QUESTION: Percentages are approximated, since I don't have the actual numbers handy. My wife and I live in a rent stabilized apartment in Queens. Landlord sent a 2 year lease with an increase of 4.5%. The lease was signed and returned to the landlord. The landlord then signed the lease and sent the fully executed lease to us. A week later the landlord contacted us and said that the new rent guidelines called for a 7.5% increase for 2 years and sent a new lease with the higher amount for us to sign. Since we already have a fully executed lease and the error was on their part are we required to accept the new lease with the higher amount? Thank you for your time and consideration....
ANSWER: I would say the answer is no because once they signed, the Landlord is bound. The increase is a maximum increase but that does not mean the Landlord has to always go to the max; technically, a Landlord could raise your rent less than the max increase but, obviously, that almost never happens unless the Landlord is a friend.
You have a fully executed contract and that was the landlords own error. This is my opinion and you should seek advise from an attorney if necessary.
QUESTION: If I am looking for a 3-6 month rental, am I better off using a broker or finding a sub-let on my own?
ANSWER: I would say you are better off looking on your own through craigslist.com (do your best to avoid the bait/switch scams and people who will give you the apartment site unseen) and backpage.com. Just make sure you are searching the right parameters of "sublets" and not all rentals even though some of the general rentals might say six months. If you are looking for a short-term lease, sublets are the most advisable where you get to meet the person and see the space. MAKE sure you get something in writing (sublet contract) between you and the sub-lessor so you are protected and know that this person has the ability to rent their place out to you. Paying a broker's fee is advisable when you know you are going to be staying in the place really for at least one year if not two or three. The fee ends up paying for itself by getting a great priced place you love, but for less than a year whats the point of adding that additional cost onto moving and rent?
SAMPLE SUBLET AGREEMENTS:
There are short-term furnished places if you have the budget for it, but those tend to run very pricey. See SPNEWYORK.com for luxury furnished rentals. Otherwise, to craigslist and backpage you go!
QUESTION: Is there a state, city, or local tax on renters? Are there any other costs in addition to rent and broker fees?
ANSWER: There are no hidden tax fees of any kind on renters when you sign a lease. When you pay taxes however, living in NYC you will pay a city tax for being a resident. Now there can be additional fees besides a brokers fee and your rent such as a credit check fee, application fee and if you are renting in a co-op or condo a sublet fee. Make sure you ask your broker or landlord for all fees up front before you sign the lease if it is a deal breaker for you!