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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33071
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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I currently leave in Manhattan in a non-stabilized

Customer Question

Hello, I currently leave in Manhattan in a non-stabilized rent building (on the upper east side). My 1 year lease expires on 8/31/15 and was up for renewal. I received two notices to renew it for 1 year at 2% increase and 2 years at 4%. I communicated
in writing to my managment that I wanted to renew it but that I was applying this year without a guarantor. I now met the conditions on my own having a new job. Management just answered me that the two prior wriiten offers to renew my lease at 2% for 1 year
and 4% for two years was no longer possible and that the only option was for me to accept a 15% increase!!!! (the question of the guarantorship was not even addressed as the new contract still required a guarantor). I learned that between the two first letters
of renewal and my request to remove the guarantor (about 10 days), my building got sold to a new owner. Is this legal? Given that I had two written renewal contracts at 2%, could then withdraw these offers so fast and replace it by a 15% increase? I understand
that the increase is not capped because this is a non-stabilized place. However, is it legal to make two offers in such a short period of time to the same tenant with 2% and then 15% increase? Do I have any recourse? I am a single mother with a 3 year old
and I really would not want to move out. Please help me. Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you today.
Did you ever sign a lease or were these just negotiation letters from the landlord about renewal?
Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They sent me two contracts to sign called "non-stabilized lease extension agreement in the mails". These were already said non negotiable. These were contracts to sign, not documents for negotiation.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the clarification. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You did not answer, I am sorry.

these were two contracts to sign that stated to be "non-negotiable" already.

Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, until the new lease is signed by the landlord they are free to withdraw the offer and submit a new one. So, in a non stabilized situation the landlord is free to renew at a rent which is whatever the market will bear. The only limitation is that it can not violate the Fair Housing Act. In other words rent can not be raised on account of race, religion, ethnicity, etc.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Non negotiable just meant the landlord was not looking for a counter from you. It did not mean that the offer was binding before a lease was executed.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Before acceptance (in a lease that means signed) all offers are revocable unless otherwise stated.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Just because the rent is non negotiable, though, does not mean you can not ask for other concessions. For example, you can request new carpeting, paint, appliances, etc.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
You can also request a rent concession, such as a free month or or partial abatement.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
Otherwise, you can vote with your wallet and take your business elsewhere and let the landlord can sit with a vacant unit or spend money to find a new tenant.
Expert:  Loren replied 2 years ago.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not necessarily a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.