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

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: AL 210167-RT
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: K 3105206-R



     On December 16, 1986, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed  a  Petition
     for Administrative Review of an order issued on November 12, 1986  by  the
     District Rent Administrator, 10  Columbus  Circle,  New  York,  New  York,
     concerning housing accommodations known as  Apartment  1L  at  2375  Ocean
     Avenue, Brooklyn,  New  York,  wherein  the  District  Rent  Administrator
     determined that the tenant was not overcharged.

     The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was initiated prior  to  April
     1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1(a)(4) and 2521.1(d) of  the  Rent  Stabilization
     Code (effective May 1, 1987) governing rent  overcharge  and  fair  market
     rent proceedings provide that determination of these matters be based upon 
     the law or code provisions in effect on March 31, 1984.  Therefore, unless 
     otherwise indicated, reference to Sections of the Rent Stabilization  Code
     (Code) contained herein are to the Code in effect on April 30, 1987.

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

     This  proceeding  was  originally  commenced  by  the  filing  of  a  rent
     overcharge complaint by the tenant with the New York City Conciliation and 
     Appeals Board, one of the predecessor agencies to the  DHCR.   The  tenant
     took occupancy pursuant to a lease commencing March 15, 1979 and  expiring
     March 31, 1981 at a monthly rent of $260.00.

     In answer, the owner (Treitel Management Co.) asserted that the  apartment
     was occupied a superintendent prior to the tenant's  occupancy,  that  the
     owner was entitled to charge a first rent after the superintendent vacated 
     and that the tenant was not overcharge.

     In the Order Number CDR 26,447,  the  Administrator  determined  that  the
     subject apartment was occupied a  superintendent  prior  to  the  tenant's
     occupancy, that the base date for the subject apartment was March 15, 1979 
     and that the tenant was not overcharged.

     In this petition, the tenant asserts that she did not receive  a  copy  of
     the owner's answer to her complaint and was not afforded an opportunity to 
     reply thereto.  The tenant questions the calculation of her  initial  rent
     by the owner.

     The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.

          DOCKET NUMBER: AL 210167-RT
     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 remand.

     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 files so as not to deprive such tenants 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.S. 22d 455 (1985).

     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 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.

     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 instant 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.

     Since the allegations raised by the owner regarding the rental history  of
     the subject apartment prior to the occupancy of the subject tenant are  no
     longer relevant in determining the tenant's lawful  stabilized  rent,  the
     tenant cannot be said to  have  been  prejudiced  by  the  Administrator's
     failure to serve the tenant with a copy of  said  answer  and  afford  the

          DOCKET NUMBER: AL 210167-RT
     tenant an opportunity to respond thereto.

     Pursuant to the JRD decision, the rent of $260.00 paid by  the  tenant  on
     April  1,  1980  is  the  base  rent  for  the  subject  apartment.    The
     Commissioner therefore finds that the Administrator properly utilized  the
     tenant's April 1, 1980 rent of $260.00 as the base rent  for  the  subject


                                     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