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    How to Solve Landlord & Tenant Disputes in New York
    Posted: 2012-11-08 05:00:28


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    New York State is an interesting place when it comes to dealing with landlords and tenants. The tightly-regulated rent prices have created a need for a special governmental body to oversee the maintenance and regulation of rental housing. This governmental office is called the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and it oversees the rent regulation process for those apartments whose rent is set at a certain level in the entire New York tate. The State government has identified a need to provide affordable housing for people and rent controls is one way to do so.

    If you live in one of those rent-regulated housing properties, the DHCR is also the place to go to when you need to file a complaint against the landlord. For example, a tenant can submit form RA-60H (Tenant’s Statement of Complaint(s) – Harassment) to complain about a landlord that mistreated a tenant (for example, the landlord may have illegally evicted the tenant or intentionally interrupted electricity services). Furthermore, tenants can file complaints with the DHCR to compel landlords to provide essential services like heat and/or hot water or to reduce rent (if it is charged over the legal limit). Tenants would have to file the appropriate complaint forms. Then a Rent Administrator from the DHCR would evaluate the complaint and make a decision.

    If a Rent Administrator made a decision that one of the parties does not like, he/she can always petition it. Form RAR-2 (Petition for Administrative Review) can be filed to appeal an order of a Rent Administrator.

    For landlords, DHCR offers fewer venues for complaint. However, landlords can always resort to traditional dispute resolution methods such as mediation or court trials. Keep in mind, though, that these methods can always be expensive and time consuming.

    Not all apartments/properties have rent controls. Some charge rent rates that are determined by the landlords. As a result, tenants and landlords in these places have fewer complaint options. They don’t have an opportunity to refer to DHCR for a solution. What is available are the traditional dispute resolution ways, such as court trial or mediation. As mentioned above, these can be expensive. However, disputes can always be resolved outside the court setting by the tenant and landlord on their own. For this reason, it is always good to know what the rights and responsibilities of each party are.

    For a comprehensive renting guide in the state of New York, visit the website of the New York State Attorney General.

    Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal advice.