preferential rent question
  • I am about to renew my lease soon. I noticed that I have been paying the "preferential" rent rather than the so called "actual" rent. Can the landlord just arbitrarily start asking me for the actual rent even if I sign the new lease for the preferential rent. Is there a way I can lock in the preferential rent
  • When you renewed your lease, was there a rider attached to it stating the amount for the preferential rent? If you have this in writing, attached to your lease, then they cannot raise your rent for that lease year; however, if nothing is in writing, then I suspect legally they can. Try to ensure you have the rider in writing, signed and dated by you and the landlord.
  • Q1: Can the landlord just arbitrarily start asking me for the actual rent even if I sign the new lease for the preferential rent?

    No. If you sign a lease stating you will pay a given price, that is the rate you pay for the duration of the lease. The landlord can not increase the rent during the lease period.

    Q2: Is there a way I can lock in the preferential rent?

    Um, how long is your definition of lock in? If he chose to, he could give you two year lease at a preferential rate. It is a little complicated because he is obligated to give you up to a two year lease if you request it, but he is not required to do so at a preferential rate.

    Note I assume you are using the term "actual rent" to mean the same thing as "maximum legal rent". Here's more advice from people who answer such questions full time:

    http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_and_answers/preferential_rents

    They point out that their are some circumstances which may lock in a preferential rate, but that they are unusual.
  • Esperanza said:

    When you renewed your lease, was there a rider attached to it stating the amount for the preferential rent? If you have this in writing, attached to your lease, then they cannot raise your rent for that lease year; however, if nothing is in writing, then I suspect legally they can. Try to ensure you have the rider in writing, signed and dated by you and the landlord.



    Hi and thanks for the reply. Its not in a rider its in the actual lease.
    So at least I know for the next two years its not going to be 2000 a month. But I guess for the next lease its up in the air.
  • whynot_31 said:

    Q1: Can the landlord just arbitrarily start asking me for the actual rent even if I sign the new lease for the preferential rent?

    No. If you sign a lease stating you will pay a given price, that is the rate you pay for the duration of the lease. The landlord can not increase the rent during the lease period.

    Q2: Is there a way I can lock in the preferential rent?

    Um, how long is your definition of lock in? If he chose to, he could give you two year lease at a preferential rate. It is a little complicated because he is obligated to give you up to a two year lease if you request it, but he is not required to do so at a preferential rate.

    Note I assume you are using the term "actual rent" to mean the same thing as "maximum legal rent". Here's more advice from people who answer such questions full time:

    http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_and_answers/preferential_rents

    They point out that their are some circumstances which may lock in a preferential rate, but that they are unusual.



    why_not My hero. How are you?
    Thank you for the information and link. I was hoping that I could remain with the preferential rent rate though out each lease, but from what you are saying every two years when I wait for the new lease to sign I have to worry about whether it will be the 2000+ rent or the rent I can afford

  • Yup.

    You should also hope that the building is not sold.

  • Well, it's good you have it in writing. I had to badger a landlord each year for it, or they would give me market rate. This was for an apartment in the Bronx. Hahaha.
  • Here's an article about how tenants living at 285 Schenectady in Crown Heights are no longer being offered a preferential rent:

    http://citylimits.org/2015/01/28/tenants-see-huge-rent-spikes-when-landlords-end-discounts/

    At the expiration of the leases, the landlord is increasing rents to the Max Legal rent.
  • whynot_31 said:

    Here's an article about how tenants living at 285 Schenectady in Crown Heights are no longer being offered a preferential rent:

    http://citylimits.org/2015/01/28/tenants-see-huge-rent-spikes-when-landlords-end-discounts/

    At the expiration of the leases, the landlord is increasing rents to the Max Legal rent.



    I remember when that area was "Dodge City."  It used to be quite scary.  Things have changed for the better in recent years.  Good luck to them in this fight.
  • Tenants living in the buildings profiled at the end of the article might be spared the hikes as a result of the agreement the previous landlord made to receive the HUD-backed mortgage.

    However, in the majority of cases, such agreements are either not in place and/or the tenants are not able to secure lawyers to assist them in enforcing such agreements.

    ...so out the door I went.





  • whynot_31 said:

    Here's an article about how tenants living at 285 Schenectady in Crown Heights are no longer being offered a preferential rent:

    http://citylimits.org/2015/01/28/tenants-see-huge-rent-spikes-when-landlords-end-discounts/

    At the expiration of the leases, the landlord is increasing rents to the Max Legal rent.



    The landlord is now pursuing eviction: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2015/03/crown_heights_landlord_is_taking_tenants_to_court_in_attempt_to_drastically.php

    While the present tenants might not want to pay that much for their apartments, the future tenants are willing and able.

  • The advocates have launched a petition: https://www.change.org/p/bill-de-blasio-stop-displacement-in-crown-heights

    I am not sure how DeBlasio could intervene.
  • People need to realize that rental property does not qualify as a charitable deduction so they also need to realize that the landlord is entitled to make money and does not have to subsidize them if he/she doesn't want to.

    I myself am a renter and as a former homeowner who had a rental apartment I know both sides and I have to agree with the landlords on this one.

    By the way, I suspect many of those violations were cleared years ago and just not removed from the record because a new inspection was never requested.
  • What amazes me is the advocates' belief that DeBlasio can intervene in situations where the landlord is acting within the law.

    They seem to not understand that even though DeBlasio is sympathetic to the goals of having a city that is economically diverse, he can not intervene in individual situations wherein the city is changing as a result of landlords acting within their rights.
  • Nothing amazes me anymore, and you can't blame them for trying. I don't like rent increases anymore than the next person but when the costs of ownership go up the tenants have to pay. I feel bad that they may not be able to afford to live anywhere and that when you're in a one bedroom it's really not that easy to downsize.
  • These tenants are not facing increases because the costs of ownership have gone up.

    They are facing increases because the demand for apartments has increased, and the folks desiring to live in the apartment have the means to pay more than the folks who presently live in the apartment.

    I think some of the confusion in the minds of long term tenants stems from why they believed the landlord was giving them a preferential rent: They don't realize that the landlord can be incompliance with rent stabilization laws while charging them less than the Max Legal Rent, and that doing so does not abridge their rights to charge Max Legal Rent in the future.
  • They are defining a landlord's ability to provide preferential rent as a "loop hole". In actuality, it written quite clearly into the code, and in situations where the market will not support the Max Legal Rent, allow landlords to charge a lower market rent.

    When (and if) the market supports higher rents, the landlord is legally allowed to increase the rent up to Max Legal.


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