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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 28418
Experience:  Attorney
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I live in a rent stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. I currently

Customer Question

I live in a rent stabilized apartment in Brooklyn. I currently pay 3000, and as of 8/1/16 my rent will be going up to 3100. I called 311 and found out that the legal rent increase for a rent stabilized apartment is 0% (last year it was 1% and my rent also went up the exact same amount of 100). The lease indicates a legal rent of 3104.82 and a preferential rate of 2995.18, and a monthly surcharge of 104.82. Before I renew my lease, I'd like to find out if this is legitimate, because it seems to me there may be something I'm not understanding here, or possibly even something sketchy. Thanks
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Hi, I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. No, it's not legal. Your landlord cannot increase your rent when the legal rent increase is 0%. The landlord also wasn't allowed to raise your rent $100 last year. If you were paying $2,900, the legal increase amount was $29/month. You can call the rent stabilization board and ask them to contact the landlord on your behalf about what he's allowed to charge going forward, and you can sue the landlord for a refund of the $71/month you paid last year when he wasn't allowed to ask for that. Disguising rent as a "monthly surcharge" is also not allowed unless there is some additional benefit that you negotiated and agreed to pay for, like if the landlord did improvements to your apartment (with your consent). Otherwise, that's all illegal. It would also be illegal for a landlord to try to evict a tenant for exercising his rights under the rent stabilization act, so he cannot make you leave if you sue him or refuse to pay more. His act in violating the law is a complete defense if the landlord files for eviction. Here is more information on small claims court:https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/nyc/smallclaims/startingcase.shtml If you have any questions or concerns about my response, please reply WITHOUT RATING. It's important that you are 100% satisfied with my courtesy and professionalism. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so I am paid for the time I spend answering questions. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. There is no charge for follow-up questions. Thank you.