Tenant’s Retaliation and Rent Overcharge Complaint Backfires in Landlord’s Favor

By Carolyn Z. Rualo

A residential tenant who enjoyed a temporary and revocable preferential rent until recently retaliating against the owner by bringing an overcharge proceeding to challenge the apartment’s rent history as registered with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal. Unfortunately, the current landlord, our client, was not the owner at the time that this tenant claimed some form of fraud was committed. Nonetheless, because current owners step into the shoes of past owners, we were charged with the difficult responsibility of proving the registrations were proper.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. investigated and guided the owner through what inquiries should be made of its seller and the Department of Buildings to prove that the registered rents are legal. We provided contractor invoices and proof of payment then laid out the individual apartment improvement and vacancy increase figures to support the calculation of rents over a ten year period and won the case.

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Carolyn Z. Rualo

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