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Landlord threatened me and not renewing lease

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Landlord threatened me and not renewing lease

Postby rupomrupom » Sat May 03, 2014 5:45 pm

I live in Astoria,NY in a 2 bedroom apartment with me and my wife. Took the lease on last year april and my lease just expired April 30, 2014. So for the new lease he is increasing the rent from 2400/month to 2550/month ( i know it is non regulated apartment), He made extra point where he mentioned if anyone live other than parents for more than a week have to pay $500 extra on that month.
I told him i am not fine with this because my friends can come over and my other immidiate family members can come and stay for more than a week if they are visiting us. and we do not have any intention to make them permanent in the house. And we did not do that in the past year as well.
So he is not going to take the clause out, where in the law it says "Immidiate family members can come.
Then he mentioned, if you do not like the lease, leave the house.
I said i will see what i will be doing. He mentioned "you do not know me, i will ruin your life". I asked did you just threatened me?
He was "you know what you dont have to stay and you just get the f**K out of my house"
this is 3rd, i already send the check with $2550.
what should i do? should i contact a lawyer? this is NY , it is not easy to find another good apartment so easily.
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Re: Landlord threatened me and not renewing lease

Postby TenantNet » Sat May 03, 2014 6:54 pm

You posted in the non-stabilized area. Do you know if your unit should be rent-stab? Landlords often lie to tenants as to the unit's status - do not take his word for it. How many apartments in your building? When was it built? Have you checked with DHCR? Look into these things.

But in the meantime, for non-RS units, when your lease expires and it's not renewed, you become a month-to-month tenant. In NYC the LL must give 30 days notice for M2M tenants. But if you have a signed lease, that's good for the term of the lease.

A jump from $2400 to $2550 (6.25%) is not that horrendous considering what is going on in NYC these days. It's not great, but I've seen a lot worse.

As for guests, you can have anyone you wish at any time you wish (within reason: 2 guests are reasonable; 20 are not). Guests are usually there for a week or two. This is not the landlord's business.

Beyond 30 days they become roommates. You have a legal right to have at least one roommate (plus that roommate's family). Research the roommate law on this site. The law giving you the right to roommates trumps any lease provision.

I don't think the LL's clause can be enforced legally, but on the other hand, he can refuse to renew your lease, so you're in a bind. In my opinion (not a legal opinion), you could go along with the clause on paper and then have people in as guests when you wish, i.e., ignore it. So if you want the lease for another year, I would go along for now.

This landlord is a jerk, but he does hold the lease over your head, so you don't want to get too much on his bad side. If you have relatives you want to host for two weeks, I would go ahead (after you have the signed lease). But don't push it too much.

If this LL is going to be like that, you might consider looking for a new place for May 2015. But in the immediate future, there's not much he can do other than take you to court. If you have a lease, even with that clause, you're probably good for another year. By the time you get to court, your guests will have left. And even if they plan top be there for only a week or two, you can can them roommates, which is protected.

In other words, think strategically.
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Re: Landlord threatened me and not renewing lease

Postby innocent1997 » Mon May 05, 2014 11:24 am

On the similar topic, if this tenant really lives in a non-rent stabilized building, can he/she bring in immediate family to stay with him/her?

For instance, when he / she signs the lease, the occupant only includes 2 people (husband and wife). Subsequently, the parents of the wife come to live with them. Is this acceptable although the parents are not listed as occupants in the lease?
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Re: Landlord threatened me and not renewing lease

Postby TenantNet » Mon May 05, 2014 11:45 am

The roommate law is based on Real Property Law Sec. 235(f), and applies to both rent regulated and unregulated tenants. See http://tenant.net/Rights/roommates.html for details.

There are differences of opinion as to how many roommates one may have, which can lead to absurdities where a tenant can have only one roommate, but the place might have 3+ bedrooms. I've seen interpretations where each prime tenant can have one roommate each, but I can't say if that's backed up by statute or case law. It's ambiguous.

But if you just want one roommate, the LL can't stop you. (although my caution still holds, the LL can refuse to renew the lease when it comes due).

I think parent of a prime tenant would be counted as immediate family and not counted against the potential roommates.
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