If you’re a victim of illegal subletting,
you may be entitled to thousands of dollars
in rent overcharges and damages…
If you live in a sublet, it’s possible you are a victim of an “illusory tenancy” perpetrated by your landlord. An illusory tenancy is a tactic used by unscrupulous landlords, and sometimes even tenants who sublet, to obtain higher profits on regulated apartments than the law allows. Here’s an example of how it works…
Let’s say the legal regulated rent a tenant pays before moving out is $1000. Under the law, with a 20% increase for a “vacancy lease,” the rent for the next tenant should be $1200 for a two-year term. But instead, the landlord leases the unit to a friend or family member for $1500.00, who in turn subleases it to you at that amount.
You may think you got a decent deal, but in reality you are overpaying by $500.00 per month on that apartment. Some subtenants maintain an arrangement like this one for years, without ever realizing they’re being cheated.
Fortunately, the law is on your side and attorney Jeff McAdams has extensive experience in applying legal remedies for renters caught in the illusory tenancy net. Here’s what it’s possible to obtain if you win your case:
- You may not only be entitled to get back all the money you overpaid, but also damages…
- The damages can be up to three times the amount of the overcharge. So you can see how a financial recovery in an illusory tenancy case can be substantial.
- You might also get to stay in the unit as a s rent-stabilized tenant going forward.
Your first step is to secure a certified rent history printout, which you can get at Homes and Community Renewal (formerly known as the Division of Housing and Community Renewal). HCR has several New York City offices. If you find gaps or large jumps in the rental rate when you examine the apartment’s rent history, call McAdams Law immediately for a free brief initial phone consultation. You may have an illusory tenancy case.
Other subletting issues…
There are strict guidelines for subletting a rent-stabilized apartment in New York City. If you do not abide by them, you may end up losing your apartment. Landlords frequently take every opportunity to claim lease violations and evict tenants in regulated units.
Generally, the landlord cannot withhold consent to sublet unreasonably. However, you must still conform to certain legal requirements. You can find out more about subletting issues in these informative articles Jeff has published:
Before you sublet your apartment or decide to sublet from someone else, it may be a good idea to learn more about your rights before you sign the lease. Call McAdams Law today with your questions for a free, brief initial phone consultation.
You can reach Tenants’ lawyer Jeff McAdams at 212-406-5145. Call to find out more about subletting rights and remedies that may be available to you.
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