Landlord Can't Collect Higher Renewal Increase
LVT Number: #24593
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. The building had been removed from Mitchell-Lama in 2006 and became rent stabilized. When tenant's lease was renewed in 2009, landlord interpreted Rent Guidelines Board Order No. 40 to permit a higher renewal increase because tenant's vacancy lease was signed six years or more before the renewal date. The DRA ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed and lost. Landlord can't collect the higher renewal increase permitted under RGBO No. 40 for long-term tenants. RGBO No. 40 states that the longevity increase authorized by the Rent Stabilization Law applied where the most recent vacancy lease was executed six years or more before the date of the renewal lease issued under RGBO No. 40. This meant that landlord could collect a longevity increase from tenant only if tenant had lived in a rent-stabilized apartment for six years or more. It didn't matter that the prior tenant had lived in the Mitchell-Lama building for more than six years before a vacancy. His apartment had been rent stabilized for only three years at the time of the renewal lease in question. So landlord couldn't collect $45 (one-year increase) or $85 (two-year increase). Landlord could collect only the 4.5 percent (one-year) or 8.5 percent (two-year) increases permitted by the order.
Columbus 95th Street LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. XL410027RO (12/3/12) [3-pg. doc.]