Landlord Must Continue to Charge Preferential Rent
LVT Number: 16541
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge. Landlord claimed the apartment was exempt from rent stabilization and that he had only charged tenant a preferential rent for one lease period. The DHCR ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed, claiming that the DHCR's decision was unreasonable. The court and appeals court ruled against landlord. The DHCR reasonably found that the apartment wasn't exempt from stabilization while tenant was being charged a preferential rent that was less than $2,000 per month. There was no written agreement between landlord and tenant regarding the preferential rent. So this rent was the legal rent landlord could charge tenant. Landlord must continue to charge tenant the preferential rent, subject to proper renewal increases, until tenant moves out.
Melendez v. DHCR: NYLJ, 4/14/03, p. 30, col. 5 (App. Div. 2 Dept.; Altman, JP, Goldstein, Luciano, Miller, JJ)