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Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

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Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:31 pm

My lease is expiring at the end of the month, and my landlord is delaying the negotiation for a lower rate. He has postponed at least three times the process by being sick and some other kind of excuses. How long can he delay? What happens if I do not have a lease on Sept 1 and am still in the apartment? My apartment is not rent controlled.

I have lived in the apartment for almost 10 years and have been a good tenant (all payments have been on time, no complaints against me, etc.)
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:17 pm

You don't say if you are Rent Stabilized, so I am assuming you are not. You would not be rent controlled. (which is a different animal altogether).

However many landlords have illegally converted RS units into unregulated units, so it may be worth some research. Get a DHCR rent history and see what that says. See if the increases were in alignment with the RGB increases.
https://hcr.ny.gov/most-common-rent-reg ... es-tenants

If your lease expires and there is no agreement for a renewal, then you become a month-to-month tenant if the LL accepts rent, presumably at the current rate.

You will not be evicted in the short-term. Due to COVID-19, the courts are very much behind.

There are many procedures the LL must follow, and honestly, this could go on for many months.

However, if you are unregulated, then eventually the courts will catch up.

I would, for right now, keep pressuring for a renewal lease with the LL.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 5:09 pm

Thank you for your response! To my knowledge I am not in a Rent Stabilized apartment, but I just submitted the DHCR rent history form.

I am relieved that I can stay in the apartment month-to-month, but what concerns me is the phrase you used "if the LL accepts rent."

Do I need to ask explicitly about whether he would accept rent?

What happens if he says that he does not accept rent from me?
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:43 pm

Don't misunderstand, being month-to-month is not a guarantee of anything. It is a monthly extension of the last expiring lease, and it gets extended month by month (hence the name). The LL can terminate that arrangement at any time by service of a 30-day notice. It gives you some protections, but not a lot.

If the LL accepts the rent, then you become month-to-month. No don't ask him. Just send in the rent in the same way you sent in the previous month's rent, at the same level, no increase, and nothing that would raise suspicions.

Always earmark the check or money order. Just write in the memo field something like "rent for August 2020." You should also make copies and send it by certificate of mailing (cheaper than certified mail, about $1.50).

If you can, check with your bank every so often to see if it was cashed. Don't say or do anything that would get the LL suspicious. If he's willing to accept the rent, he will. If he sends the check back to you uncashed, then that means he hasn't accepted it. Anything other than that, in my opinion, means acceptance.

If he does not accept it, then you become a "holdover." In that case he still needs to go through the courts. But the reality is now, that the courts are backlogged and the moratorium seems to be still on, so of anything happens, it will take time.

We always advise tenants to obtain a rent history and analyze that ... if the unit was RS, how and why did that regulation end. In MANY instances, units were deregulated illegally. Also, don't tell the LL you're looking into that, a sure way for him to make moves to get you out. Be quiet on that until you have solid evidence that the unit should be RS, if that's the case.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:35 pm

Thank you again for your clarification. I hope I will be able to keep a clean record history and not be month-to-month, etc.

For now the LL agreed to a rent decrease via email and I have agreed to the rate he offered also via email. He also said that I should receive the lease this coming week.

Is there a chance the LL won't send the lease as he promised, change his mind about the rent rate, and essentially pressure me to agree to a higher rate since we will be too close to the end of the month for me to find another apartment and plan a move?
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:48 pm

There's nothing "wrong" with being month-to-month, it's just different and had different rules.

So when the lease arrives, if you can accept the terms, then a) make copies, b) sign and mail back by certified mail. We can't stress enough the return must be certified.

Any research you do to see if there's a case to be made regarding RS status, keep that quiet.

Could the LL change his mind? Maybe. Deal with that if it happens.

Don't freak out; you do not have to move. Even if he wanted to do so, I can't see anything happening before the end of the year.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:08 pm

Thank you for your super quick response. I have been dealing with delays recently not just from the LL but from others too, so this is really nice of you.

Good point on the certified mail though I have never sent it that way, but will do so this year.

I am hoping he won't change his mind about the rate and that I won't be in a situation where I am under eviction notice, etc. I just do not see why he would want to do that given that I have been a good tenant for almost a decade.

Thanks again!
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 9:56 am

I am not sure if I should post this follow up here or on a new thread. I will repost if necessary.

I received the rent history for my apt, and am not sure what to do next.

For 1984, the apt is registered as "Rent Control". From 1985 to 1998 as "Rent Control - Reg not required." What does that mean? That if the apartment is rent controlled, then registration is not required?

For 1999, there is a designation "RS-V" which I assume means Rent Stabilized-Vacant. A specific date is entered for that year and the rent rate, which is totally laughable.

From 2000 to date, the form lists "REG not found for subject premises."

I found out that for 2018/2019, the building has received J51 abatement, but I am not even sure if this is relevant. The building consists of more than 60 units.

If you could provide guidance on what to do next, I would appreciate it. Is there a checklist of criteria that need to be met to show a RC or RS status of an apartment that I can refer to in order to figure out what is the status of my apartment?
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:24 pm

Same building and issue, then post in the same thread.

Starting in 1984, all rent stabilized units are supposed to be registered with DHCR, and for every year thereafter the LL must submit registrations. All DHCR does is put them into their database, but it reflects what the LL reports, and of course that can be - and often is - false information.

Also in 1984, all Rent Controlled units were registered. But they do not have to be registered in all the following years. So yes, it's not required while the unit is RC.

Rent increases for RS units are mostly from RGB increases, occasional MCI's and IAI's, usually during vacancies.

Increases for RC units come through the MBR and MCR system (too complex to detail here), plus MCI's and fuel charges. RS units do not get fuel increases.

Generally start here: http://tenant.net/Rent_Laws/
(but that page does not have the 2019 changes).

Compare the RS rents to the allowable percentages in the RGB orders: http://tenant.net/Rent_Laws/RGBOrders/rgbtoc.html

When you say the 2000 rent is laughable, what does that mean - low or high?

When a RC tenant moves or dies, the landlord can bring the rent "up to market." But the next tenant can challenge that. That tenant must receive from the landlord a notice, and then has 90 days to file a Fair Market Rent Appeal (FMRA). If that tenant was not served the notice, then the clock to appeal does not start.

See https://hcr.ny.gov/system/files/documen ... eet-06.pdf

That fact sheet seems to say that the tenant has 90 days or six years. The six years is new since 2019 and to be honest, I haven't looked at the provision to see if the six years is absolute.

So back in 2000, maybe the tenant got the notice and didn't bother, or didn't get the notice (most likely), or filed an appeal and lost. That's what you should try to find out.

If the history says there are no registrations from 2000, that means either a) the LL treats the unit as market rate, or b) it could still be RS, but the owner hasn't bothered on filing registrations. Either of those is possible.

For J-51 tax abatements, you need to go to the NYC Dept of Finance and see when the J-51 took effect. https://a836-pts-access.nyc.gov/care/fo ... t/home.htm

or here: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benef ... s-j51.page

Also try here: https://www.mretax.com/j51.html?gclid=C ... 64EALw_wcB

The whole J-51 thing gets complicated. In some instances, if the LL get the tax benefits, then he is not supposed to be able to deregulate apartments ... however I don't know if RC can stay regulated that way.

I'm going to call a RC tenant to see about the 6 years and J51. If I have new information, I'll post it here. To be honest, there are so few RC tenants left, very few people know these answers.

Right now it seems to me that getting the renewal is what you're after, so concentrate on that. For the RS issue, see where it goes (and be quiet about it).
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:02 pm

Thanks for all the links. I will explore them. Since the recent experience with lease was (is) so stressful, I would not want to proceed with confronting the LL in court unless I have a solid backup and the result won't affect me.

Just to clarify, up to 1998 the apt is listed as "Rent Control - reg not required."

In 1999, it is listed as RS-V with a rent below $500 which is why I wrote it was laughable, as in laughably low in comparison to my current rent. According to the abbreviations key that came with the rent history, RS-V means vacant. Both RS and V mean vacant. Only RS means rent stabilized. So I am not sure if RS-V means 'rent stabilized vacant.' It makes sense that that is what it means, but I am just assuming right now.

From 2000 to date, the rent history states "Reg not found for subject premises."

So it seems like between 1998 and 1999, the apt turned from RC to RS. May be. This is brand new territory.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:07 pm

I understand that - 1998 was the vacancy. If you challenged, chances are you would go through DHCR, not the courts, unless there were further appeals.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:03 pm

If the apt was unlawfully converted to market price, do you think it is RC or RS based on what I described above? My assumption is that since the last entry is RS-V, the apartment's status is RS, not RC.

There are only two rent rates on record in the rent history: one from 1984 and one from 1999, not incredibly low in comparison to what I am paying now. I am off to explore the links for comparing the rent rates, but since I have only two rates, I am not sure that is in any way sufficient.

Thank you again for the links.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:25 pm

When a RC tenant leaves or dies, it is no longer RC. It would become RS or market Don't ask what determines which - I believe it's the LL's discretion, but before 2019, if the new rent was above the high rent trigger, then it would be market.

No matter what the rent was in 1999, the important thing is to see if you can file a FMRA 20 years later. I'm waiting for a phone call that might clarify this.

But remember, your focus should be on the renewal. The issue over RS status is only to give you leverage if the LL refuses to renew, or makes it too difficult. In such case, you can file with DHCR and claim the status is pending (which would be true). But it would be better if you have a case to be made.
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby Rose77 » Thu Aug 20, 2020 1:51 pm

I still have not received the lease. The LL office is closed tomorrow, so I am not sure what I am to do.

Via email he agreed to lower the rent a week ago. I emailed him earlier this week to ask if the lease was sent and have heard absolutely nothing. I have always paid my rent on time and have been a good tenant. I just do not understand, esp. now with the pandemic, why the delay.

Should I mail a check for the newly agreed amount via email or for the old rate?
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Re: Lease Expires Soon But not Renewed Yet

Postby TenantNet » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:18 pm

Why are you concerned about tomorrow (Friday?)

So he's giving you the run-around. That's NYC landlords. Don't get too upset. Did the email he sent to you mention things like the length of the lease, the new rate, etc? Is the new rate more than the old (current) rate?
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