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The base Legal Rent

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

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The base Legal Rent

Postby lamxuyen1234 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:38 am

Hi Everyone,
We won Rent Overcharge case in Supreme Court. To calculate rent overcharge the Judge determined the base Legal Rent under the RSL by referencing the monthly rent charged for the subject apartment four years prior to the filing of an overcharge complaint - in our case the Legal Rent was established as $258. Because that additional motions was filled by our attorney and LL attorney, the Judge suggested to go in the Stipulation of Settlement to escape the appeal. The Stipulation that we signed (we were mislead on the many issues and now trying to vacate it), was describing our new Rent Stabilized Lease with the Preferential Rent for the life of tenancy. The starting Legal Rent of our Lease was identified as $1200 instead of $258, and the Preferential Rent was $600 ( If to use $258 as our Starting Legal Rent - the Preferential Rent idea was a nonsense at all, and they come up with the idea to change the starting Legal Rent to $1200).

My question is: was it legal to use different numbers ($1200) as our starting Legal Regulated Rent in the Stipulation even it was determined previously by RS Law and ordered by the Judge that our starting Legal Rent is $258? At the time of signing the Stipulation it was nothing that could legally increase our starting Legal Rent - no vacancy, no RGB increases, no improvements, nothing - the numbers just come from "the sky' to benefit our landlord for his future registration with DCHR.
In reality, I think, that it was an attempt to change the law regulating the Legal Rent calculation in the private stipulation, even signed by Judge. And only the State Legislature could change the law.

Am I right and is it the ground to vacate the stipulation? Thank you for any of your suggestion and help.
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Re: The base Legal Rent

Postby TenantNet » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:40 pm

Sorry for the delay. Please flesh this out by answering these questions:

Was the SC case an A78 appeal brought in Supreme Court after DHCR made its final decision, or did you file the case originally in SC?

Who filed the case in SC - was it the LL or T? When you say "We" was this a tenant association, or just a few tenants?

Who is your attorney (if you wish, you can tell us via Private Mail)

What was the reason for the motions? How were they decided?

You say you were misled, by whom? The court? Your attorney, the LL's attorney? What did they say or represent that misled you?

You say your rent went from $258 to $600 (PR) to a supposed legal rent of $1200. Did your atty go along with this? There are times to compromise, but there needs to be a good reason and you need to be told all the facts. More over, you need to agree to it. On the surface this doesn't sound like a good deal.

But we can't really opine on this more than that without seeing the stip and the underlying decision from DHCR, if any. There's a lot left out in your description.

FYI, on a stip, when you are represented by an attorney, they can come up with whatever they come up with. You need to say no, or to object. If your atty did something wrong, you probably need to get a new atty. And to vacate a stip when you have a lawyer - is not easy at all.
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