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dotndani

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
My mom owns a 6 fami rent controlled building.She has had a tenant for approx 14 years.The tenant has been paying less than what is on the lease form the beginning and thru the whole tenancy has been helping my mom out with fixing little things and other odds and ends.
My mother would now want the tenant to pay the rent that is on the lease since the tenant does not help which is what my mother wants.
Is my mom entitled to get the correct amount of rent?Can she just increase it right away or does she have to do it in increments?
Thank you for whatever help you can offer.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 

Minus any written agreement to subtract rent for working on the units (a handyman agreement), your mother should be collecting the full rent listed in the lease.  Start with a pay or quit notice (or unconditional quit-whichever your state uses) to get the tenant to pay thew entire amount of rent.  If thew tenant refuses, begin eviction proceedings with an eviction attorney.  As for raising the rent in a rent controlled unit, you wil have to consult state or local law and see when and how much rent can be raised.

dotndani

Registered:
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
There was never any written agreement.He just helped my mom out and that was that.As for the increase,my mom kept everything like it was supposed to be according to NY state rent rules and guidelines.
So she can just basically send a letter stating that she is expecting the next months rent to be exactly how it appears in the lease??
Also,the tenant is up for renewal as of Jan 01,so is now a good time to let the tenant know that as of the 1st of the year the rent stated on the lease is what she is expecting?
Does it have to be a certain type of letter?
I think I will be taking mom to see an attorney just to be sure,but I am so happy I stumbled  across this website.
Thanks again!

OHlandlord

Registered:
Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #4 

Yes, send a carefuly worded letter that, although the tenant has paid less than the lease amount previously, the rent is to be paid in full (in Dec, don't wait until Jan.).  No deductions may be taken from it.  Failure to enforce rent payments can be seen by some courts as a waiver of your right to that level of rent.  (ie- If you continue to allow a tenant to pay a certain level and don't attempt to collect the full amount, a sympathetic judge may allow the tenant to continue paying that level, saying that you waived your right to the higher level as you didn't attempt to collect it.)  Give the appropriate notice of any increase in rent and, of course, keep it within the rent controlled guidelines.  Seeing a good eviction attorney is a good idea.  Make sure s/he is a real estate attorney who specializes in EVICTIONS (not sales).  Many will do these (evictions) for a set fee.  This is who you want to consult for this.  It is a good idea to have this attorney-client relationship prior to needing it.  You may want to call a local LL association or a chapter of REIA and ask who they use for their evictions.  This will be a seasoned lawyer in this area.

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