DOCKET NO.: AL 410120-RT
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 :
APPEAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
: DOCKET NO.: AL 410120-RT
SANDE NELSON, DRO DOCKET NO.: ZL001967-R
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On December 11, 1986, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on November 12, 1986 by
the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York,
concerning the housing accommodation known as 3BN, 210 Thompson Street,
New York, New York, wherein the Administrator found no rent overcharge and
denied the application.
The Commissioner has examined all of the evidence in the record and has
carefully considered that portion of the evidence relevant to the issue
raised in the administrative appeal.
The tenant commenced this proceeding on May 20, 1985 by filing a complaint
of rent overcharge, based in part on the tenant's belief that the previous
tenant had paid rent of $170.00 per month. The complainant, who had taken
occupancy of the subject apartment on September 1, 1977 pursuant to a two
year lease terminating August 31, 1979 at a monthly rent of $275.00,
stated that she had not received an RR-1 form. In addition the tenant
alleged that the owner had charged a late rent fee of $10.00 per month and
had not refunded interest on the security deposit.
On July 14, 1985, a copy of the complaint was served on the owner.
In reply, the owner (Bruno Ilibassi) submitted a copy of the apartment
registration form (form RR-1) with proof of mailing which was effected on
June 15, 1984. The owner listed the lease amounts which had been paid by
the tenant and stated that the records of the prior owner revealed that
the previous tenant had paid $255.00 per month. With respect to the late
fee, the owner asserted that the tenant had been informed that a late fee
would be imposed but there had been no enforcement. The tenant, who was
habitually late in paying the rent, had voluntarily paid the late fee on
three occasions. The owner also disputed that the tenant had paid a
security deposit. In continuation of the prior owner's practice, the
owner had collected the last month's rent paid in advance. Since, in the
owner's opinion, this was not a security deposit,no interest was owing on
In rebuttal, the tenant demanded an accounting with appropriate
documentation of the rent history of the subject apartment. The tenant
requested a refund of the late fees paid with interest. The tenant stated
again that she had not received the RR-1.
The owner responded and repeated that the RR-1 had been served in 1984.
DOCKET NO.: AL 410120-RT
The owner asserted that under the law it was obligated to keep records
from April 1980. Since the tenant had been in occupancy since 1977, the
owner would be happy to review all rent increases that the tenant had
In the order under appeal, the Rent Administrator, finding that the tenant
had been served with the required Apartment Registration form and had not
filed a timely objection to the registered rent, determined that the rent
which had been registered by the owner in 1984 was the Initial Legal
Registered Rent, and that this rent had been lawfully increased by a
guidelines increase. Consequently, the Administrator found no overcharge
and ordered that the tenant's application be denied. The Administrator
advised the tenant to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer
Frauds with respect to the interest claimed on the security deposit and
further advised that since the late charges had been paid prior to April
1, 1984, the complaint was untimely filed.
In the appeal, the tenant contends that the Administrator's finding that
the Apartment Registration had been served was error because the owner had
offered no actual proof of receipt.
In response, the owner asserted that it was in compliance with the
requirements of the law and submitted copies of the RR-1 with proof of
mailing, and copies of various other registration forms.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.
Section 26-517 of the Rent Stabilization Law provides for the initial
registration of rent stabilized apartments. Section 26-516a(2)(ii)
requires the tenant to file an objection to this initial registered rent
"within ninety (90) days of the mailing of notice to the tenant of such
In the instant case, a review of the record reveals that the initial
apartment registration form was mailed on June 15, 1984. Pursuant to the
Rent Stabilization Law and instructions for rent registration under the
Omnibus Housing Act which was disseminated by the Division, an owner was
required to maintain proof of delivery of the registration form. Three
methods of delivery were suggested by the instructions: 1) hand delivery
to the tenant; 2) U.S. Post Office "Carrier Route Pre-Sort" service; and
3) delivery to the post office to be proved by a signed, dated copy of
Post Office form #PO 3877. The delivery method effected by the owner in
this case is akin to method no. 3 cited above. Here, the owner submits, a
proof of delivery to the post office, a copy of post office form #3817,
certificate of mailing, postmarked and properly addressed to the tenant.
Forms #3877 and #3817 perform a similar function, in that each form shows
receipt and certification of mailing by the post office. Indeed, the
only funtional difference between the two forms is that the #3877
accommodates fifteen addresses, whereas the #3817 accommodates only one.
For each there is a fee of forty cents per addressee. Therefore, the
Commissioner finds that the owner has submitted satisfactory proof of
delivery. The Commissioner notes that the ninety (90) day time limit in
which to challenge the initial registration begins to run from the date of
mailing and the owner is required to prove only the date of delivery and
not the date of actual receipt by the tenant. The tenant has not
submitted evidence to overcome the owner's proof of delivery of the
apartment registration form.
Therefore, the Commissioner finds that based on the entire record the
DOCKET NO.: AL 410120-RT
Administrator properly denied the tenant's application.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, and the
Omnibus Housing Act of 1983, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and that
Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA