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Rent Overcharge Complaints and Proceedings

We have extensive experience defending owners and landlords in rent overcharge actions and proceedings both before the courts of New York as well as administrative proceeding at DHCR. The rules governing how much an owner may charge a rent stabilized or controlled tenant are very intricate and complex and can be affected by a number of factors, including the apartment registration history, the history of DHCR orders affecting the apartment, whether an owner expended resources on improvements to the apartment or ordinary repairs, whether the prior tenant contained a preferential rent, and so on. The rules may sometimes seem endless. At Levy Tolman LLP we routinely represent owner’s interests in defense of rent overcharge proceedings.

 

In the Matter of the Administrative Appeal of Gwendolyn Fairley, DHCR Admin. Rev. Docket No. GP210003RT (5/23/18) 

In this rent overcharge proceeding, the tenant sought to bypass the four-year statute of limitations by alleging a fraudulent scheme to deregulate the apartment. Levy Tolman LLP represented the owner. DHCR found that the tenant was not overcharged and that the landlord properly charged a preferential rent. Even though the prior owner charged the tenant an illegal rent increase, the rent increase was outside of the four-year statute of limitations and there was no evidence of a fraudulent scheme to deregulate the apartment. The denial of the overcharge claim entitled Click here for the decision.

 

Michael J. D’Ambrose, et al, Rent Administrative Docket No. EQ 410029 R (08/22/2017)

In this DHCR Overcharge Proceeding, our client was a new owner to a building. The Tenant challenged a $600 rent increase from the previous registration. We were able to obtain the improvement records from the previous owner and demonstrate that the landlord was in fact permitted to increase the rent $862. DHCR denied Tenant’s rent overcharge claim and found that the prior owner expended $34,500 in individual apartment improvements to the subject apartment. Click here for the decision.

 

Lisa & Goran Tomic v. 92 East LLC, Index No. 151152/15 (Kern, J. Sup Co. New York Co., May 17, 2016).

In a resounding victory for the owner obtained by Levy Tolman LLP, the Court found that even though a prior owner overcharged the plaintiff-tenants, the Court refused to bypass the four-year statute of limitations and further held that the rent charged four-years prior to the filing of the complaint was the lawful rent. In this case, the new owner was unable to justify a rent increase from just over $200 to $1,700 from 2006 to 2007. The current tenants had occupied the apartment since 2007, have never received DHCR registrations or rent stabilized leases prior to the filing of the complaint. We navigated our client to the best course of action to mitigate its damages in a case where the owner was exposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars of liability. Click here for the decision.