By: Jay Romano
December 22nd, 2011
Q: My rent-stabilized apartment in New York City has just become deregulated as a result of high rent/high income deregulation. Is the landlord legally required to give me first consideration on a new lease at market rate, and must that new rate be reasonable and legally fair?
A: According to Dov Treiman, a Manhattan lawyer, when the owner obtains an order decontrolling an apartment for high rent/high income, the owner must offer the tenant a first lease at a rent not in excess of the market rent. “The tenant should therefore investigate what similar apartments in the area are going for,” Mr. Treiman said. “The law does not specify the length of the first lease,” he continued — only that it must be what would have been stipulated in an ordinary transaction. Mr. Treiman noted that he had seen successful challenges to leases under this provision of the law, when the first lease after the deregulation order was for less than a year. However, he also said that any lease after the first one had almost no legal constraints at all.