Landlord Required Six Month's Advance Payment of Rent
LVT Number: 15531
Tenant complained of a rent overcharge, not because the rent collected was greater than the legal rent, but because landlord demanded and collected six month's rent in advance of when it was due. The DRA ruled for tenant and ordered landlord to refund interest on the advance rent. Landlord appealed, claiming that tenant voluntarily paid the advance rent and that a DHCR opinion letter had stated this was an acceptable practice. The DHCR ruled against landlord. Rent Stabilization Code Section 2525.4 bars advance collection of rent, despite any agreement to the contrary. The DHCR opinion letter addressed the situation where a tenant was going to be away for an extended period. In this case, landlord required tenant to pay six month's advance rent as a condition for landlord renting the apartment to her. This was considered a rent overcharge under the code, and landlord had to pay back interest. The DRA did miscalculate the interest due, and this was adjusted by the DHCR.
Sky Mgmt. Corp.: DHCR Admin. Rev. Dckt. No. OH410048RO (11/7/01) [2-pg. doc.]