Management company change shenanigans NYC

By Frank


        I have been a tenant in a rent regulated apartment building in Brooklyn for approximately four years. I mailed my rent for January to the management company I have been dealing with since moving in early this month (a few days late). I noticed at the end of last week that the money for the rent had not yet been deducted from my checking account. I assumed that the management co. was simply being slow to deposit the money, as they have been in the past, though not to such a dregree.
       My roommate sent me a text message today because he was alarmed to find a bill stuck to the door that said we were "very behind" on the rent. I assumed that I must have forgotten to sign the check, or that it has been lost in the mail and that we were being asked to pay for the previous month and what would be due on February 1st. Upon returning from work I found the bill and was shocked to see that I was being asked to pay for three months rent (one month’s worth for security arrears) and that the bill was from an entirely different management company than the one I’d dealt with before.
      I had not received any notification that the management company had changed. I could understand the new company wanting the two months rent if the old one had simply voided the check rather than paying the money over to them, though it seems there should be some regulation as to how that would happen, how the tenants would be notified etc.. but what I am really concerned about is how it is I would owe the new company a security deposit. The old company had been retaining my security deposit since I’d signed a lease with them, and when they increased the rent (this is a NYC rent regulated apartment so they raise it a small amount each year) I had paid the difference to keep it current. I have a copy of my most recent lease renewal which is still in effect until 7/31/14.
      I have had bad experiences with NYC landlords before and it would not surprise me in the least if the old company was using some pretext to retain tenants sec. deps. thus forcing the new company to try to collect them. I had a bad leak in my living room ceiling during the middle of December (obviously due to leaky pipes and not my fault) which the super was relatively good about fixing. Its occurred to me that the old company, on the way out might have seen that as a justification for retaining the sec. dep. and now the new company is trying to get it out of me. I don’t have that money and don’t see how they can do this legally. Wanted to see if anyone else (in NY, preferably in rent regulated situation) has had a similar experience or knows the legal ramifications of such a situation. Thanks for any response.

   Panicked Tenant

Edited on: Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 8:54 pm

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