Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stuy-Town rents ruling (kind of)


By Stuy-Town & Peter Cooper Tenants Association

The State Division of Housing and Community Renewal ("DHCR") yesterday advised Justice Richard B. Lowe that it was unable to issue any opinion regarding the the rent formulas that should be used to calculate current legal rents and past rent overcharges for the apartments at issue in the Roberts case, as Judge Lowe asked DHCR to do on January 18, 2011.

The DHCR maintains that the calculations are so specific to each of the affected apartments that it would be impossible to devise a general formula to respond to the Judge's request. It suggested that the Judge may wish to appoint a Special Referee to undertake the complex factual investigations DHCR believes are necessary to adjust the rent and calculate the damages concerning each of the more than 4,000 affected apartments.

We are disappointed that the DHCR declined to use their expertise to bring certainty for the many tenants who have been harmed in our community. DHCR did, however, reaffirm the fact that the former market rate units in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are now re-stabilized. Accordingly, we maintain that any effort to raise rents on these units beyond the amounts prescribed by the Rent Guidelines Board is illegal, and may subject CW Capital to treble damages for willful rent overcharges.