My neighbor and I received our DHCR report in the mail today. Both of us are paying $950 a month. From 1978 to 2010 the rents are very low ($600) and fall into the legal regulated rent column. In 2011 the low legal regulated rent moved to the preferential column follow by a $1350 legal regulated rent. Both of our DHCR reports show low rents then the last low rent was put in the preferential rent. Did the landlord deregulate our rent illegally? Also how do I know if the landlord didn't up the rents illegally?
Dear New York Tenant:
Why do you believe your apartment was deregulated? The rent history did not report a rent in excess of the high rent deregulation threshold and your rent is well below the current high rent mark of $2700+ per month.
Now there is no way to tell from your description whether the landlord filed a false report of registered rent somewhere along the way; but if so, the landlord did not get close to the deregulation rent set in 1997 at $2000 per month.
If you have a sense of confusion that is normal. DHCR does not monitor rent registrations for accuracy or for fraud. The system depended on a tenant launching an investigation into the Rent History by filing a complaint. The legislature long ago enacted a statute of limitations that blunted the look back period for a wrong rent increase to four years, but while that law still is in place DHCR has more ability know to find out if rent increased illegally. The Tenant Protection Unit also now audits buildings where there seems to be a pattern of mistakes in rent registration.
So you could visit the local DHCR office and meet a counselor to go over your rent history; but from the information provided in your question your apartment should remain rent stabilized for a very long time.
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 seems to be no reason to believe that the apartment is deregulated. What you really should want to know about if your rent level is legal. Demand to see the landlord's records justifying the increases from one tenancy to the next. But I really would not recommend your doing that without an attorney. However, you can file an overcharge complaint with the DHCR and set forth your questions, demanding that the rents be justified.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline