If you occupy a rent-stabilized apartment, you understand the value of your property. Rents are high in New York, and your current rent may be the only affordable way for you to remain in your home and stay afloat financially.
Approximately two-thirds of the apartments in New York City are rent regulated. Rent regulated apartments include rent controlled and rent stabilized apartments in New York City and certain counties.
In a decision dated December 2, 2013, 98 Riverside Drive v. DHCR and 98 Riverside Drive Tenants Association, Justice Cynthia S. Kern of the New York State Supreme Court dismissed the landlord's Article 78 petition against a rent reduction order issued by the DHCR which was based upon the landlord's unilateral discontinuance of electrical inclusion (electricity included in the rent). The tenants had always had their electricity included in their rent. The landlord converted the building from "master metering" to individual metering by installing individual meters in tenants' apartments. The Rent Stabilization Law and Rent Control Law require that a landlord first apply to the DHCR for permission before discontinuing electrical inclusion.
Rent Controlled tenants won a big victory recently when Supreme Court Justice Schlomo S. Hagler upheld a DHCR decision denying "hardship" rent increases for 27 elderly tenants living at London Terrace Towers in Chelsea. London Terrace Associates v. DHCR v. Four Corners Tenants Association, Index No. 103341/11 (Sup Ct, NY Co, January 18, 2012). I was the lead attorney on the case that goes back more than ten years. The so-called "hardship" rent increases would have doubled and tripled rents of the few remaining rent controlled tenants in a co-op.