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Tenants share clause

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Tenants share clause

Postby JingoFresh » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:28 am

In my lease there is a clause saying I agree to pay a tenants share, which is the cost of oil/steam and water divided by the number of units in the building.

This is because water and heat are on a shared meter.

I would like to know if this is legal and enforceable in contravention of shared meter laws.

How can I determine if I am paying heat and water when I don't need to be? It's a sizable amount each month.
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Postby TenantNet » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:23 am

Are you rent stab or not?
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Postby JingoFresh » Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:24 pm

It appears not.

How do I check for sure?
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Postby JingoFresh » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:36 pm

OK, so doing some research.

First of all, on the property there are two buildings, not one, although both have the same street address when I tell people..

I looked at a list of DHCR rent stabilized buildings in Brooklyn and did a search.

My address comes up twice, once with an F after the number for front and again with a R after the number for rear.

Both addresses have the status of MULTIPLE DWELLING A.

This would mean there is a good chance my building is rent stabilized?
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:41 pm

Not necessarily.

First, you should get a rent history from DHCR, to start investigating.

A multiple Dwelling is usually a building with 3+ units, and must be registered with the city (HPD).

Rent Stab units are in buildings that were built prior to 1974 with six or more units, not a coop or condo and have no been deregulated due to high income or high rent deregulation, or by expiration of certain tax benefits.

See what old-time neighbors say.

On the question, have you check with Con Ed or Nat. Grid?
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Postby JingoFresh » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:31 pm

OK, Thanks.

Does it matter that it is 2 buildings with 3 units each, as opposed to one building with 6 units?

How does the law affect 2 builds of 3 units counted as one property, if the law requires RS units be 6+?

Have not checked with utility companies as was not aware I could, will try and get a rental history from DHCR.
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:54 pm

There is a thing called a Horizontal Multiple Dwelling (look it up) where 2 or more buildings can be considered to be be on building for calculating the 6+ units. Usually depends if the buildings share common items like boilers.
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Postby JingoFresh » Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:46 pm

OK, thanks.

oil and water seems to be shared, but there seems to be separate boilers and gas meters.

Will talk to DHCR ASAP.

Hypothetically, if the building is or is not RS, what does that mean for my "tenants clause" ?
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:44 am

In my opinion, a "tenants share" would not be legal under Rent Stab or Rent Control. Of course there might be exceptions. It might depend on the complete history of the unit and building, which is why you should do your research.
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Postby JingoFresh » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:07 pm

So it appears the building is not currently RS or RC, but was previously.

I got paperwork from DHCR. The history begins at 1984, where it it is not registered until 2004, where it is marked as RS. Then in 2008 it is exempt due to extreme rehabilitation.

After that it is marked as exempt, with registration not required. Last entry is for 2012.

Does this mean that it is not RS or RC at this time?
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Postby TenantNet » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:03 pm

First off, buildings are never RS or RC. Units can be RS/RC, but not buildings.

You have to look at the history of each unit separately to see if they were RS/RC and if and when they were deregulated, by what means and if it was done legally. The vast majority are deregulated illegally.

And before deregulation took hold in the 1990's, all units would have been RS or RC unless exempt for one or more reasons. (exempt is not the same thing as deregulated).

The history begins at 1984 because that is when DHCR started their database. They actually have details prior to 1984, but unless specifically requested, you would not have gotten it.

If nothing is listed RS until 2004, then it's a matter of finding out why. It could have been RC until 2004 as RC was not subject to yearly registrations, or it could have to do with some sort of rehab or tax abatement. Either DHCR or HPD should have records on the rehab, which program and the applicable dates. If you really want to get into it, in some cases that deregulation might not be legal either. But that gets pretty complicated (that is what happened to Stuytown and J-51).

From what you describe it does not appear to be RS now, but there are always exceptions to be found if you really want to do further research.
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Postby JingoFresh » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:13 pm

Thanks for replying.

I should have said unit, not building.

I will do further research, but at the moment assuming it isnt RS or RC, do I have any grounds to dispute the "tenants share"?

How does a shared meter law work with a non RS/RC unit?

Also, I am not getting notifications of replies to this thread via my email, not sure why, not in spam folder just not showing up.
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