OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: AJ 710204-RO
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: N-GC-86-S-72-R
        ARTHUR T. MOTT,
                           PETITIONER    : 
     ------------------------------------X      TENANT:      AUDREY      HOLLIS

     On October 8, 1986, the above named petitioner-owner filed a petition  for
     Administrative Review against an order issued on September  15,  1986,  by
     the Rent Administrator, 50 Clinton Street, Hempstead, New York, concerning 
     housing accommodations known as Apartment 427, 31  Brewster  Street,  Glen
     Cove, New York, wherein the Rent Administrator imposed a $250.00  fine  on
     the owner for including a temporary fuel surcharge of 2% when stating  the
     Legal Registered Rent on the 1985 Apartment Registration form.

     The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the  record  and  has
     carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant  to  the  issues
     raised by the administrative appeal.

     The tenant commenced this proceeding on February 24,  1986  by  filing  an
     objection to the apartment registration alleging, in part, that the  owner
     stated on the registration form that the Legal Registered Rent was $526.05 
     when in fact it was $515.81, not including a separate  2%  fuel  surcharge
     (of $10.84).

     In answer to the complaint, the owner stated, in relevant part,  that  the
     tenant's legal rent as of April 1, 1985 was $515.81, for a total  rent  of
     $526.05 including the electric surcharge, i.e., the owner agreed with  the
     tenant's breakdown of the rent.  The petition neither affirmed nor  denied
     that the registration form had been incorrectly filled out.

     In this petition, the owner contends that the Rent  Administrator's  Order
     is incorrect and should be modified.  The owner cites Section 2500.2(e) of 
     the  Tenant  Protection  Regulations  (TPR)  whose  definition  of   Legal
     Regulated Rent states that "rents may be formulated in terms of rents  and
     other charges and allowances", implying that including the 2% surcharge in 
     the box for the Legal Registered Rent was at worst an  inadvertent  error.

     Furthermore, the owner argues it was a Rent Guidelines Board  Order  which
     allowed the 2% surcharge and which stated the surcharge was  not  part  of
     the Legal Regulated Rent.  Such an order is  contended  to  be  neither  a
     part of  the  Emergency  Tenant  Protection  Act  (ETPA)  nor  a  rule  or
     regulation under the ETPA and therefore no fine is permitted under Section 
     2506.2(b) of the TPR.

          DOCKET NUMBER AJ 710204-RO
     The tenant did not answer this petition,although given the opportunity  to
     do so.

     The Commisioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted.

     There is nothing in the record  to  indicate  that  this  owner  had  been
     warned to discontinue the inclusion of the 2% surcharge in the box calling 
     for the Legal Registered Rent.  Although, the directions for  filling  out
     the 1985 apartment registration form states separate charges should not be 
     included under "Legal Registered Rent", there is no such  warning  on  the
     form itself.  Since it was legal to charge $526.05 on April 1, 1985 it was 
     not unreasonable to think that was the Legal Registered Rent.

     There is also nothing in the  record  to  indicate  that  the  owner  ever
     charged an excessive rent based on this incorrect rent stated on the form.

     Accordingly, the Commissioner hereby finds that the  Administrator  should
     not have fined the owner for what was apparently merely an error.

     However, the owner is incorrect that such a fine could not be imposed  had
     the misstatement been knowing.  Section 2506.2(b) of the TPR allows such a 
     fine for a violation of an order issued under the ETPA.  A Rent Guidelines 
     Board Order is such an order.

     The owner is hereby advised to correct such error in any  other  apartment
     registration(s).  Failure to do so may  result  in  a  fine  in  a  future

     THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  Emergency  Tenant  Protection  Act   and
     Regulations, it is

     ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,  granted  and  the
     Rent Administrator's order  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,  modified  in
     accordance with this Order and Opinion.


                                            ELLIOT SANDER
                                         Deputy Commissioner


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