Tenant Can Claim Rent Overcharge in Nonpayment Proceeding
LVT Number: 19228
Landlord sued in housing court to evict rent-stabilized tenant for nonpayment of rent. Tenant claimed that the rent charged was illegal and that there was an overcharge. She said that landlord charged a rent increase for unjustified apartment improvements. The court ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed and won. The appeals court said that tenant must pay the rent and must raise any claim questioning apartment improvements before the DHCR. Tenant appealed and won. Landlord wasn't required to seek the DHCR's approval before charging rent increases for apartment improvements to rent-stabilized tenants. And nothing in the Rent Stabilization Law or Code required tenant to go to the DHCR first with her claim. Tenant was entitled to claim that her rent increase was illegal in response to landlord's nonpayment claim.
Rockaway One Co., LLC v. Wiggins: NYLJ, 10/5/06, p. 22, col. 1 (App. Div. 2 Dept.; Krausman, JP, Luciano, Spalzino, Lifson, JJ)