Thursday, December 18, 2008

6-Year Rent Guidelines Rule Does Not Apply to Us

In June 2008, the Rent Guidelines Board issued an order that those renewing their rent stabilized leases effective October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009 had to pay
  • 4.5% increase for a 1-year lease, or
  • 8.5% increase for a 2-year lease
BUT the RGB also said that those living in their rent stabilized apartments for 6 years or longer whose rents were under $1000 had to pay the higher alternative increase of $45 for a 1-year lease or $85 for a 2-year lease. If a tenant was paying $500 a month, an increase of $45 would come to 9% and an increase of $85 would come to 17% ! That's steep.

While the Legal Aid Society is suing to undo that provision, Legal Aid attorney Ellen Davidson persuaded the state's housing agency, the Division of Housing & Community Renewal (DHCR), that this "alternative" increase does not apply to tenants whose buildings were not in rent stabilization 6 years ago. (Click here for a copy of DHCR's Opinion Letter.) That means we are protected since we entered rent stabilization in January 2005.

Stellar Management has not sought the alternative minimum -- as far as the tenants' association knows. If your lease renewal (for a lease starting any time from Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009) did ask for that higher amount, please contact the Executive Committee.

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