go to this post: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=13981
and download Part One. That includes the changes to the rent laws from 2019 (although not the impact of the Regina case).

Look to bottom of page 39, "Notice Prior to Expiration of Lease and Rent Increase." You don't say when you moved in, but the amount of notice depends on how long you have been in occupancy, ranging from 30 to 90 days. If not specified, this applies to all tenancies, not just rent stabilized. As you suggest, that could be an open question.

In our view, the 30-90 day prior notice is time for the tenant to consider the new lease terms, not for the LL to consider it. The LL can take all the time he/she wants, but must execute the lease in order for it to take effect.

With anything, make copies of what you receive and what you send, and also send by certified mail, return receipt requested.

I would read the entire file, just to be educated. And look at Parts 2 and 3 if you really want to delve into this stuff.

Now ... if you don't return the lease to the LL immediately, well probably nothing will happen. First, courts don't like evicting tenants, especially in this climate and unless the Supreme Court nullifies it, there is a moratorium on evictions until January 15. That means no evictions; it does not mean there's a waiver on any rent owed. The courts are still backlogged due to COVID and some court rooms may still be closed. (some cases are being done by video). But as LLs want good stable tenants who are consistent with rent, unless your LL is vindictive, he would probably afford some leeway.

If your lease expires on 12/31/21 and a new one would commence on 1/1/22, then as of today, you have 3-1/2 months.

I'll try to get to the other part of your question as soon as I can, but after a few days, OK to nag us.
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Re: Was my apartment legally destabilized?

Postby squid8755 » Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:54 pm

Thank you so much for your response! The link you sent is very helpful, plan to dig into it in greater detail this evening. I have (and my downstairs neighbor has) only been in the apartment less than a year so the 30 days would be applicable to us. I checked our leases and there is no mention at all about obligations for notice to renew a lease so I'm hoping our LL will allow a little more time in deciding whether to resign.
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Re: Was my apartment legally destabilized?

Postby TenantNet » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:08 pm

Some leases require all notices to be sent by cert. mail RRR. That means both ways. Of course, not every communication need be certified, but yes to the important stuff. You can also use Certificate of Mailing (not the same thing as Certified Mail and a lot cheaper), but all it does is prove you sent something. It does not prove they received it.

If you do send anything by cert. mail RRR, make sure they get a signature. These days (even before COVID), many mail carriers are simply ignoring the requirement they deliver the mail in person and need a signature.
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