Longevity Increase Applied When Vacancy Lease Was Due to Adding Roommates as Tenants

LVT Number: #32394

Rent-stabilized tenant complained prior to June 14, 2019, of rent overcharge and that landlord failed to offer a proper renewal lease. The DRA ruled for tenant, finding that landlord was entitled to a vacancy rent increase on Oct.

Rent-stabilized tenant complained prior to June 14, 2019, of rent overcharge and that landlord failed to offer a proper renewal lease. The DRA ruled for tenant, finding that landlord was entitled to a vacancy rent increase on Oct. 1, 2017, based on the addition of other tenants to tenant's lease, that after the four-year base date tenant paid a preferential rent that was lower than the legal regulated rent, that the rent collected after the base date was lawful, but that landlord wasn't entitled to a longevity increase in the 2017 vacancy lease because the original tenant had remained in occupancy of the apartment since 1996. 

Landlord appealed and won. Under the pre-HSTPA law in effect when the complaint was considered, landlord was entitled to a vacancy rent increase and to a longevity rent increase when additional tenants were added in 2017, since no vacancy increase had been taken within eight years before the vacancy increase at issue. In this case, in response to tenant's request, two additional tenants were added to tenant's lease commencing Oct. 1, 2017. There had been no prior vacancy increase for the apartment since 2001. So, in October 2017, landlord was entitled to a 19.25 percent vacancy increase and a longevity increase of 9.6 percent (0.6 x 16 years). During the overcharge lookback period tenant paid $1,200 per month, which was the collectible preferential rent. There was no overcharge.

89-21 153 LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. KT110011RO (12/6/22)[4-pg. document]