Monday, October 5, 2009


DHCR and Stellar Management have responded to our complaint about submetering.  That complaint says that when the building became submetered, Stellar should have rolled back the appliance surcharge amounts that became part of our base stabilized rents.

DHCR requests more information from each of the 115 or so tenants who signed a complaint. 

BUT even if you haven't received your DHCR packet yet,  we need you to SIGN TWO LETTERS  (asking for an extension of time and authorizing our lawyer to represent you)

and get them to the Executive Committee members as soon as possible.  Click on the words "SIGN TWO LETTERS" for a copy of each letter.

THEN, get together as much as you can of the following:

  1. copies of all leases and lease renewals from December 2004 to now
  2. rent stubs from December 2004 to now
  3. your checkbook records
  4. cancelled rent checks or money orders from December 2004 to now.
You will need as many of those documents as you can find to fill in the sheets that DHCR has sent.  To fill them out:

  1. On the back of the "Answer" sheet ("Page:02"), in the top section about leases, write in the dates of each lease renewal between December 2004 and the present.

    Here are some important dates to remember as you fill in the charts:
    January 7, 2005 - we left Mitchell-Lama and entered rent stabilization. So the rent bills for December 2004 and January 2005 list any appliance surcharges SEPARATELY. Just put down the rent (with any income surcharge), but do NOT list the appliance surcharge on this page for those two months.

    January 1, 2008- Submetering began, so Stellar rolled back our rents according to DHCR per-room requirements as of March 1, 2008. So unless your new lease began that January, February or March 2008, your rent would have gone down in March.

  2. On the bottom of that same page, fill in the rents you paid from December 2004 to the present - going month by month. Start with the very lower right-hand corner (December 2004).

  3. On the next page, entitled "OTHER CHARGES/FEES" (it is "Page:03"), look at the spaces for December 2004 (all the way at the bottom right) and January 2005 (top right). In those spaces, fill in the APPLIANCE SURCHARGES you paid under Mitchell-Lama. Those are the same surcharges that became part of your stabilized rent the next month.
  4. After you have found all the documents you can, you can fill in the FRONT of the "ANSWER" sheet. Print: "Attached please find the following documentation in support of my rent overcharge complaint:" and then list the items that you have found, one by one. For example, "Attached please find the following documentation in support of my rent overcharge complaint:

    • rent stubs for January, February, April, December 2006;
    • rent stubs for March, April and November, 2007;
    • Cancelled rent payment checks for December 2004, February 2008, and January through June 2009"
We will be responding TOGETHER through our lawyer rather than individually - but our lawyer cannot help unless he has the information from each of us. We will have tables in the lobby (NOT Oct. 10-11) to collect the documents.  If you can sit at a table the weekend of Oct. 17-18, please contact Sue and stay posted for the schedule of table sitting.

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