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If a landlord fails to provide a renewal lease on time, what are the guidelines for notice, renewal and increase?

Brooklyn, NY |

I have lived in the same apartment for 4 years. This year, the landlord defaulted to send renewal, the original agreement expired in September of 2012. I proceeded to pay month-to-month based on my previous rate, and had heard nothing regarding the renewal that I requested via phone. I received an email one week ago (12/20/2012) saying that I should expect my renewal information in a few days because they noticed it had expired. Today I received a new lease agreement (is not a renewal, does not document any renewal terms and does not reference a 1 or 2 year option reflecting percentage choices as per usual). It is a new agreement starting 1/1/2013 with a 28% increase. (from 2334 to 3000/month). 1) Can they raise/renew with such short notice? 2) what are max increases for renewal?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Dear can they raise/renew with such short notice?

There are no rules or regulations controlling rent increases and renewal periods for tenancies that are not rent stabilized. You did not indicate that your tenancy is rent stabilized. The rules of the "free market" are at play, and that allows the landlord to dictate or decide to renew or not and at a particular increase. A non-rent stabilized tenant can negotiate the rent increase. If an agreement is made for the new rent and lease period, the landlord and tenant relation will continue.

If by chance you are rent stabilized, then you described a breach of the procedure for the offer of the renewal lease and likely a rent increase that is not sanctioned by law. Review the information about renewal leases and the current rent increase order at:

http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/dhcr/dhcr26.html

If you are rent stabilized you may need to engage an attorney to protect your tenancy rights.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

Asker

Posted

So is there no notice requirement at least? This is a new lease, not a renewal contract and they're asking for the increase and agreement to be made with 4 days notice? It is not rent stabalized.

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

No government rules apply in the free market. You and your landlord make up your rules of procedure. Your old lease may have a requirement for when the landlord should offer a renewal. You could negotiate for a schedule for incremental rent increases. But there is danger as well in that approach as you may inadvertently trap yourself into a long lease with no legal or easy way out.

Asker

Posted

So my precious lease states that they can send the renewal no later than 90 days before it expires- they defaulted on that, but can still make a change with 4 day notice now that they realize it's time to push paperwork?

Asker

Posted

So my precious lease states that they can send the renewal no later than 90 days before it expires- they defaulted on that, but can still make a change with 4 day notice now that they realize it's time to push paperwork?

Asker

Posted

So my precious lease states that they can send the renewal no later than 90 days before it expires- they defaulted on that, but can still make a change with 4 day notice now that they realize it's time to push paperwork?

Asker

Posted

(previous lease)

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

Your new information suggests that your landlord breached the prior lease requirement to send a renewal earlier than 90 days before lease expiration. A tenant could negotiate for a further provision that would force the landlord to make a timely offer on penalty of deeming the current lease and all terms extended without a renewal lease at the same rent. if you had that or a similar term in your lease you could have been more likely to a proper renewal lease timely made. The practical effect of the landlord's breach of the lease is that you now face a lawsuit. You can take the approach that the landlord's failure to make a timely offer nullifies this offer. If you intend to keep the apartment you may consider suing for breach of lease could work against your own best interest. Hire an attorney.

Asker

Posted

The last lease I have has the title: "this is a notice for renewal of lease and renewal lease form issued under section 252:.5(a) of the rent stabilization code." Doesn't that mean I fall under the rules of an offer to renew with 90 days notice? This lease has a section that states a commencement which shall be no less than 90 days from the receipt of renewal.

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

You need a face to face conference with an attorney to review your papers and rent history. You or you and your landlord may be confused about renewal leases and rent status. If your tenancy is not rent stabilized a mistaken reference to a rent stabilization renewal lease is just a mistake. You and your old landlord cannot by accident or purpose make the tenancy rent stabilized if by law it is not rent stabilized. Hire an attorney.

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I've done a little research and found that my building is currently listed as being under the 421-A status indicating that the building should be rent-controlled until the tax abatements expire. However, there has been no documentation on original or renewal leases of an expiration of rent stabilization under these circumstances. At this point, I am going to request verification from the Landlord that the building is under this status and request a renewal lease (as opposed to a new agreement) under the applicable rent stabilization regulations. References: housingnyc.com www1.dhcr.state.ny.us/BuildingSearch

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

421-a stabilization ordinarily provides a zone of rent stabilization only for tenants who come into the building during the tax abatement period. Some of those tenants could remain rent stabilized until they vacate. Others may have been given notice of the expiration of the 421-a period in their initial leases and if so, were informed that their period for rent stabilization would end when the tax abatement period concluded. Some others may become tenants during the 421-a and not receive notice that they are stabilized only due to the tax abatement. Those tenants may have been considered or treated as Rent Stabilized, but their rent regulation continues beyond the abatement period if the landlord did not provide notice in the original lease. Read more at: http://www.housingnyc.com/html/resources/dhcr/dhcr41.html

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Asker

Posted

Right- it is clear to me that my last renewal is under stabalized guidelines because the terms were In line with stabalized rent increases last year (3.75% for 1 year, 7.75% for a 2 year agreement). I checked all documents and I have no record of abatement expirations on any agreement that I've signed. And according to the city, this building is still under 421-a status.

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

Hire an attorney, as you will soon be facing an eviction proceeding for holding over in possession after the expiration of your last lease. An apartment rented as rent stabilized to a new tenant in a building rent stabilized by reason of a 421-a tax abatement, may continue as rent stabilized for that tenant, for all renewal leases, and beyond the life of the tax abatement, if the landlord failed to provide written notice in the original lease that the rent stabilization status would expire on the conclusion of the 421-a abatement period.

Posted

I agree with Mr. Smollen with one wrinkle. You mentioned that prior leases had options to renew for 1 or 2 year terms with set increases. Did the last lease have any option? If so, you may be able to exercise the option and extend the lease. If not, then assuming the unit is not rent contolled the landlord can ask for whatever increase he feels the market will bear.

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