TenantNet Forum

Where tenants can seek help and help others



Notice To Vacate

Rights for non-regulated tenants

Moderator: TenantNet

Notice To Vacate

Postby HonestTenant » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:20 pm

I recently agreed to a "Stipulation of Settlement" at NY Civil Court where I agreed to pay back rent on a monthly basis for the next 3 months (Feb, March, April) in addition to my monthly rent until I get caught up with my rent. It was signed by a judge and I intend to stick by my agreement to avoid being evicted.

I have lived in this building for 6 years and have been given 1 year leases every year. My lease is now coming up for renewal ending February 28 and the landlord has refused to renew my lease.

I received a letter from the Landlord stating -------

Re: Notice to Vacate

Dear Tenant:

Please be aware that your lease is due to expire on February 28, 2010.
We allow that you remain month to month for March, April and May 2010 abiding by the terms of your Stipulation as follows:
You are to pay $5000 on or before February 1, 2010, $5,000 on or before March 1, 2010, and $5000 on or before April 1, 2010 in addition to the current rent for each month.

We ask that you kindly vacate the premises by May 31, 2010.

Please coordinate the details of your move out with the superintendent.

Thank you.

-------

I was looking through my lease agreement and there is a last page Rider attached "This Apartment Is Not Subject to Rent Stabilized Guidelines" which I signed.

I don't understand why I would go through all of the trouble to agree to a Stipulation for a payment schedule only to have to vacate after I am paid up. I was wondering what rights I have, since I would like to renew my lease and intend to stick to the agreed payment schedule.

Please advise.

Thank you!
HonestTenant
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:37 pm

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:03 pm

I don't know why you would go to the trouble either. Did you read what you signed? Did you have a lawyer? Did the judge take the time to explain the ramifications to you and ask if you understood?

If you are not rent stabilized, the LL has no legal obligation to renew your lease. The rider you signed that the unit is not subject to rent stab --- is meaningless. RS status either is or is not on your unit no matter what the LL says and no matter if the tenant is sufficiently intimidated to agree to it. You should find out if indeed the unit is subject to RS. Many are and many LLs have illegally taken units out of RS.
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: 9238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby HonestTenant » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:23 pm

Yes, of course I read what I signed. I am not disputing the Stipulation. I negotiated it with their lawyer and agreed to the terms. That's fine. What was very surprising to me was to receive this letter from them today, a month later, stating that they want me to "kindly vacate" once I am all paid up. That was never agreed on but my lease is running out.

I will check with my LL office tomorrow to find out if my unit is subject to RS and get back to you.

Thank you for your help and advice!
HonestTenant
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:37 pm

Postby queensborough » Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:14 pm

You need to check with DHCR to see if your apartment is subject to rent stabilization, not your LL. LL's are not always honest about that. Call this number and get the information you need about your apartment:

Rent Info Line: 1-718-739-6400
queensborough
 
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:01 am

Postby TenantNet » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:48 pm

Thanks Queensborough. The LL is NOT the place to check if the unit is RS. First, do the checklist: 6+ units in the building, built prior to 1974, not a coop/condo, not deregulated die to high rent/high income and so on.

That the LL wants you out is certainly not surprising, nor should it be.
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: 9238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Notice To Vacate

Postby HonestTenant » Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:43 am

I called the DHCR and they told me that my unit was registered as permanently exempt in 2003 due to the J51 tax abatement expiring. Therefore, the unit is not rent stabilized.

Does this mean I have no rights as a tenant when it comes to getting a lease renewal? Can the LL ask me to leave even though I have not violated any rules?
HonestTenant
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:37 pm

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:23 pm

That MIGHT be correct, but you should also see if the unit was RS prior to the J-51 abatement. If it was RS before, then RS does not expire. DHCR often makes such mistakes. How does the unit stack up on the checklist I mentioned? You might need to do some digging. What do other tenants say as to their status?

I would take the time as MANY LLs lie about this. But in the end, without RS status, you do not have a right of renewal. And for that, it's political.

Another option would be to try to re-open the case in court, if you were unrepresented and didn't understand the provisions. But given what you said, I don't know if this would help as the LL's refusal to renew appears to not be (directly) connected to the case ... and you would need to consult with an attorney.
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: 9238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Notice To Vacate

Postby HonestTenant » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:22 pm

Unfortunately, the DHCR wasn't very helpful. The lady I spoke to wasn't very nice and seemed to hate her job. Anyway, she told me that the unit was RS during the term of the J-51 and is no longer RS. Well, duh! I asked her if the unit was RS prior to the J-51 and she seemed unable/unsure of the answer.

I made the deal/payment schedule in my Stipulation settlement in order to "save" my apartment and not get evicted and to continue to live there. Although the Stipulation doesn't state that the LL agrees to renew my lease, I just assumed that was the case. If I knew I had to vacate the apartment, I would never had made that deal/payment schedule.

What is the procedure for arguing this?
HonestTenant
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:37 pm

Postby TenantNet » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:34 pm

The problem is that the stip and the proceeding addressed your back rent and whether or not the LL could dispossess you during the lease period. It did not cover anything post-lease ... despite your motivation. And of course, "don't assume" doesn't help a lot now.

That's why I had reservations about re-opening the case. Usually a tenant can seek to reopen if they weren't represented by an attorney, but also there needs to be something in the stip that one can grab. For example, not having the money usually isn't sufficient. And of course, it depends on the judge and too many judges are pro-landlord. It's an absolute myth that Housing Court is biased towards tenants. But also ... getting a legal opinion from a person who actually practices in Housing Court (a good tenant attorney) might open up some options.

You are not in a good position here and I'm suggesting a few options. There might be other options out there. I would keep looking at the RS history. DHCR tries to not release any history more than four years old, but they have it, and legally you have a right to see it. Have you talked to other tenants? Are any of the long-term tenants RS? If so, that gives credence to the idea that the units were RS before the tax abatement kicked in. (even if you show that, it's still complicated, but I would keep looking at that).
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: 9238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Notice to Vacate

Postby HonestTenant » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:25 pm

Okay, so I received the Registration Apartment Information from the DHCR. The documents show that the unit was in fact RS from 1984 to 2002. in 2003 The apt went PE due to J-51 expiration and has been exempt since. Or at least until 2008 which is the last recorded information.

In addition to the report I also received a Tenant's Complaint to Owner's Failure to Renew Lease form.

Can you please advise on what this all means and what steps you suggest taking to appeal for a lease renewal? Does the fact that the unit was RS for 18 years help me or give me additional rights as a tenant?

Thank you once again for your great service!
HonestTenant
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:37 pm

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:08 pm

I'm guessing that PE means Permanently Exempt (and that could mean a number of things - in the old days it usually meant it was owner occupied). Temporarily Exempt was sometimes applied to employees. When they left, the unit would revert back to RS status.

But in the brave new DHCR it could mean almost anything. LLs often just register this stuff and DHCR just accepts it as fact. The unit would have been registered in 1984 as all units were first registered in 1984 when DHCR took over the system. It's entirely possible it was RS or RC long before that (DHCR has the Rent Control Cards that would reveal that).

Now you should find out about the J-51. What was done and when. I would look to NYC-HPD for that info (nyc.gov). You can also FOIL from DHCR whatever info they have on the J51. Was it a gut rehab of the entire building? Was it more modest improvements?

And -- for the 2nd or third time, start talking to your neighbors, especially the ones that have been there many years. Some might still be RS. They might have been through this with your LL.

Yes, you can file with DHCR for failure to renew, but I would hold on that and do your homework. If you filed that now, the pro-landlord DHCR will just rule for the LL.

Finally start looking at other cases how J51 expirations affect leases. Search this site, search Google. If you can, get a legal consultation (but get some more evidence first).

See this:
http://tenant.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=8452

This is primarily in reaction to the Roberts v. Stuytown case. (and there's a lot on that if you google it. ANd at least tow threads on Roberts at http://tenant.net/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=16

But your case is different. If a unit is RS before the J51 benefits start, the expiration of those tax benefits do not cause deregulation. That's what you need to look at.
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: 9238
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New York City

Postby queensborough » Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:40 pm

Go here first to get the block and lot number for your address, enter the info on the right hand side of the screen:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/bis/bis.shtml

Then go here to search the J-51 for your address:

http://webapps.nyc.gov:8084/cics/cwba/dfhwbtta/abhq

Start with the year you moved in and go back.
queensborough
 
Posts: 961
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:01 am

Postby Landlord's Boy » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:06 am

LLs often just register this stuff and DHCR just accepts it as fact.

They're not quite that incompetent. I made a $50 LRR miscalculation last year on an apt returning to RS status and DHCR went back to a report filed 25 years ago to catch it.
Always Report Leaks Immediately!
Landlord's Boy
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2006 2:01 am
Location: NY

Postby lofter1 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:16 am

It's not a question of incompetency at DHCR. Rather it's a pattern of rubber-stamping in favor of landlords, rather than fully considering the situation and applying the actual law at hand.
lofter1
 
Posts: 765
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 1:01 am


Return to NYC Non-Regulated Apartments

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests

cron