My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of New York:
I live in my apartment in Brooklyn, NY with my grandparents since 1983. My grandparents originally moved into this apartment in or around 1948. After my grandparents passed away I continue to live there. The building was sold at the end of 2002. The new landlord raised my rent immediately to almost 3x the amount I was originally paying for rent. Each year the landlord kept raising my rent. In Nov 2007, I withheld rent because of poor living conditions & lack of repairs but the landlord tried to evict me by filing with the Housing Court for lack of rent payment. When speaking to my lawyer he informed me that my apartment falls under rent control law. So I filed a counterclaim that my apartment was rent controlled and for rent overcharges. In 2009, the judge ruled that my apartment actually did fall under the rent control law. The rent overcharge was severed due to no maximum base rent has ever been established for the subject apartment, and this function would best be served by the expertise of DHCR. We are now in 2012 and my landlord still has not registered my apartment with DHCR. I have called my landlord and spoke to him in person asking him what my rent is and he said $900. I told him I was only going to pay the legal rent control amount ordered by DHCR. I went to the DHCR office many times, and they informed me that the landlord is the only person who can register my apartment with them as rent control. In April 2012, I finally got a letter from the DHCR regarding my landlord filing Section 2202.22 of the NYC Rent and Eviction Regulations and /or Section 2522.6 of Rent Stabilization Code. I responded to that letter. Now received another letter from DHCR asking for more information on my succession rights. I sent them once again my court papers, drivers license, old mail, school records and proof of relation to my grandparents. I'm currently waiting on a response from DHCR.
So my questions are: I have not paid my landlord rent since Nov. 2007 nor even know what my rent is going to be.I want to pay him the legal rent and want to continue to live in my apartment with my family. I am wondering, once I find out the legal rent from DHCR, can I still get my rent overcharge? And can my landlord sued me for back rent for the past 5 years?
Also my landlord is embarrassing my wife and I, by telling to the other tenants and repair men in the building that we don't pay rent and he wants us out. One tenant also informed me that the landlord offered her a good amount of money and my apartment, if she can persuade me in leaving.
Can someone help me, please?