TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



How Do I Prove the 6th Unit??

Rights for non-regulated tenants

Moderator: TenantNet

How Do I Prove the 6th Unit??

Postby Cazmia » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:46 pm

I've written posts here before in the non-rent stabilized section and I am starting to feel that I have been ignorant about my rights.

Important question: I moved into a building 7 years ago. The lL at the time had assured me when I moved in that the building was a 6 unit and that I would be protected by New York's Rent Stabilization Laws.

Now, a new LL who has taken over is saying I am, in fact, NOT a rent stabilized tenant and that he will not renew my lease. He's actually ruthlessly moving to evict every single tenant in the building.

Now, I KNOW for a fact that this building has 6 units, because I knew the tenant who lived in the "extra unit" in question. That tenant was since evicted and the 6th apartment is now vacant.

I did extensive research at HPD and ACRIS, both of which, to my dismay, show that the bulding is down as a 5 unit Class B building.

My question is, what agency do I go to or who do I contact to have someone investigate the building and declare it a six unit??
I may be evicted before I can prove 6 units AND get those units declared rent stabilized, but maybe I can give some justice to those after me.

I know I can contact the DHCR..but is there another avenue I can take as well to have the deed and hpd records corrected?
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby TenantNet » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:30 pm

First, organize a tenant association

Second, get legal advice

Look at your original lease. Is it a RS lease? Get DHCR rent histories (for as many units as possible) going back to 1984. Each tenant will have to ask for their own history. Asl for the Rent Control cards as well.

Have the units been registered with DHCR every year? Were you given renewal leases on DHCR form RTP-8?

Get the new LL on paper as to why he thinks the units are not RS. Get the plans from the DOB and Certificate of Occupancy, if needed. Get many photos showing all units. Get an affidavit from an architect.

It's possible the units were subdivided to make 6, or combined to make 5. Put together a history.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9248
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby 10ants » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:15 am

You'd have to prove that it had 6 units in 1971 or 1974.

If the 6th unit was added after that, it would not fall under RS.
10ants
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:44 pm

Postby TenantNet » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:51 am

I've seen a variety of interpretations on this. If the building originally had five units and a sixth unit was added, then the 1974 date would likely be important [why '71 - maybe you meant '68]. But if the building had six units originally, and if the sixth unit was removed, or more likely combined with another unit making 5 total, then the RS units do not fall out of regulation.

One source:
Li v Reyes (Civ Kings Alterman) Units remaining in building that
held six apartments per 1957 DOB records are subject to RS
notwithstanding building's conversion to 5 units after building's 1969
or 1974 base date for RS coverage


From another source:

The addition of the sixth unit, even though an illegal unit, subjects all apartments in the building to the Rent Stabilization Law, Commercial Hotel v. White, 194 Misc.2d 26, 752 N.Y.S.2d 779 (App Term, 2d Dept 2002); Rashid v. Cancel, 9 Misc.3d 130(A) (App Term 2d & 11th Jud Dists 2005); White Knight Ltd v. Shea, 10 AD3d 567 (1st Dept 2004); Wilson v. One Ten Duane Street Realty Co., 123 AD2d 198 (1st Dept 1987)...

As the Court noted in Rashid v. Cancel, 9 Misc.3d 130(A), 808 N.Y.S.2d 920 (Table), 2005 WL 2441996, 2005 Slip Op 51585(U) (App. Term 2d & 11th Jud Dists), "[t]he alleged subsequent reduction in the number of housing accommodations to few than six, even if done, as landlord claims...did not exempt the remaining units from rent stabilization [citations omitted]."


and another:

The occupancy would have to have started or continued after January 1, 1974, but if you get beyond that hurdle, there is a strong case to be made. See,
Rashid v. Cancel, 9 Misc.3d 130, 2005 WL 2441996 (App. Term, 2d & 11th Dists.) (building was rent stabilized where, unbeknownst to landlord, an apartment in the basement had been unlawfully occupied residentially, adding a sixth unit to what was legally
a five unit building.); Meyer v. Terasaki, n.o.r., N.Y.L.J., Jul. 22, 1985, p. 6, col. 1 (App. Term, 1st Dept.),
revd on dissent below, 117 A.D.2d 520, 498 N.Y.S.2d 994 (1st Dept, 1986) (premises held stabilized in 1985, where sixth unit was unlawfully occupied for 18 months from September 1973 to early 1975).
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9248
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby 10ants » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:53 pm

I'd agree with you -- if it had 6 units at the dawn of R/S or R/C, it is under regulations.

Not saying that the OP can't do this, but proving that a building had 6 units 40+ years ago would be a bit of a tall order.

Also, class B units are easier to cut up and recombine, so the OP would have to prove that, even if there are 6 units now (and not 5 + a locked bedroom with a separate door that is included in the 5th), that there were 6 separately rented units 40 years ago.
10ants
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:44 pm

Postby TenantNet » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:06 pm

Not necessarily. Years ago I went to the DOB and copied the original construction plans for the building in which I live. It's close to 100 years old. Using these plans, I was able to prove a certain service had been provided sine the inception of the building, and combined with affidavits of older tenants, we obtained a building-wide rent reduction.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9248
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby Cazmia » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:27 pm

Thank you so much for your replies and quotes from court cases which are proving to be VERY helpful to me. It doesn't seem to be down as rent stabilized or have a rental history of any sort as public record, because I checked with both DHCR and HPD. It is down as a 5 unit class B multiple dwelling on the deed at ACRIS, at HPD and no records of RS at DHCR.

However, I knew the tenant in the 6th unit who lived there a year and a half and his phone number and address come up at whitepages.com.
What interests me most is the quote from commercial hotel case which stated that, despite it being an illegal conversion, the additional 6th unit causes the entire building to fall under rent stablilization.

I think an illegal conversion is just what we have here. I know all the tenants or most of them would attest to that fact and, when he brings us to housing court to try and evict us, we could request the courts send an agent to see the 6th unit. I have also taken photos of the 6 mailboxes and each apartment door.

Since that resident occupied the 6th unit in 2010 and is now gone, and the unit sits empty, do you think we still might have a case that could save all our homes? It may have been renovated/converted in order to rent to that tenant,as a matter of fact, and it is most definitely a full, seperate unit, with an entrance in the side yard, away from all the other apartments where you have to enter from the front door of the building.

I certainly won't stop combing public records for the 6th unit, just in case there is a pleasant surprise waiting for me.

But, if this conversion was circa 2010 and we can't prove anything before that, does LL get to rent out his 6 units and deny us the RS rights?

Again, thanks so much for the work and research you have all put into this!
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Postby TenantNet » Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:03 pm

Getting proof of a former or current sixth unit is one thing.

Getting that into a court case is something else. In essence you're asking that the units be declared RS. Some courts are too lazy and will ignore that. Some might tell you to go to DHCR.

I suggest you get a legal consultation from a tenant attorney. Make sure you have a good case before you jump into deep water.
The Tenant Network(tm) for Residential Tenants
Information from TenantNet is from experienced non-attorney tenant
activists and is not considered legal advice.

Subscribe to our Twitter Feed @TenantNet
TenantNet
 
Posts: 9248
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby Cazmia » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:57 pm

It won't be easy. It's a shame an entire building will probably be evicted. The new landlord is African and says he has African people waiting for our apartments and that they are asking him what's taking so long.

I can't believe the American population of our neighborhood is being "phased out" in such a cruel and heartless way. We can repeat the racist things he has told us as we each get our day in court..but it's all just hearsay.

I tried to record a conversation with the disrespectful gent on my cell phone once, but could only hear my own end of the conversation when I replayed the audio.

(sigh) My neighborhhod is so beautiful, but like many areas, it is changing...I work a normal, full-time job time and I cannot compete financially.

Thanks for the help, anyhow.
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm

Re:

Postby Cazmia » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:48 pm

10ants wrote:You'd have to prove that it had 6 units in 1971 or 1974.

If the 6th unit was added after that, it would not fall under RS.



"..According to court rulings, if a 6th unit is subsequently added, the building will become subject to RSL. A building will remain subject to the RSL if after the "base date" the number of housing accomodation is reduced to less than 6 units. A "garden apartment" development is subject to the RSL even though the individual certificates of occupancy are for one or two family houses. Depending on such factors as common ownership and common facilities (common heating plant, water sewer, utility lines, roof, etc.) two 3 family houses may become subject to the RSL as a six family house.."

This is an exerpt taken from DHCR Policy Statement 89-7 (June 21, 1989)
Cazmia
 
Posts: 159
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:05 pm


Return to NYC Non-Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron