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Overcharge and Eviction

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Overcharge and Eviction

Postby soccman15 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:51 pm

Sorry for the re-post TenantNet! I changed my username, but couldn't figure out how to delete the old post. Hopefully this is OK. I've copied the original post below.


Hello everyone,

I have been living in a market rate apartment for five months now under a verbal sublet agreement. The lease holder is currently in India, but before he left, he found me and two others to sublet his apartment while he was away. We were paying the lease holder $3500/month for two months until the following happened...

After some time we became friends with the building manager, who told us that the rent for the apartment is in fact $2500/month. We confronted the lease holder about this, and he got upset and is now threatening to evict us.

We also found out that the building management was never notified about the sublet, nor did they know the lease holder was profiting from the sublet.

As we did not sign any formal subletting agreement with the lease holder, I don't think we have any rights to stay. The building manager has told me that he is going to try and evict the lease holder for illegally subletting the apartment, but that doesn't help me and my roommates much, as I believe we must vacate at the lease holder's request. If the landlord can evict the lease holder, I hope the landlord will transfer the lease to me. I have found a temporary apartment with a friend in the mean time, so I won't be homeless. Yay!

However, my real question is whether or not my roommates and I can recover the overcharged rent from the lease holder. At this point we've overpaid by more than $5000, and it would be great to get that money back! Do we have a legal position here?

I apologize for the long post - I wanted to be a thorough as possible. Any help or advice would be much appreciated!
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:26 pm
Location: Manhattan

Postby ronin » Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:44 am

It is not a regulated apartment. If you agreed to pay $40,000 a month for it the prime tenant has done nothing wrong here under the law by collecting what you agreed to pay. I'm also doubting that he violated his lease if the LL staff knew about the sublet.

You are thinking that this is a regulated apartment where there are strict limits on the amount that a tenant can charge a sublet. This is the free market where there is no "overcharge". The only problem for the prime tenant is that now the LL can say at his renewal "You know, you sure showed me that I can find suckers to pay $3500 for your $2500 apartment. That's your new rent from now on."

You had better start paying or you will find yourself owing a lot of money that you legally agreed to pay, plus being put on the Tenant Blacklist as a deadbeat and never able to rent those tony overpriced apartments you like!! I'm thinking this guy can afford to pay a lawyer to evict you (and then have you pay his legal fees).
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