STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO. AL 210709-RO
DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
FISHER MANAGEMENT, DOCKET NO. K 3105539-R
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN PART
On December 10, 1986, the above named petitioner-owner filed a petition
for administrative review of an order issued on November 13, 1986 by a
District Rent Administrator, concerning housing accommodations known as
Apartment 6-D at 9480 Ridge Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York, wherein the
Administrator determined that the tenants had been overcharged.
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.
This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a rent overcharge complaint
by the tenants.
The tenants took occupancy pursuant to a one year lease commencing on
October 1, 1981, and expiring September 30, 1982 at a monthly rent of
In its answer the owner attached lease agreements, starting with the prior
tenant, from December 30, 1966 through September 30, 1987.
The owner asserted that the initial rent of $600 was derived by taking the
last rent of the prior tenant, which was $375.93, and multiplying it by
the allowable increases in the rent guidelines. Pursuant to guideline
number 13, the owner increased the rent by 10%, since it was a one year
lease, plus 15% for a vacancy increase. The owner increased the rent to
$600, claiming new equipment was added to the apartment, including, a new
refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, kitchen cabinets, inlays, blinds,
overhead fixtures, bathroom sink, and air conditioners.
In the order reviewed herein, the Administrator found that there was a
rent overcharge, and directed the owner to roll back the rent to the
lawful stabilized amount. Based on the bills submitted in the owner's
answer, the Administrator found that the owner installed $4,093.63 worth
of new equipment. Pursuant to Section 20C(1) of the former Code, the
owner is entitled to increase the rent by 1/40 of the total cost for the
DOCKET NUMBER: AL 210709-RO
installation of new equipment, which is an additional $102.34 per month in
rent. The increase in rent did not include the inlay, ruling that it was
not new equipment but was work constituting normal repair and maintenance.
The Administrator found total overcharges of $2,204.55, including excess
security and accrued interest from April 1, 1984.
In its petition the owner contends that the Administrator's rent
calculations were faulty. The petitioner correctly states that the lawful
stabilized rent for the lease commencing on January, 1979 is $375.93.
However, the Administrator determined the lawful rent for the
abovementioned time period to be $372.47. This figure was then used to
determine future rent increases based upon the rent guidelines.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this error should be corrected.
The petition also claims that the cost of the inlay should have been added
to the cost of new equipment. The Commissioner is of the opinion that
such work constitutes normal, ordinary maintenance or repair. Therefore,
it is improper to grant a rent increase in this case. It is noted,
moreover, that the record before the District Rent Administrator did not
contain any bills for the inlay. Accordingly it was not substantiated
that such work was performed and a rent increase would not be warranted in
The pertinent calculations are set forth on the attached Rent Calculation
Chart, which is fully a part of this order and opinion. The owner is
cautioned that rents for periods subsequent to September 30, 1986 should
be based upon the amount of $670.40 for the lease period of October 1,
1985 through September 30, 1987 as indicated on the chart, and that any
demand for and collection of an amount in excess of the lawful amount may
give rise to a new overcharge complaint, in which treble damages may be
awarded if warranted.
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 Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, modified,
as described hereinabove and as appears on the annexed Rent Calculation
Chart, which is hereby made fully a part of this order and opinion; and it
FURTHER ORDERED, that the owner Fisher Management shall immediately refund
to the tenants all amounts not yet refunded representing overcharges,
interest and excess security; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that if the owner Fisher Management has not refunded the
stated amounts as of the expiration of the time for commencing a
proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules for
judicial review of this order, the tenants Mike and Sharon Raguso, may
recover such amounts by deducting them from the rent due to the owner at a
rate not in excess of twenty percent of the amount to be refunded for any
one month's rent. If, after such period, the owner has refunded no such
amounts and the tenants have not made any such deductions from their rent
as an offset, then the tenants Mike and Sharon Raguso may file and
enforce a certified copy of this order as a judgment for the amount of
$1,907.18 against Fisher Management; and it is
DOCKET NUMBER: AL 210709-RO
FURTHER ORDERED, that if the owner has complied with the Administrator's
order regarding the rent for the period commencing October 1, 1986, and,
as a result of the instant determination, there are arrears due to the
owner from the tenant, the tenant may pay off the arrears in six equal
monthly installments during the next six months. Should the tenant vacate
after the issuance of this order, all arrears are due immediately.