Many renters in Nassau County are like pilgrims on a lifelong quest: the quest for lower rent. They feverishly talk with new acquaintances about their monthly fees, scan the buildings they drive past for advertisements, and drool over “urban legends” about rent-controlled apartments that date back a hundred years.
No Urban Legend
There may have been urban legends in the past about rental units for one dollar a month, but this story is happening right now, at a desirable apartment building in Harlem. Renters in Nassau County would feel like they had won the lottery if they found themselves in the renter’s unusual situation.
The renter had answered an ad online and signed a lease for $2,100 per month—a typical rate for the building. After some time, however, he became aware that the apartment was in the midst of a strange “legal limbo.” After a fire in the apartment building, the owners had allowed previous tenants to pay $1.00 per month in rent as a placeholder during repairs. But when the repairs were finished, the landlord did not contact the previous tenants to let them know they could come back. Instead, he listed the unit online for $2,100 per month.
Taking Advantage of the Situation
It looked to the renter as if he might have legal grounds to insist on the $1.00 monthly rate for himself. Since the super-low rate was technically the lease price for the apartment at the time he signed up, the court agreed and required the landlord to lower the rent by exactly $2,099. Unless subsequent legal action reverses that decision, we can expect the current renter to hang on to his lease as long as possible!
Back Down to Earth
Most renters in Nassau County will never encounter the kind of legal mistake that gave the Harlem renter such an incredible benefit. And even if they did, they would probably not recognize it as an opportunity to be pounced upon. Sadly, there are many more common kinds of legal mistakes that renters don’t recognize, costing them money and headache. Neglect by busy landlords, changing rent fees without warning, and racial discrimination are just some of the difficulties that renters in Nassau County are likely to encounter. If this describes your situation, call the law offices of Neil Weissman to ask for a free consultation. The law promises you fair treatment, but it often takes action on your part to make that happen.