Rent Stabilization Archives

Isn't affordability a central factor re NYC rent increases?

Some readers of this blog, and many New York City residents generally, might be flatly bewildered by reasoning recently advanced by an advocate for city landlords regarding increases on rent-stabilized apartments.

HCR (DHCR) FOIL Procedures Updated

HCR (formerly known as DHCR) is the agency that has supervision over rent-stabilized and rent-controlled apartments. There are many proceedings that are handled by the HCR, including overcharge complaints, MCI applications, rent reduction applications, luxury deregulation petitions...

Demolition eviction: a new tactic for landlords to evict rent-stabilized tenants

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.

Murphy Has Legs - Long-Term Residents Granted Succession

In December 2013, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in Murphy v. DHCR, that a long-term Mitchell-Lama resident has succession rights even though his mother had not named him on one "income affidavit." Mr. Murphy was represented by HMGDJ partner Samuel Himmelstein.  Three recent decisions, an Appellate Term, 2nd Department decision, a Housing Court (Kings County) decision and a DHCR Mitchell-Lama succession determination have cited Murphy in upholding succession claims.

Rent Reduction for Terminating Electrical Inclusion without DHCR approval

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.

Judge Finds That Rent Has to be Set Based Upon the "Default Formula"

In the 1980's, a Brooklyn brownstone containing 7 units was converted to 4 units. None of the units were ever registered with the DHCR. A duplex unit was occupied by the owners from 1998 to 2008. In 2008, these owners sold the building, and the new owners rented the duplex to new tenants. They were given a "market" lease and paid the rent demanded for 4 years. In 2012, a Housing Court Judge determined that the tenants were rent stabilized and ordered a trial on rent overcharge. After trial, Housing Court Judge McClanahan found, in Chun v. Raywood, that the legal rent had to be set based on the DHCR's "default formula," a calculation used when no reliable rental history records are available, and ordered the owners to refund the amount overpaid for the past 4 years, plus interest. Under the "default formula" the rent could be set on the basis of the lowest rent stabilized rent for a comparable apartment in the same line of apartments, or on other alternative formulas that would generally result in a lower rent.

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