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
(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
(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.