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Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

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Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby lianna2016 » Tue May 10, 2016 11:58 pm

Hi there,
My mother rents a studio apartment in a building, she has been living there for 20+ years.
The landlord sent her a notice that he is not going to renew her lease. She is 76 yo with health problems, she uses a walker to get around. So, after a few calls the landlord agreed to extend her lease for another 6 month, but with the higher rent. The old rent was $1200, the new rent for the next 6 months is $1400. When asked why he wants her out, the landlord said that the management office received complain that my mother “throws thrush” out the window and feeds pigeons. She denies this accusations and says he just wants her out to raise the rent even higher.
Is there anything that can be done in this case? Can the landlord raise the rent like that? Is there any way to help her to stay in this apartment?

Thank you
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby TenantNet » Wed May 11, 2016 12:08 am

First, are you sure she is not rent stab? Or perhaps should be rent stab? Most tenants who have been in occupancy are RS. Seriously, many tenants don't know that they are, or should be rent stab, and that give you additional rights.

What kind of building is it? What neighborhood? How old is the building? Is she renting in a coop building? Are any of her neighbors rent stab? Have you researched this?

Whether or not she does any of the things the LL claims, make sure she doesn't give him any excuse.

If indeed unregulated, the LL can refuse to renew a lease for any reason, and can raise the rent to any level.
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby lianna2016 » Wed May 11, 2016 12:18 am

Prewar 100+ apartment building in Kensington, Brooklyn. Some apartment have been converted to coop and sold. When I spoke with the landlord, he mentioned that my mother's apartment is not RS. AS far as I know, some other apartments in the building are RS.
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby TenantNet » Wed May 11, 2016 9:29 am

So the bldg is coop. Did your mother move in before the coop plan was finalized, or after? If before, then she should be rent stab. FYI, the LL does not determine what is stab and what is not. So even if he claims it isn't, if the law supports it, then it is.
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby lianna2016 » Fri May 13, 2016 11:05 pm

She doesn't know when exactly it became coop, but since she's been living there for more than 20 years, and only part of the building got sold while another half are still renters, it is probably most likely that 20 years ago it was not a coop. When it come to RS, I really do not know much about it. Would she have to apply for it? And it it becomes RS now, her rent is $1400 which is already high.
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby TenantNet » Sat May 14, 2016 1:51 pm

Well then she and you should find out when it went coop. Seriously, do your homework on this. You sound like you know next-to-nothing about how RS works.

It's simple, tenants who were in occupancy prior to the building going coop will retain their RS status. If she moved in after, then she would not have RS status.

Over the 20 years did she ever get DHCR registrations? Rent Stab leases? Have you asked for a rent history from DHCR? Do all these things.

Many LLs will lie to tenants about their RS status. You need to get answers before doing anything else. And do not speak to the LL again until you know the full situation.
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby lianna2016 » Sun May 15, 2016 10:10 pm

Thank you, I appreciate your help.
I will call DHCR to get a rent history. Questions... Is it LL or DHCR again I must call to ask the date the building became coop? If this unit becomes RS, will the rent still stay at $1400 or it can be lowered down now? If it turns out this unit should have been RS from the start, what are the consequences? Would the LL have to return some money she has overpayed over the years?

When you say "Over the 20 years did she ever get DHCR registrations?" you mean this one?
"State Law requires owners of housing accommodations regulated by NYS Rent Stabilization laws to file an annual rent registration with the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and to provide each tenant in occupancy on April 1 with a copy of the registration which pertains to the tenant’s unit. "
She doesn't recall getting those.
I am going to call the number I found on DHCR site:
Tenant Protection Unit:
(718)739-6400

"You sound like you know next-to-nothing about how RS works."
that's true
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby TenantNet » Sun May 15, 2016 11:05 pm

Ask your mother if she has the "Black Book." Ask neighbors. Call the NYS Att General (they handle coop conversions). I would not ask the LL anything - don't let them know what you're looking at.

We can't answer all the other questions. There are some sources out there. Here's one: https://goo.gl/U37z5r and see pages 14-15.
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Re: Landlord wants a senior tenant out, no lease renew

Postby lianna2016 » Tue May 17, 2016 2:08 pm

Thank you!
The Handbook page 14 states:
Eligible senior citizen and disabled tenants may not be evicted at any time unless they
breach their leases.

That is an interesting part. But it is also grey-ish. "disabled"? if she needs a walker to be able to walk, does it qualify her as "disabled"? And what is a definition of "eligible"? How one becomes "eligible"? I wonder...
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