Hello, newbie here!
First, the basic info:
-My apartment is a 1br;
-I have lived here for 5+ years;
-Utilities (heat, hot water, electricity) are paid for by the LL;
-The LL is the owner of the entire building;
-Apartment is listed as a 3-unit dwelling (more on that later) and was once single-family;
-My lease was month-to-month when I signed 5+ years ago;
-I have not signed any lease/paperwork since then;
-I owe no back rent
1) I asked to sign a 1 or 2-year lease, especially since my girlfriend is moving in with me; LL replies no, month-to-month leases only;
2) I told my LL I would like to add my girlfriend to the lease; first the LL agreed, then said it isn't necessary for my girlfriend to sign;
3) LL left a notice that rent will increase $250 in May (around when I said my girlfriend would be moving);
4) I did some digging, and LL is not registered with the HPD - not for 2015 or 2016 - and has an active case as a defendant against the gas company (the gas co has turned off the gas at least once, and marshals came another time - allegedly this is all a holdover from the previous owner, though a few years ago a guy from the gas company claimed that the LL is part of some kind of program that assists with gas in the winter);
5) On the HPD site, the previous owner is still listed as the current owner;
6) There are definitely more than 3 units in this building.
-Considering the fact that the LL has failed to register with HPD, has at least one open litigation, and may be participating in a government assistance program re: building maintenance, do I have any way of arguing either a) against the rent hike; b) for a year-long lease; or c) both?
-If the building really does have more than 3 units, possibly even the required 6, is it feasible for me to try and push for rent regulation? Is this insanely hard to prove, and can it get me kicked out in the process because of my month-to-month status? What would I need, documentation-wise, to prove it?
-Does it mean anything that the HPD site incorrectly lists the owner of the building?
-*IF* any of the above is to my benefit, what might be the best way for me to go forward?