Renters: Here’s What To Do if You Think Your New York Landlord is Overcharging You for Rent
Many areas of New York have strict rent control laws in place that are meant to help keep the cost of rent at a reasonable level. Many landlords, however, charge rates above these levels. This is known as overcharging, and in many situations is illegal and can be grounds for a lawsuit.
It is important to note, however, that there are some situations where a landlord can file paperwork in order to allow them to charge higher rates than are typically permitted. Prior to moving forward with any lawsuit, it is a good idea to have an attorney look into whether this type of permit was filed, and whether it was properly approved.
What Claims Can You Bring?
When filing a case against your landlord, you will need to make the claim that they are charging you more than what is legally allowed. Make sure to keep any documents and receipts proving you paid the amount. These laws apply to both residential apartments and commercial space throughout many areas of New York City.
Where Do You File Claims?
When filing a claim against a landlord for rent overcharge, you will have two options in terms of where the charges are filed. For most cases, the best option is to file with the area courts. The other option is to file a complaint with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). This option is much more restricted than working through the normal court process, however, and should not be your first choice in most situations.
Since each case is unique, tenants should always speak with an attorney about where to file the claim, and who to name as the defendant. This is important because it could be a property manager, the property owner, or any number of other parties who are involved with the overcharges. One thing is for certain: help from a highly experienced, compassionate lawyer like Susan Crumiller with years of practice is invaluable to your case.
Is There a Statute of Limitations?
Yes–The current laws state that in most circumstances, one must file a suit against their landlord for rent overcharge cases within four years. Waiting longer than this will, in most cases, invalidate your claims. If, however, there is fraud involved, this statute of limitations is not applicable.
If you believe that you are the victim of rent overcharging in New York, please contact us right away. We’ll work through the details of your case and determine if it is a good idea to file a suit.