I am renting an apartment in NYC which I found out, after requesting rent history, is rent stabilized (last reported rent was ~$1000/month in 2013). I pay $3100 per month to my landlord, who has a rental company, and lives elsewhere (nearby), but is leasing to me as a 'sublet'. I understand that he manages this process for several (10's?) of apartments in the area. He is not named on the 2013 rent stabilized lease, although he indicates that he has had control of the apartment for 5+years (2010ish by my calculations). I am worried that there will be several layers of sublet, and that much finger pointing (and my eviction) will ensue, if I sue. I do have a lease for 1 year, and I am currently living in the apartment. I am worried that I will somehow get evicted if I say anything (like ask lease), Although I am 100% sure the owner is knowledgeable of the situation, and is likely getting cash kickbacks, it will be highly unlikely that I can prove it.
Dear New York Tenant:
You present an intiguing problem. If you are correct that your "prime tenant" holds leases to scores of Rent Stabilized apartments scattered across many different properties, and is in the business of renting those apartments for profit and sharing the wealth with many owners, then you have stumbled into a business enterprise criminal ring.
You should consult an attorney. The NY State Attorney General is one law enforcement agency adept at breaking this type of gang.
I have forty years experience in the specialty of Housing Law and Tenant's Rights advocacy. The answer I provided to you does not create an attorney and client relation. You are free to check my office contact information at my AVVO profile. The answer offered is in the nature of general information, and should not be considered as tailored legal advice. I offer answers as a service to the community with my firm belief that you should try gain a good outcome for your legal issue and to avoid a bad outcome if you can.
There is the possibility that you could be evicted. You are correct about that. But while you could certainly consult the Attorney General's office, you could hire an investigator for a relatively low fee who could put together the case for you. The same investigators who check whether tenants are primary residents could do the same checking for a tenant in your position. This is not, however, something you should be doing without an attorney.
You can contact the Attorney General to look into your situation. At which point you may also face eviction., or retaliation from the landlord. You really should discuss your situation with an attorney.
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