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Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

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

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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby TenantNet » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:12 am

In my email (to the LL) I pointed out that I had not been sent actual RTP-8 forms but photocopies, both of which did not include the 2nd pg. (back side of the form).


You can argue with the LL on that, but a photocopy - as long as it hasn't been altered - and is of relatively recent vintage, should be acceptable. That the reverse was missing is annoying, but I don't think it will get you anything in court or a DHCR proceeding.

Stop slipping real important things through the mail slot and send Cert/RRR for things like lease renewals. Some things (like rent) you can send via Certificate of Mailing which costs a lot less than Cert/RRR. Only the less important things should you send by mail slot or email. I understand you haven't had a problem with the LL claiming non-receipt ... yet.

Courts can accept emails, but I don't believe it's required. It doesn't prove receipt.

Just don't pay any rent increase until the LL sends the executed lease.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:09 am

TenantNet wrote:It's been many years since my LL gave me a renewal lease and my rent will not go up until he does so. It's his option.

That's actually very funny. :D

Why would a landlord forego rent increases just to avoid sending a renewal lease?

Sounds like he's either afraid of you or finds you to be too much trouble to make it worth his while. 8)
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:24 am

TenantNet wrote:Stop slipping real important things through the mail slot and send Cert/RRR for things like lease renewals. Some things (like rent) you can send via Certificate of Mailing which costs a lot less than Cert/RRR. Only the less important things should you send by mail slot or email. I understand you haven't had a problem with the LL claiming non-receipt ... yet.

I understand your point of view but I only use the 'door slot' because of a past history of having done it without any problems. (There have been issues/controversies, but not with the LL pretending/claiming not to have received communications.)

That said, I would only do it in circumstances where I could monitor the situation -- i.e., if I didn't receive replies indicating receipt or felt the LL was up to no good, I would then send via mail with proof of mailing.

Also, any personnel changes at the top (at the LL's office) would make me particularly watchful about establishing proof of receipt of communications.

Courts can accept emails, but I don't believe it's required. It doesn't prove receipt.

If the landlord responds, doesn't that prove receipt?
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:21 pm

August is the first month of what would have been the renewal lease period.

As expected the landlord has objected to receiving the old rent -- even though it billed me for August’s rent without any increase (i.e., for the same amount I’d been paying under the renewal lease just expired).

The property manager claims the signed documents (the ones that started this thread) are still required “as per the landlord” and referred to the rent I paid for August as “the wrong amount,” citing the amount of rent for the two-year renewal lease I’d chosen as what was owed for August.

So it’s taking the position that I still owe the new rent even without an executed renewal lease.

Any suggestions on how to proceed?

Thanks.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:46 pm

Seems you've got a standoff.

As for the lease, you can file with DHCR, but to be honest, that can take years. If you do file with DHCR, you do it to show the issue is under litigation (if he takes you to court) and it forces the LL to specify in writing why he refuses to give you a lease.

But as I've said before, without a lease, the rent can't legally go up. Follow the instructions on the back of form RTP-8.

For rent, how did you send the rent to the LL? Do you pay by check or by money order?

Did he return the rent? If so, how? Was there a cover letter stating why the rent was being returned? This is where everything gets documented. Keep copies of everything including the envelopes the LL send to you (for the postmark).

Send rent by Certificate of Mailing (only costs $1.40). With a money order you get a receipt showing when it was purchased.

On each check or money

Each and every month, I would get the check or MO and send it in by Cert of Mailing. If he returns it, then keep it. This way you will:
a) have the money if he takes you to court. It's self-escrow, and
b) proof that you tendered the rent and he refused it. That's a great defense.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby Sky » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:11 pm

If it were me in that situation I'd keep paying then old rent, which is the legal rent, until such a time as the LL complies with his obligations and offers you a renewal in accordance with the law which governs lease renewals.

Make sure your rent payment has a memo stating that it is for 'xxmonth/xxyear ONLY and not for any other month(s)" in the event the LL tries to illegally apply your payment to an inflated 'back rent'. The ball is in the LL's court ... if the LL wants to stick to his guns then all the better ... enjoy no rental increases until the LL complies with his responsibilities.
Last edited by Sky on Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby TenantNet » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:10 pm

I agree with Sky, especially on the earmarking of checks/M.O.'s to specific months. There is case law on earmarking. Not all judges will accept that argument, but some will.

One thing I forgot to say, is if you pay by Money Orders, read the fine print of the MO agreement (probably on the MO itself) or check the website of the seller, i.e., Western Union. If it drags on for a long time, the MO company will "deduct" a significant sum from the total if you try to get a refund on the MO. I've seen close to $20/month. So consider converting the MO to some other form of saved cash. Just make sure you do not spend it and it's in a secure situation where you can't be tempted to use it for something else. That is the first mistake tenants make.

Consider how smart and litigious the LL is. Some LLs think they can do anything, and they end up making mistakes. That is why paying the old rent is important.

OTOH, some larger LLs are professional operations. They also harass and also make mistakes, which is why you need to be on top of things. Judges like tenants who walk into court with a book of copies of checks/MO's, purchase receipts, copies of mailing certificates and so on. It won't always save you from a trial, but preparation and organization help a lot, especially if the LL is sloppy.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:40 pm

TenantNet wrote:I agree with Sky, especially on the earmarking of checks/M.O.'s to specific months. There is case law on earmarking. Not all judges will accept that argument, but some will.

Thanks for those replies, TenantNet & Sky.

For as long as I can remember I’ve paid the rent by automatic bill payment. I can switch it to ‘manual’ & add a memo to specify the month the rent payment is for each time, which I assume should accomplish the earmarking.

In an email, the property manager just told me to add the difference from the old rent to next month’s rent. The check for August's rent (sent via auto bill pay) was cashed yesterday.

The landlord sends all communications by email now (with occasional exceptions). That seems to have become its preferred communications channel.

Is the information about the rent increase not going into effect in the absence of an executed renewal lease on the back of the RTP-8? If so, I’ll look for one from a past renewal, as the photocopies I was sent for the current renewal didn’t include the back page.

This situation has made me curious about what rights market rate renters have. Do they have any of the legal protections that rent stabilized tenants do, or do landlords pretty much have carte blanche as to whatever demands they want to make, including the right to create & demand the tenant's signature on any new agreements that the LL chooses, to terminate a tenancy for any arbitrary reason at any time, etc.?

Thanks.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby TenantNet » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:06 pm

One more time, without an executed lease from the LL, your rent does not go up.

I'm not all that familiar with automatic bill pay, but if you can earmark it to a specific month in whatever serves as the memo field, that might work. See the RTP-8 at http://www.nyshcr.org/Forms/Rent/rtp8.pdf - that is the 2014 version; I don't know if DHCR has anything more current, but you can call them. Chances are any changes are minimal.

Market rate tenants do not have similar protections. LLs can change the terms of those leases whenever they choose (although not mid-lease).
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:40 am

Landlords for market rate apartments can't change the terms of existing leases, but, just as tenants aren't obliged to renew leases, neither are landlords.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:23 pm

TenantNet wrote:I'm not all that familiar with automatic bill pay, but if you can earmark it to a specific month in whatever serves as the memo field, that might work.

Thanks. Was just referring to bill payments you can set up with a bank to occur immediately or in the future, including recurring payments such as rent.

Unless there's a reason to do it otherwise, it's the easiest way to pay bills I know of. Usually, you can even use it for any kind of payment or transfer of funds, including to individuals.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:28 pm

BubbaJoe123 wrote:Landlords for market rate apartments can't change the terms of existing leases, but, just as tenants aren't obliged to renew leases, neither are landlords.

Thanks. If that means that a landlord can present documents to the tenant (such as those that were sent to me), demand they be returned with signatures, & if the tenant refuses, cancel the lease at its termination, that really puts market tenants in quite a pickle. It provides the LL with a legalized blackmail option, really.

In fact, from what you & TenantNet wrote, it sounds like the LL can terminate the lease (at its expiration) for no reason at all, and the tenant has absolutely no recourse. Even more of a pickle.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby TenantNet » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:15 pm

No, you are rent regulated. Bubba was talking about non-regulated tenants. For unregulated tenants, LLs are under no obligation to renew leases and do not have to have a reason.

There are possible ways to fight it, if the tenant thinks he/she has a reason to claim the unit should still be regulated, they can claim that as a defense in a holdover. It's good to have filed with DHCR so one can tell the court the RS status is under litigation.

Tenants can also claim retaliation for having exercised your rights, and get more time.

Either of those scenarios must be done carefully, not on a whim.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby BubbaJoe123 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:43 am

sr77 wrote:In fact, from what you & TenantNet wrote, it sounds like the LL can terminate the lease (at its expiration) for no reason at all, and the tenant has absolutely no recourse. Even more of a pickle.


This is how tenancies work for 99% of rentals in the US, outside of some units in NYC, SF, and a few other places.
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Re: Which 'notices' are required to be returned to the LL?

Postby sr77 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:42 pm

Was asked to continue this new post -- http://tenant.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12833 -- in context, so picking it up here.

At the start of this thread I mentioned the slew of documents the landlord demanded I sign & return along with the renewal leases.

I didn't, and am now waiting to see what happens next. So far not much other than not having received the executed renewal leases and having rent check (for the rent amount under the former lease) not cashed by the LL.

My new question was theoretical. Some of the documents LL wanted me to sign essentially would negate my rent stabilized tenancy. I don't know why he would expect me to sign them. But I wondered whether, if I had done so, my relinquishing my rent stabilized status in that way would hold up in any legal (or administrative, e.g., DHCR) forum if it came to that.

In other words, can a rent-stabilized tenant give up their rent-stabilized status for a lesser status by inadvertently signing it away?

That would be one question. Another would be whether an RS tenant with a legally mandated (&/or recognized) rent reduction could sign it away as a result of signing a document and overlooking a clause, etc. that provided for that without realizing it at the time (e.g., because it was stated in an indirect way), etc.
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