Tenant Needn't Pay MCI Increase Under Vacancy Lease If Not Notified of Pending Application
LVT Number: #32302
Landlord applied for MCI rent hikes based on installation of a new roof, building facade, and sidewalk bridge set up during the work. The DRA ruled for landlord. Tenant appealed and lost. Tenant claimed that he signed a lease for the apartment on June 3, 2019, without notification from landlord of the pending MCI rent increase application. Tenant argued that the MCI rent increase shouldn't be applied to him until his lease was up for renewal. In response, landlord said it wouldn't charge tenant the MCI increase during his vacancy lease. The DHCR noted that, for an MCI rent increase to be collectible during the term of a lease in effect at the time of the issuance of the rent increase order, the lease must contain a provision authorizing the collection of the increase pursuant to a DHCR order. If the lease is a vacancy lease, it must contain a specific clause informing the tenant of the pending proceeding and advising that the rent charged was subject to the MCI rent increase. But the DHCR ruled against tenant. The terms of tenant's lease would resolve the issue. Tenant's claim didn't affect landlord's general entitlement to an MCI increase for the entire building.
Carey: DHCR Adm. Rev. Docket No. JU210029RT (10/13/22)[1-pg. document]