RETURN OF WRONGFULLY DEREGULATED APARTMENTS TO RENT STABILIZATION:
If your apartment has been wrongfully deregulated, your apartment can be returned to the protections of rent stabilization. Your rent may be lowered substantially, and your lease subject to unlimited renewals, at your option, with rent increases governed by the Rent Guidelines Board. You may be entitled to awards for overcharges, treble damages, interest and attorney’s fees.
There are three primary avenues that you may take to secure your rights: 1) a complaint filed with DHCR, 2) an action brought in Supreme Court, or 3) a Housing Court nonpayment proceeding brought by the landlord after you withhold rent, or a holdover proceeding after your “market rate” lease has expired, or your month-to-month tenancy has been terminated.
Each avenue has advantages and disadvantages and each avenue has different costs involved. We strongly urge you to gather as much information as possible about your apartment and the building in which you live and consult with a competent tenant attorney to ascertain your rights and determine which avenue is best for you.
We also strongly recommend that you take action immediately. There is a four year statute of limitation on claims for rent overcharge, and the courts and DHCR are generally prohibited from examining the rental history of an apartment more than four years prior to the time that you file your claim. While there are exceptions to that rule, you run the risk that your rent will be immune from challenge, or you can lose the ability to look back to a much lower stabilized rent in the registration history for your apartment if you wait to file your claim.
Whether you contact our firm for consultation, select another tenant law firm or gather the information yourself and attend one of the many housing clinics available in New York City, it is imperative that you ascertain and protect your rights promptly.
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