No Vacancy Deregulation for Apartment Based on Rent Act of 2015
LVT Number: #31703
Tenant complained to the DHCR in 2017 of rent overcharge and improper deregulation of his apartment. The DRA found no overcharge but ruled that the apartment was rent stabilized. When tenant moved in on Aug. 1, 2017, the legal regulated rent was $2,920 and he paid a preferential rent of $2,400. Under the Rent Act of 2015, effective June 15, 2015, the legal regulated rent for the prior tenant didn't meet the high-rent deregulation threshold then in effect. So the apartment wasn't subject to vacancy deregulation when tenant moved in.
Landlord appealed and lost. The provisions of the 2015 Rent Act stating that deregulation was contingent upon the prior tenant actually paying the threshold rent amount in order to deregulate the apartment for the incoming tenant applied to any unit that became vacant after June 15, 2015. Since the complaining tenant moved in in 2017 and the prior tenant hadn't been paying a rent above the deregulation threshold then in effect, landlord couldn't deregulate the unit even though the new tenant's rent exceeded the threshold. Landlord incorrectly relied incorrectly on Altman v. 285 W. Fourth LLC, where in 2018 New York's highest court upheld another landlord's right to deregulate an apartment under similar circumstances in 2005. The Altman court pointed out that "we do not address the effect of the 2015 amendments to the statute."
15 Crooke Realty LLC: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. JS210039RO (9/8/21)[4-pg. document]