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"Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lease

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

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"Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lease

Postby sr77 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:29 pm

My rent-stabilized renewal lease packet included a form called "Short Term Rental Disclosure," which seeks acknowledgment that short-term (i.e., less than 30 days) "rentals/sublets" are illegal. The form is to be signed and returned with the renewal form.

Is this now standard in rent-stabilized lease renewals, or was the decision to include it just an arbitrary one by the landlord?

Also, is there such a statute, i.e., one specifically prohibiting such arrangements if the intended duration is for a period less than 30 days?

Thanks.
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby TenantNet » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:16 pm

Can you send us a copy of this form - just to see what is said? You can attach it to a private message (using the "PM" button on the left of each post.

Does the form have any indication it has been published or promulgated by any government agency? I doubt it, but just asking.

As far as I know there is no requirement that you sign and return or otherwise acknowledge receipt of this form. in fact, unless it's required by law, we strongly suggest you do not do that.

I know of RS tenants where their LL is trying to force them to sign and return the DHCR informational rider that should be attached to every new and renewal lease. In fact, the latest riders have a space for just that. But signing/returning it is not required by law or by DHCR. Even when LL's threaten to not renew leases, there's still no obligation to sign and return. It's just - in our view - more harassment from the LL. And if the LL does refuse to execute and return the renewal lease, then the rent does not increase.

Having said all that, tenants should be very wary of becoming a host with AirBNB or other apartment sharing service. If you've followed the news, there are more tenants who are legally losing their apartments by using AirBNB (as a host). Profiteering from a RS apartment is illegal and wrong. Our advice is just don't do it (and your neighbors will appreciate that).

Yes, renting your unit for less than 30 days is illegal if you rent out the entire unit and you do not stay there. That's a state law. However, our understanding is that it is legal if you only rent out an extra room and you still stay in the unit the entire time.

But even with that, some LL's view any apartment sharing as a violation of the lease, even if it doesn't rise to be a violation of the state law. That can involve profiteering and possibly creating a nuisance by having unsupervised people roaming the hallways or entering/existing the building.

The only thing you are required to sign and return is the renewal lease itself - both copies. And before sending it back, make several copies for yourself (or scan), and return using certified mail return receipt requested.
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:18 pm

The LL is presumably including that because, if he has your signature on that form, that makes it much more difficult for you to claim that you "didn't know" in the event you sublet your apartment on AirBnB and get caught. So, I see no upside to you in signing it.

That said, sublets of the whole apartment for <30 days are illegal. If you're just renting out a room (but you'll stay in residency), that's legal, but you would be bound by the anti-profiteering provisions in the RS laws; in a hypothetical case where your rent is $1800, you'd be limited to charging ~$30/night (or half the daily apartment rent) for the rented room.
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby sr77 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:27 pm

TenantNet wrote:Can you send us a copy of this form - just to see what is said?

Thanks, there's no sign it's any kind of official document. It's on plain bond, no letterhead, etc. and has the 'title' "SHORT TERM RENTAL DISCLOSURE" centered at the top of the page.

The text is short enough that I'll just reproduce it and put it in a separate following post in this thread.

I have no plans to engage in any of this and find the profiteering use people make of AirBNB, etc. repugnant. I was just curious whether attaching the document to a renewal lease was now being done generally (not just by my landlord) and whether the claims made in the document were accurate (it seems they are).

It also seemed odd that only rentals 'less than 30 days' are prohibited. If someone makes the rental for 30 days (or 31 just to be safe), they're apparently off the hook, so I assume a lot of people just do that.

Since a warning sign about this went up in the building foyer sometime within the last year, I'm pretty sure this came about because there was one tenant in the building who appeared to be engaging in this practice. He left less than a year after moving in and I've assumed he was probably 'discovered' and kicked out.

If what the document states is accurate I suppose there would be no harm in signing it -- i.e., I would just be acknowledging existing law -- without giving up any legal rights -- wouldn't I?

(The landlord always includes certain familiar forms with renewal leases that request signature acknowledgements -- re lead based paint, window guards, sprinkler disclosure, etc.)
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby sr77 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:29 pm

Here's what the document states:

[QUOTE ON]

The Tenant(s) have been advised that the subject Apartment is located in a Class A Multiple Dwelling. Short Term or Short Stay rentals/sublets, which are defined as less than thirty (30) days, are not permitted in this type of building in the City of New York. These types of rentals/sublets are usually arranged by and facilitated through AirBNB and similar web sites.

The City of New York has been aggressively enforcing the law and regulations that prohibit these type of rentals/sublets and assessing penalties in excess of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per day.

Additionally, these types of rentals/sublets are a violation of the Lease.

The undersigned(s) acknowledge receipt of this information.

[QUOTE OFF]

The only other text in the document just identifies the name of the building owner and the apartment number, and, at the bottom of the page, there are signature lines (four of them, for some reason): "Signature of Tenant:_____________ Dated: _____________.
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby sr77 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:35 pm

BubbaJoe123 wrote:in a hypothetical case where your rent is $1800, you'd be limited to charging ~$30/night (or half the daily apartment rent) for the rented room.

Thanks. Is it actually in the law that you can't charge the 'short term' renter anything more than half the rent?

I'd have thought that a small surcharge, like the 10% landlords can add to the rent of sublettors, would be allowed, or at least not be prohibited.

Does the law state that it's illegal to charge a security deposit to the 'short term' renter?

I just poked through some threads here and found this comment in a thread about a sublettor who refused to leave at the end of the agreed-to term: "This is why I would never sublease to anyone, I would rather the apartment go empty and I just pay the full rent. It's a pain in the butt."… Unless I would be gone long-term, that's my view as well.
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:17 pm

From your description, this sounds like something the LL just cooked up; it is NOT an official document from DHCR, HPD or elsewhere. As I stated above, we strongly recommend tenants NOT sign and return this document. My LL asks tenants to sign similar illegal documents, which I always ignore and in decades he hasn't made a fuss. If he does, then as a RS tenant you're rent does not increase.

Rentals of less than 30 days are indeed prohibited. That is the law in NYS. It's there to prevent use of an apartment as a hotel, which is not good for many reasons. However, if a tenant just rents our one room for 30 days and still lives/sleeps there at the same time, then that is not illegal. For more than 30 days, that's considered a roommate or sublet, and is legal.

One thing you can do is poke around the AirBNB website and see what pops up in your building or nearby. The site's map is not exactly accurate so an arrow in/near your building might actually refer to a place up to 3 blocks away. I think AirBNB does this intentionally to hide the actual address.

If what the document states is accurate I suppose there would be no harm in signing it -- i.e., I would just be acknowledging existing law -- without giving up any legal rights -- wouldn't I?


You don't know. If it's so benign, then why is the LL wanting you to sign it? Again, based on 35 years experience, you are better off not signing anything you do not have to. (and you don't know what's accurate or not)

The forms regarding lead based paint, window guards ... those ARE legitimate government forms required by law and ARE promulgated by HPD. Most will have the small print on the lower left indicating date and version number.

BTW, the text you quote ... is not 100% accurate.
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Re: "Short Term Rental Disclosure" form incl. w- renewal lea

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:31 pm

Thanks. Is it actually in the law that you can't charge the 'short term' renter anything more than half the rent?


Yes and No. It applies to any roommate, not just short-term. I'd half to go look it up, but it refers to profiteering, so that can be construed as being 1/3rd the rent if there are three people (TOR and 2 roommates) and so on.

I'd have thought that a small surcharge, like the 10% landlords can add to the rent of sublettors, would be allowed, or at least not be prohibited.


Sublets and roommates are not the same thing. The 10% surcharge is for sublets. See the Rent Guidelines Board orders for that. And I believe that 10% goes to the LL, not the TOR. However, I believe the TOR can charge another 10% if the unit is furnished.

Does the law state that it's illegal to charge a security deposit to the 'short term' renter?


I don't know, but the law on AirBNB most likely does not address that.
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