Q & A

Performing Background Checks and Adding Nonspouse to Lease

December 28, 2009    

Q Is an owner violating the Rent Stabilization Code by doing a background check before adding someone to the lease agreement and/or before issuing keys? Also, is the owner allowed to charge a vacancy increase by adding someone to the lease other than...

Eliminate Risk of Abandoning Tenant Claiming Illegal Eviction

October 26, 2009    

Q One of my rent-stabilized tenants has been illegally subletting his apartment to someone for about five months. The tenant informed the subtenant that he was moving back to live in Algeria. When I found out about the situation, I gave the subtenant...

Setting Rent for Unit Previously Rented to Commercial Tenant

September 28, 2009    

Q One of my apartments had been commercially rented for three years and is registered as exempt from rent regulation. Now, I'd like to...

Do MCI Rent Hikes for Elevator Upgrades Apply to First-Floor Commercial Tenants?

June 24, 2009    

Q I have a mixed-use building with both commercial and residential tenants. When I apply for a major capital improvement (MCI) rent increase based on elevator upgrades and related engineering costs, will some of the MCI costs be passed on to the...

Does Elderly Life Partner Have Succession Rights?

June 24, 2009    

Q A tenant has just notified us that his girlfriend has been an occupant “domestic partner” for the past year by recently filing the “Notice to Owner/Succession Rights” DHCR form. The tenant is an 89-year-old rent-controlled...

Recovering Rent-Stabilized Apartment for Superintendent's Use

April 1, 2009    

Q I recently got a violation from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for not having a superintendent living in my building or within 200 feet or one block of my building. To correct the violation, I would like to recover a...

Failing to List Improvements on Annual Apartment Registration

April 1, 2009    

Q If I made improvements to a rent-stabilized apartment that qualify for a 1/40th rent increase, but I don't list those improvements on the annual rent registrations that I file with the DHCR, will I be disqualified from collecting the rent...

Digital TV Transition, Master Antenna Upgrades

March 18, 2009    

Q My buildings have master antennas that have been registered with the DHCR as a provided service. Only a handful of tenants do not have cable and are using the master antenna for their television broadcasting. What impact will the analog-to-digital...

Applying Rent Payment to Arrears or Specified Month

February 22, 2009    

Q If a tenant denotes a specific month to which to apply his rent payment, is the owner still allowed to apply the rent payment to the arrears and not to the specific month noted on the tenant's check?

Proving Nonprimary Residence with Foreign Tourist Visa

November 29, 2008    

Q I have a rent-stabilized tenant who I suspect may be here on a foreign tourist visa. Would you review the requirements for evicting a rent-stabilized tenant on the basis of nonprimary residence, and give me more information on whether I can show the...

Preferential Rent or Mere Calculation Error?

November 29, 2008    

Q A tenant signed and returned a lease that is now in effect. After I mailed his copy of the lease back to him, I realized that a calculation error was made in the tenant's favor. Therefore, I sent him an adjusted lease with the correct figures...

Tenant Denies Access for Non-Emergency Repairs

October 29, 2008    

Q I need access to an apartment whose tenant has filed a reduced-service complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). The tenant has denied me access to make repairs on more than one occasion. If the tenant keeps denying me...