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Does anyone know about profiteering or illusory tenancies?

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

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Does anyone know about profiteering or illusory tenancies?

Postby missmouse18 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:34 pm

Hello. I have a question concerning how to proceed with a situation in which I find myself. I live with my daughter normally, who is age 20 and a full-time student. I also opted to go to school while she was in New York. After living one or two other places we found a sublet which seemed slightly pricey for a large room but we were assured many things by the landlord. It was to be a share of the unit, but we were the subtenants of the other tenant on the lease and we were paying about $1700, utilities included. It was furnished and the tenant was to be living in another country with no end date, so we could have a renewal.

She was however very picky on certain conditions, cleanliness, maintaining the apartment as her roommate was never home and to be quiet at first until he got used to the new situation-this included not being noisy, cleaning up after him in the bathroom, and she said he never used the kitchen. After this was agreed and she took our rent, security deposit, and a last month's rent, she gave us the keys and booked to the other country. Payments were to be made into her account at a local bank. We could not even see the apartment again before move in and in the daytime because another tenant was moving out. i got mail which was delivered there to show this succession of other tenants.

Our new roommate met with us and sent an email. His main concern was that there were two of us and she assured us this had been the norm before and that he would not mind in practice, would get used to us, liked my type (literary), would never know my daughter was there-she keeps a very busy schedule , and in time we would love this arrangement. Afterall, it was her apartment too and if she wanted to rent to us then he would just have to deal with it. It was too late for either of us to turn back or to get a new tenant-she liked us, she said.

Noticeably he was never there-I am not sure he sleeps there many nights, but he has a room off the back hall and an "office" right next to our room. There is no lock on the door, and through the French doors he can look, if he wants to, or enter, but it has a rubber band around the knobs. It is on a nice block and in a nice area very close to my daughter's school-I considered us fortunate. There were problems with the apartment right off the bat-mosquitoes getting in and all of the sashed on the windows were broken. I felt as if I was complaining about a good deal, but it was ridiculous and they had a nesting area near the window so I had to seal everything up-no air. There were issues with the pain, heat, and hot water, and the stove, which emitted too much gas-the appliances needed to be replaced and she had promised to make him deal with the painting while she was gone and given him money, she said.

He complained first about our cooking, at normal mealtimes, and then about our being in the room next to his office, while he kept the light blaring until after eleven pm many nights which shone through, but overall, it was quiet. At one point in the Fall, he asked me for my schedule. He seems to go out somewhere all the time and comes in very late, around 9-11 and then leaves for work very early. We and he are very considerate, generally. he also didn't like the washing machine which we hooked up in the kitchen once per week. I told him I deliberately did not come in sometimes late at night just to give him some freedom and he said I was never to do that, and in fact, it has not been really because he is out alot. She said he always was. She said she had as many as four people there before and he didn't object. He just did not seem to like me. I cleaned up after him, and did dishes he left lying around, cleaned the toilet and bathtub, mopped. he made no complaints about my daughter-ever. I did ask him if he wanted to go to a show one night for which I had tickets, he refused-I was being friendly-he was not. He would not give me a key to the mailbox and wanted me provisionally to have my own PO box. If I did receive mail, he usually gave it to me, but as he was never at home, he sometimes did not check the box, and I had to go begging for my mail.

In December, I told the neighbor about his increasing touchiness about cooking, etc, and other things and she informed me that they were overcharging me-that the rent could not be more than $2000 and that it was a rent-stabilized unit in a building of mostly condos. This coincided with his increased hostility. Theirs was also rent stabilized. There were many repairs needed and I was afraid to go to him about them, and she did not entertain them. She said she would needle him about the painting. He didn't clean or make any repairs. He never came out of his room anymore when I was there, or spoke to me, and the other tenants in the building told me he had always been like this. He had had many roommates over the years and she was not one of them, she came and went, and they did not even know she lived there. But she did and so had a lot of other people judging by the mail. She and her boyfriend got mail there and from what I could tell at least 7 other people currently.

I asked her why she had overcharged me. She had no explanation, and her texts became more concerned about his actions, and how he was reacting to my presence, but we had not really talked in person. She would not email me but kept everything to texts. I told her I had been told such and such and that I was waiting for my financial aid to come through and put it to her that I would be late with the rent until it did, and she said we would talk when she came to New York. She actually asked us to leave "for a few days" while she and her fiancce did the town on New Year's Eve. After this they wanted to meet at a coffee shop and I tried to record the conversation but was caught. He and she had put their heads together, after finding out what the neighbor had said (they asked them), and he acted as though he did not know anything about our lease and this is when it came out that he was the actual tenant. I had not known before this time. She later explained a few things and I really don't think she was all that sharp, but he was and he very adeptly tried to put me on the spot about my daughter and I told him he was false. he had known she was there all along and was not using this as an excuse to try and cause me to vacate my lease. it was very tense, and they sidestepped the issue of the overcharge completely by acting as though she were condescending to give me a break on the rent.

I told them I wanted a full refund of my rent, deposit, and moving costs, as well as storage fees. It was furnished and I had sol my brand new bed, and a table with two chairs to accommodate heer, as one of her picky items, and I had not been in time to take it to storage. As I said, I was not able to see the apartment again. It had a full bed, smaller than my queen, and a fold out sofa (also queen). I did not feel that he was being honest with me, and knew that he had developed a dislike for me before now, but after all, it was a lease, and I had gone along with everything fully. It seemed that if they weren't going to make their double rent, then they wanted me out so they could rent to someone else.

I developed a heart condition in this period, or it showed and I took 18 credits, was teaching and working in a photography studio. It is a six-story walk-up and I am 55. I had to back off when I started having palpitations and was having tests. Eventually, I told him that I was unable to comply with his request and on the advice of tenant, agencies would welcome his taking me to court. He has ignored these facts and acts as though we all believe the story they concocted. He is apparently very experienced at this. I am not. But, I cannot fight him in the current circumstances and he has written me, despite my letter to the effect of what I thought they had done, saying it was too late and I had agreed to move out, and I in fact had never put anything in writing and was on a fishing trip. I knew that my rent was "paid up", what they had done, but had to finish my last semester as I knew that I could not afford for either of us to live anywhere else. Due to these medical problems, it is not ideal to live in a six-story walk-up, but I am sure that it is an illusory tenancy and they have made quite a profit over the years. I feel as though I am losing the value of the lease, have no idea what to pay, and many other things.

recently, I filed 60 violations with DHCR and today they came and are requesting the painting to be done, locks and doors and windows to be fixed and a new refrigerator and stove. But why must we move out so he can make more of a profit? He has been doing this for thirty years and she has been his partner in it for ten. Who can I take this to? She has $60,000 in one account, I know and he has not been paying any rent, it would appear, or hardly any for this many years. They have a good system, but it is fraud.

He is going to pretend to sue us all for eviction, and she is an immigrant. She has moved out with some of her things and is picking up the rest, including, according to him, her furniture, but I don't believe them. I think it is a ruse. No doubt, she would support him in anything he said, but he undoubtedly has known about it and been going along with it all this time. What do I do? One advocacy group said this was a tenant-to-tenant situation, and they did not have enough attorneys right now. They referred me to someone who might be able to help me get temporary disability benefits, and I was hoping to start working. My daughter cannot possibly handle any of this herself and cannot work to earn enough for both of us. I have been receiving financial aid, and so has she, so rental payments were not a problem, but at a higher amount they would be, and I do not see why it makes a difference who lives here, or that I have a daughter who is hardly ever home. She is very sweet and nice, but he is not particularly. I can deal with this, but I am not in a position to move out, even if I wanted to and the bottom line is we really shouldn't have to. It seems like a very deliberate retaliatory action and I am not the criminal! He is going to rent these other rooms to someone and I think he is biased, used to rationalizing that he is God-like, and takes advantage of people, having them clean and what not. all the while "deciding" if they meet his "standards" and then having them leave if he does not like them or they don't "fit." What he is really concerned about is that I am not paying the higher amount and that he doesn't want to get caught or lose his apartment, I think.

He now hides all the mail and other things. Someone broke my computer in my room-a piece of plastic from it was lying away from it on the table, while I was out. It did not explode or jump off the table. Many people apparently have keys to the apartment, but I was afradi to change the locks without his permission. he gives access to her, and I had to pretty much watch her all day, but I know she or someone else has been in the apartment while we are out. This is creeping my daughter out.I have had to hide all my papers and my lease. My lease states that I have a 6-12 month tenancy with an option to renew, for the amount of $1700. The signatures are illegible, but she said it was her apartment. He called it a month-to-month lease, and said that he had had many situations like this and that when he said to, people just got out when he told them to. I replied that I disagreed with him and found their actions objectionable, that I had asked for all of my money back etc and they had refused, to keep it, just as she had done in the beginning. I told him he was an accessory to fraud, as he appeared to be defending their positions "together," and in the same teamlike way, they are going to present a situation in court whereby I will be allowed limited defenses unless I do something about this now. I called the mgt company and they said I should go to Beaver Street, and I called them and faxed them my documents but they did not act to prosecute in order to uphold the laws. I have spoken to a few agencies, but until I receive papers, they do not want to speak with me. I feel that if I wait, it will be too late and I will find no one to represent me. I also need someone to appear in court for me as I cannot risk getting upset. I had a stroke June 2.
missmouse18
 
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Does anyone know about profiteering or illusory tenancie

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:13 pm

As we said yesterday to another poster, please reduce this book by at least 60%. We don't need to know the entire history of your life. Please, we don't have the time to read these long missives. Just stick to the bare facts and leave out anything that is not essential.
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Re: Does anyone know about profiteering or illusory tenancie

Postby missmouse18 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:08 pm

Thanks for your support. I think it is rather complex-one of your sites other posts mentioned the complexity of illusory tenancies, which I am pretty certain it is, according to DHCR's website. As I also stated, I also recently had a stroke so I do tend to go round and round a bit lately. But you are definitely right! There must be basic facts here in this long missive. I am not an attorney and if I knew what the important aspects were I would have bullet pointed them, but then, I wouldn't have needed to request advice, and I might also have a job as a moderator on a website. Is this website only for attorneys? I notice a lot of papers posted-they are pretty long. Much longer than my book.
missmouse18
 
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:04 pm

Re: Does anyone know about profiteering or illusory tenancie

Postby TenantNet » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:21 pm

Start with the basics. What part of the city are you in (not the actual address). What kind of building? are you RS? Does the LL admit you are RS? Do you have a lease? From when to when? Is the LL giving you renewal leases? How long have you lived there? Number of roommates or family? Is the LL taking you to court? Why? Just the facts.
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