Several recent investigations revealed that a large number of landlords across the city were flouting rent-stabilization laws and overcharging residents, particularly in high end rentals, and cashing in millions as a result. Little has been heard from these residents so far, but now one such scammed resident has scored a major victory. Lane Altschuler, who lives in an Upper West Side three-bedroom apartment with views overlooking Central Park will now pay just under $800 per month after an appeals court ruled that his landlord was abusing the J-51 tax abatement program, the New York Post reports.
Altschuler moved into the building, located at 478 Central Park West in 2000. His rent rose from $3,500 per month to $3,750 per month when the landlord decided to convert the building into luxury condos. That increase was illegal under the tax abatement program's laws especially considering the fact that the landlord, Mann Realty, had received over $300,000 in benefits. In fact, Altschuler was already paying over five times the rent he was supposed to, according to the New York Daily News.
A Manhattan Supreme Court judge ruled in his favor in 2013 and set his rent at $784 per month, and now The Appellate Division has upheld that ruling. Altschuler now gets to stay in his apartment, which has about 1,500 square feet of space, for as long as he wants at pretty much the same rent. His rent can only be increased incrementally based on the Rent Guidelines Board.
The condo conversion of the building was completed in 2014, and when the units went on sale that year they ranged between $2.415 million to $2.575 million.
· Guy gets insane rent deal on swanky pad after landlord scammed him [New York Post]
· Manhattan apartment rent illegally raised, judges rule, giving Upper West Side tenant nearly $900G award [Curbed]
· Central Park West Prewar Conversion Unveils New Units [Curbed]