How do I know if my New York City Apartment is Rent Stabilized?
If you are renting an apartment in New York City you should find out if the lease is rent stabilized. Rent stabilized apartment leases can be very valuable in a number of ways, and come with certain rights and protections normal leases do not. This information is normally provided in the first paragraph of the lease, and you could also contact the landlord or broker if needed. Find out, because some rent stabilized apartment leases can be gold.
Many New Yorkers that find a nice apartment with a rent stabilized lease, never want to leave. The landlord won’t be able to raise your rent, and they won’t be able to make you leave unless you decide to do so on your own or pass away. Some people have been living in the same rent stabilized apartments in New York City for decades and are now paying only a fraction of the going rate. In light of this, a landlord might try to buy you out. Some apartment leases have in fact sold for millions of dollars in New York City.
A unique problem arises for people that have rent stabilized leases that are also considering filing for bankruptcy protection. When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York City your non-exempt assets will become part of the bankruptcy estate. The trustee is in complete control of the estate and can liquidate the assets to repay your creditors. In New York City some bankruptcy trustees are now considering rent stabilized leases to be like any other non-exempt assets. If you have a trustee that feels this way they may try to sell your apartment lease to your landlord, which could put you out of your apartment after your bankruptcy. If you have already been offered money to leave your rent stabilized apartment it’s likely your landlord would be happy to purchase it from the trustee just the same. Once you file a Chapter 7 case the trustee will step into your shoes and inherit your lease. Even if your lease is not rent stabilized, if the trustee thinks they can make money on the lease they will try to sell it.
If you are struggling to pay your bills and considering bankruptcy protection you can protect a rent stabilized lease in the process, but you need to work with an attorney familiar with this relatively new issue. You may need to look into filing a Chapter 13 case instead of a Chapter 7 to protect your apartment lease. Who knows, maybe you will be offered a fortune to move out of your apartment, solving your money troubles in another way. For most people however, bankruptcy is the best way to get rid of toxic debts and will give you the fresh start you need without having to give up your apartment. If you need affordable bankruptcy assistance and have a rent stabilized lease in New York City please Contact the Law Offices of William Waldner online or at 212.244.2882 to arrange a free bankruptcy consultation today. Our law firm maintains a 99% Chapter 7 Bankruptcy discharge record in New York City as of 8/31/16.
**** DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for educational purposes only. By reading no attorney-client relationship has been created. Prior results do not guarantee a similar result for future clients.