Rent Board Regulation on Subtenant Rents

    The landlord and property owning commissioners of the Rent Board have adopted a new regulation which they claim is to enable sub-tenants not to pay more than their proportionate share of the rent. Their real intent with this retroactive measure, though, is to foster discontent in households.

Section 6.15C Master Tenants

     (3) Partial Sublets. In the event a Master Tenant does not sublease the entire
     rental unit, as anticipated in Section 37.3 (c), then the Master Tenant may
     charge the subtenant(s) no more than the subtenant(s) proportional share of
     the total current rent paid to the landlord by the Master Tenant for the housing
     and housing services to which the subtenant is entitled under the sub-lease.

     (a) The allowable proportional share of total rent may be calculated based
     upon the square footage shared with and/or occupied exclusively by the
     subtenant; or an amount substantially proportional to the space occupied by
     and/or shared with the subtenant (e.g. three persons splitting the entire rent in
     thirds) or any other method that allocates the rent such that the subtenant
     pays no more to the Master Tenant than the Master Tenant pays to the
     landlord for the housing and housing services to which the subtenant is
     entitled under the sublease. In establishing the proper initial base rent,
     additional housing services (such as utilities) provided by, or any special
     obligations of, the Master Tenant, or evidence of the relative amenities or
     value of rooms, may be considered by the parties or the Rent Board when
     deemed appropriate. Any methodology that shifts the rental burden such that
     the subtenant(s) pays substantially more than their square footage portion, or
     substantially more than the proportional share of the total rent paid to the
     landlord, shall be rebuttably presumed to be in excess of the lawful limitation.

     (b) The Master Tenant or subtenant(s) may petition the Board for an
     adjustment of the initial rent of the subtenant.

     (c) If a portion of a capital improvement passthrough or a utility increase is
     allocated to a subtenant, it must be separately identified and not included in
     the subtenant's base rent. Such amounts are subject to the rules herein and
     must be discontinued or recalculated pursuant to the applicable rules. Any
     amount that is improperly calculated or not properly discontinued shall be
     disallowed.

     (d) In the event of any dispute regarding any allowable increase, or allocation,
     or any rental amount paid that is not rent, the subtenant may file a claim of
     unlawful rent increase to have the matter resolved between the subtenant and
     Master Tenant, as if the Master Tenant were the owner of the building.
     Disallowed or improper increases shall be null and void.

     (e) For any sublease entered into on or before August 22, 2001, where the
     sublease rent was not calculated as provided for herein, the Master Tenant
     shall have six months from the effective date of this regulation to notice an
     adjusted proper rent and refund any overpayments paid after the effective
     date of this section. No petitions alleging overpayments may be filed during
     this time.

     (f) For any sublease entered into after August 22, 2001, where the sublease
     rent was not calculated as provided for herein, the portion of the subtenant's
     rent that is in excess of the amount allowed pursuant to this Section 6.15C(3)
     shall be null and void.