STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
       APPEAL OF                           :      DOCKET NO.: AK 110141 RO     
          SCHLESINGER   MGMT.   CORP.,                   DRO    DOCKET    NOS.:
                                           :                CDR           23777
                            PETITIONER     :       
       ------------------------------------X      TENANT: Manya Mednik

                                       IN PART

       On November 6, 1986 the above named petitioner-owner  filed  a  Petition
       for Administrative Review against an order issued on October 2, 1986  by
       the District Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New  York
       concerning housing accommodations known as Apartment 2C at  105-20  66th
       Avenue, Forest Hills, New York wherein the District  Rent  Administrator
       determined that the owner had overcharged the tenant.

       The issue in this appeal is whether the  District  Rent  Administrator's
       order was warranted.

       The applicable sections of the  Law  are  Section  26-516  of  the  Rent
       Stabilization  Law  and  Section   2526.1(a)   of   the   current   Rent
       Stabilization Code.

       This proceeding was  originally  commenced  by  the  filing  of  a  rent
       overcharge complaint by the tenant, in which she  stated  that  she  had
       commenced occupancy on August 15, 1982.        

       The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and was  requested  to
       submit rent records to prove the lawfulness of the rent  being  charged.
       In answer to the complaint, the owner submitted leases only from  August
       15, 1982. 

       In Order Number CDR 23777, the District Rent Administrator determined  a
       default rent and found that the  tenant  had  been  overcharged  in  the
       amount of $1,132.71 as of October 30, 1984, and directed  the  owner  to
       refund such overcharge to the tenant as well as to reduce the rent.

       In this petition, the owner contends in substance that it  inadvertently
       overcharged the tenant  through  a  computer  error,  and  that  it  has
       calculated an overcharge of $268.32 as of October 30, 1984, the date the 
       tenant bought the subject apartment.  With its petition  the  owner  has
       enclosed a lease from August 1, 1981 to July  31,  1982,  with  a  rider
       setting forth the prior rent and the  increases  for  a  new  stove  and
       refrigerator.  It is unclear whether this information was  submitted  to
       the Administrator.  

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AK 110141 RO

       In answer  the  tenant  states  that  "I,  Manya  Mednik,  agree  to  my
       landlord's petition."

       The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted
       in part.

       Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code requires that an owner 
       retain complete records for each stabilized  apartment  in  effect  from
       June 30, 1974  (or  the  date  the  apartment  became  subject  to  rent
       stabilization, if later) to date and to produce such records to the DHCR 
       upon demand.

       Section 26-516 of Rent  Stabilization  Law,  effective  April  1,  1984,
       limited an owner's obligation to provide rent records by providing  that
       an owner may not be required to maintain or  produce  rent  records  for
       more  than  4  years  prior  to  the  most  recent   registration,   and
       concomitantly, established a 4 year limitation  on  the  calculation  of
       rent overcharges.

       It has been the DHCR's policy  that overcharge complaints filed prior to 
       April 1, 1984 are to be processed pursuant to the law or Code in  effect
       on March 31,  1984.  (See  Section  2526.1(a)(4)  of  the  current  Rent
       Stabilization Code.) The DHCR has therefore applied Section 42A  of  the
       former Code to overcharge complaints  filed  prior  to  April  1,  1984,
       requiring complete rent records  in  these  cases.   In  following  this
       policy, the DHCR has sought to be consistent with the legislative intent 
       of the Omnibus Housing Act (Chapter 403, Laws of 1983),  as  implemented
       by  the  New  York  City  Conciliation  and  Appeals  Board  (CAB),  the
       predecessor agency to the DHCR, to determine rent overcharge  complaints
       filed with the CAB prior to April 1, 1984 by applying the law in  effect
       at the time such complaints were filed so as not to deprive such tenants 
       of their right to have the lawful stabilized rent  determined  from  the
       June 30, 1974  base  date  and  so  as  not  to  deprive  tenants  whose
       overcharge claims accrued more than 4 years prior to April  1,  1984  of
       their right to recover such overcharges.  In such cases,  if  the  owner
       failed to produce the required rent records, the lawful stabilized  rent

       would be determined pursuant to the default procedure  approved  by  the
       Court of Appeals in 61 Jane Street Associates v. CAB, 65 N.Y.2d 898, 493 
       N.Y.S.2d 455 (1985), in cases involving rent overcharge complaints filed 
       prior to April 1, 1984.  

       However, it has recently been  held  in  the  case  of  J.R.D.  Mgt.  v.
       Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610, 539 N.Y.S.2d 667 (App.  Div.  2d  Dep't  1989),
       motion for leave to reargue or for leave  to  appeal  to  the  Court  of
       Appeals denied (App. Div. 2d  Dep't,  N.Y.L.J.,  June  28,  1989,  p.25,
       col.1), motion for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals denied (Court 
       of Appeals, N.Y.L.J., Nov. 24, 1989, p. 24, col. 4)., motion  for  leave
       to reargue denied (Court of Appeals, N.Y.L.J., Feb.  15,  1990,  p.  25,
       col. 1), that the law in effect at the time of the determination of  the
       administrative complaint rather than the law in effect at  the  time  of
       the filing of the complaint must be applied and that the DHCR could  not
       require an owner to produce more than 4 years of rent records.

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AK 110141 RO
       Since the issuance of the decision in JRD, the Appellate Division, First 
       Department, in the case  of  Lavanant  v.  DHCR,  148  A.D.2d  185,  544
       N.Y.S.2d 331 (App. Div. 1st Dep't 1989), has issued a decision in direct
       conflict  with  the  holding  in  JRD.   The  Lavanant  court  expressly
       rejected the JRD ruling, finding that the DHCR may properly require an
       owner to submit complete rent records,  rather  than  records  for  just
       four years, and that such requirement is both rational and supported  by
       the law and legislative history of the Omnibus Housing Act.

       Since in the present case the subject dwelling unit is  located  in  the
       Second Department, the DHCR is constrained to follow the JRD decision in 
       determining the tenant's overcharge complaint, limiting the  requirement
       for rent records to April 1, 1980.  The base date rent is therefore  the
       $257.55 rent charged and paid on April 1, 1980.   The  Commissioner  has
       recalculated  the  lawful  stabilization  rents  and   the   amount   of
       overcharge.  They are set forth in the amended  rent  calculation  chart
       attached hereto and made a part hereof.      

       THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is

       ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in  part
       and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
       is, modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.  The lawful 

       stabilization rents and the amount of overcharge are established on  the
       attached chart, which is fully made a part of  this  order.   The  total
       overcharge is $403.28 as of October 30, 1984. 


                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                             Deputy Commissioner


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name