Newly Created Apartment Was Deregulated When Tenant Moved In

LandlordsNY Member

LandlordsNY Member

Unregulated tenant complained in 2016 of rent overcharge and improper apartment deregulation. The DRA ruled against tenant, who appealed and lost. Prior landlord performed a gut renovation at the vacant building in 2006, changing the number of apartments from 7 to 15. The first rent charged for the apartment in 2007 was $2,700 per month. Tenant lived in the apartment as prior tenant's roommate at that time and during subsequent lease renewals. Tenant got her own lease in October 2011 at a monthly rent of $3,300. The DRA ruled that the apartment became deregulated before tenant received her lease. The apartment didn't exist before 2007. That "vacancy" was succeeded by a legal regulated rent of more than $2,000, and subsequent vacancy rents for leases given to other tenants of record before tenant received a lease exceeded $2,500 per month. So the apartment's rent exceeded the deregulation threshold before tenant's vacancy lease, and the DHCR had no jurisdiction over tenant's rent. There were no rent registrations for the apartment between 1984 and 2006 because it didn't exist. And, if landlord registered the apartment as rent stabilized after 2006, it didn't matter because the rent and regulatory status are proved by the rent records, not the registrations. [Download PDF of decision here.]

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