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If a tenant lives in an rent controlled apartment since

Customer Question
If a tenant lives...

If a tenant lives in an rent controlled apartment since 1969, never signed a lease, always paid the rent verbally agreed with the landlord + the tenant on his own added a minimal increase every year. Now he wants to go back to rent control! At what point does a tent waive his right to rent control?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

New York

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

No. There isn't any leases presently and there wasn't any lease for many many years.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
11/15/2017
Lawyer: Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney replied 5 months ago
Richard - Bizlaw
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10,793
Experience: Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

Rent control regulations cannot be waived so it is not a question of going back to rent control regulations you were always under them. If the landlord accepted a rent increase that was less than the maximum increase to which he was entitled, he cannot go back and recover it. He can increase the rent to the maximum allowable under the rent control regulations.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I think you missed my point. The question is not about the landlord. The question is if the tenant can now after 48 years of not using any rent control guidelines, can he just go back and start paying rent of what the guideline dictates which is about 10% of what he's currently paying (rent of 1969 $80 vs. $900, because there was never any increases filed by the landlord)
Lawyer: Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney replied 5 months ago

The issue is whether the current rent is equal to what the rent should be under rent control with all the allowed increases. Rent control does not fix the rent for ever, it sets an initial rent at the time of the rental and then allows increases annually. If the rent today is not more than would be allowed, the rent stays the same. If the rent is higher than the maximum allowed (and today it would not be the 1969 rent) it goes down to the maximum allowed.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
But, if no rent control guidelines were followed for 48 years, voluntarily by the tenant, and the rent he was paying was market value or less, can the tenant just out of the blue fall back to the guidelines which would put the landlord (private 3 family home) in a serious loss of income that will not cover expenses of the house (e.g. heat, maintenance etc.) Didn't he waive his rights to rent control? Isn't there any statue of limitations on this? I believe that this is not a normal situation and it need real digging into the law to figure this out.
Lawyer: Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney replied 5 months ago

You cannot waive rent control rights but you would not go back to what it was in 1969. You would look at what is the rent that could be charged now taking into account all permitted increases. If that amount is less than the current rent, going forward the lower rent is charged. If the rent that could be charged is higher, then the current rent is charged. There would be a statute of limitations of two years on rent controlled apartments.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Can you explain these 2 lines that you wrote? "If the rent that could be charged is higher, then the current (??) rent is charged. There would be a statute of limitations of two years on rent controlled apartments.We received a "Determination" letter from the NYS Division of Housing. Please read it and please tell if it's appealable.
Lawyer: Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney replied 5 months ago

Yes you can appeal the order. What I meant was if the maximum rent was more than the current rent you could only charge the current rent. I suggest you appeal to get into a court as the decision gives a windfall to the tenant when neither of you understood the place to be subject rent control.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

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Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
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