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Can you be Evicted for not paying retroactive MCI charges

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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Can you be Evicted for not paying retroactive MCI charges

Postby brklyn2018 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:59 pm

My situation is a long one but I was wondering if you could be evicted on MCI charges dating back at least 18 months. These charges would be the retroactive increase dating back to when the landlord filed for the MCI. My base rent has been fully increased but they are adding an additional $55.00 a month as a separate charge. If one were to not pay these additional charges, can the landlord evict you? I know you can't be evicted based on late fees.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Can you be Evicted for not paying retroactive MCI charge

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:31 pm

When a MCI is approved by DHCR, that becomes part of the base rent. So if you're not paying that, the LL can take you to court for non-payment.

But consider, there is a limit where a large MCI can only be added in to the base rent in phases of no more than 6% of rent that existed when the MCI application was first sent to DHCR by the LL. So if the MCI for your unit is $50, but 6% of your rent at the time of the application was only $20, then it must be phased in over three years.

Second, if you file an administrative appeal (Petition for Administrative Review or PAR), that stays the collection of any retroactive increase (from the date of the application to the date of the approval). But a PAR does not stay the prospective increase that is added to the rent as of the date of the decision). These rules should be on the decision granting the MCI. Or you can see DHCR's MCI Fact Sheet that describes all of this.

Of course, when approved the LL needs to charge the tenant. If the LL fails to charge the approved MCI, it's possible he might waive the increase for that time period. You would need to ask DHCR how long the LL has to charge the tenants before a waiver sets in. I would think there should be a reasonable time for the LL to adjust the tenant's monthly bill, but in my opinion, 18 months is way too much. You might also look at any Housing Court decisions to see if this has been addressed. (the waiver would not be discussed on DHCR Fact Sheets)

However, from your post, the so-called separate charge appears to be the retroactive amount, and that is permissible and has nothing to do with the waiver discussed above.
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Re: Can you be Evicted for not paying retroactive MCI charge

Postby brklyn2018 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:50 pm

Thank you for your quick reply. But can I be evicted for not paying it? The amount is in addition to the 6% that has been added to my base rent.

The reason I am asking is I fell behind on my rent for December, but sent my rent payment for December & January via online bill pay from my bank the first week of Jan. On Friday I got a letter demanding I pay my rent for Dec. & Jan within three days or the LL will "Commence Summary Proceedings Under the Statute to Recover Possession" I was confused when I got this since I sent the rent for Dec & Jan three weeks ago. But when I called my bank, they told me that the checks that the dispensed have not cleared. I confirmed that the address was correct and they have not received any return mail.

I then got an email address from another tenant and sent an email and attached the confirmation from my bank that the rent had been paid for Dec & Jan.

My questions are these:

Is paying rent using online bill pay considered proof that rent was paid. Sending certified letter is not an option since it's a P.O Box.?

The letter also demanded I pay the retroactive MCI increases, which I have not been paying, in part because I can't afford it and I want to dispute it. Can I avoid eviction if I just show that rent has been paid and not pay the retroactive MCI charges?

What would you suggest is the best way to handle? I plan to go to the LL office in the morning personally and bring a copy confirming that the rent for Jan & Dec. was paid, and try to find out why they are not processing it.

Thanks again.
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Re: Can you be Evicted for not paying retroactive MCI charge

Postby TenantNet » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:14 pm

I answered that.

Call the LL and see if they got it. Get a receipt from the bank showing a) that you sent it, and b) that they cashed it. (when it does clear)

Send a certified letter RRR (with copy via fax or email) to the LL telling them when it was send and include a copy of your proof.

The LL must have a physical address. Check your lease. Check HPD at https://hpdonline.hpdnyc.org/HPDonline/ ... dress.aspx

Also check NYC Dept. of Finance http://a836-acris.nyc.gov/CP/

How are you disputing the retroactive charges? Did you file an appeal with DHCR? Chances are Housing Court won't consider that sort of challenge.
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Re: Can you be Evicted for not paying retroactive MCI charge

Postby brklyn2018 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:23 pm

I'm sorry. I guess I'm dumb but I didn't quite understand your answer. Is it yes or no?

Also I can certainly send certified letter regarding general correspondence. In fact their rental offices are just a few blocks away from me. They will not accept rent at any physical address except at the PO box number. Not no way, not no how and I have begged them to let me bring the rent in person.

We filed an appeal for with DHCR years ago and the MCI was approved. It is only the retroactive MCI that I am not paying. I am paying and have been paying the MCI added to the base rent.

Thanks..
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