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Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/management

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Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/management

Postby f5 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:27 pm

I'm a Section 8 tenant in Westchester who has only signed yearly leases. For the past two years, the management company (on behalf of the landlord) has not sent me a lease renewal. This is a program requirement, but Section 8 office is not enforcing this. My theory is the landlord or managing agent (which runs the place) do not want to spend the $3 dollars for the certified mail, times hundreds of tenants per year.

Last year I was rushed/called into the Section 8 office for an "emergency" signing of the lease two days before the start of a new lease. This is a contract between landlord/tenant and shouldn't involve Section 8 at all. There was no months' advanced notice from management via certified mail. I signed it not realizing this was a trick to get the landlord higher rent without me reconsidering, hence the faux "emergency".

When I later realized what went down, I contacted the management company stating I was aware that I was tricked and even cited such a scenario from the Attorney General's website. The rep basically said that he understood the law, but too bad because I signed it.

I responded that State law requires proper notice via certified mail. As a consequence, the law permits the tenant keeps paying the old amount, including Section 8 tenants and which I did. This fact was ignored and they have been accumulating the difference for the past year.

Section 8 office has recently notified me stating that I have to pay the (large) amount of rent difference for past year or face program termination. I do not have it or am willing to pay it if I did. My new lease is supposed to be next month but have yet to receive any notice.

This mess is in addition to the fact that I've been seriously stalked and harassed by an employee at the complex for years. Despite tangible evidence of crimes, law enforcement will not help me and, according to lawyers, they're not legally required to. Requests to other governmental agencies to address this go ignored.

This additional scenario aggravates the situation as I don't want to seek out any additional funds above what I'm legally required to for the apparently wealthy/influential landlord, when he and his associates have clearly blocked access to hearings and victim services.

This second component to the story is not imperative to the legality of the lease renewal, but is worth mentioning. It is also nervy to pursue such tactics considering what was done to me.

Any advice? Thanks.
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Re: Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/manage

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:30 pm

I doubt the LL's reason for not sending out a lease renewal is to save $3.00. (or whatever the cost of certified mail is these days).

Are you under ETPA rent stab? If so, there are requirements, including the time to consider a lease offer. The details may differ between NYC and Westchester.

I don't know if you can do anything about the current lease, but perhaps the next time it happens, you can stand up to the scam.

What I would do is contact Legal Aid/Legal Services in your area and get one of their attorneys on the case. This might cover your location: http://goo.gl/DQVEB
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Re: Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/manage

Postby f5 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:44 pm

I appreciate the reply and link. I understand they're required to give at least 60 days and by certified mail.

"Legal Services of the Hudson Valley " in your link, FWIU they help if getting evicted. I'll see if they can help with this. Thanks, will look into.

btw, I've heard of wealthy people bypassing criminal prosecution, but have you seen cases where employees of rich landlords are bypassed criminal investigation due to their association to employer?
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Re: Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/manage

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:58 pm

For regular rent stab in NYC it's 60 days, but I don't think cert. mail is required. See the instructions on the back of the RTP-8 form: http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/Rent/rtp8.pdf

However rent stab in Westchester (ETPA) can have different details. What I don't know is if Sec. 8 co-exists for rent stab tenants. (you didn't indicate if you're rent stab).

The link I gave you does do some housing work. http://goo.gl/ej7rza
Even if they don't they can point you in the right direction.
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Re: Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/manage

Postby f5 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 1:17 pm

Thanks again, I'll definitely look into that legal service.

TenantNet wrote:I doubt the LL's reason for not sending out a lease renewal is to save $3.00. (or whatever the cost of certified mail is these days).

I'm almost certain this is the reason.

For example, let's say all of the properties owned is 5000 lease renewals per year, (it's probably higher). If a certified letter was $3 x 5000, that's $15,000 per year...times 10 years is $150,000/invested makes it more.

I think they adopt this concept across as many little expenses as possible and do it as a blanket rule, no matter how illogical one isolated instance might seem.

I was told by an ex-employee that management nickeled and dimed the smallest things/never reimburse them and avoid mailing things such as monthly bills/always will leave it on the apartment door.
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Re: Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/manage

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:00 pm

OP, what's the source for your belief that certified mail is required? I agree with TenantNet, I have a very hard time believing that a landlord with that kind of portfolio is refusing to abide by a statutory or regulatory requirement to save $15k/year. If not doing so creates one or two lawsuits a year, that's $15k in legal fees right there.
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Re: Lease renewals not sent from influential landlord/manage

Postby TenantNet » Fri Jul 08, 2016 2:43 pm

Even if it is required to be certified, what's the method of enforcement? If the LL sends the lease offer by regular mail, a judge will simply ask the tenant, "did you get it?" If the tenant says yes, but it wasn't certified, 99% of the time the judge will just tell the tenant to sign it and stop bothering him.
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