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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.:  AL  410447  RO
                                                  D.R.O.     ORDER      NO.:
                                                : CDR # 26,780             
                                                 D.R.O. DOCKET NO.: 
            259 WEST 15TH ASSOCIATES             Tenants: Margery  Fine  and
                                                          Rae Tattenbaum
                                 PETITIONER   :  


               On December 17, 1986, the above named petitioner-owner  filed
          a Petition for Administrative Review against an  order  issued  on
          November 20, 1986,  by  the  Rent  Administrator  at  10  Columbus
          Circle, New York,  New  York,  concerning  housing  accommodations
          known as Apartment No. 4F at 259 West 15th Street, New  York,  New
          York, wherein the Administrator established  the  stabilized  rent
          and directed the owner to  refund  $5,713.39,  including  interest
          from April 1, 1984. 

               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 issues raised by the administrative appeal.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced on March  23,  1984,
          by the filing of a complaint of rent overcharge with the New  York
          City Conciliation and Appeals  Board  (CAB,  the  agency  formerly
          charged with enforcing the Rent Stabilization Law) by the tenants. 

               The owner failed to submit a rental  history  from  the  base

               On the chart attached to and made a part of  the  order,  the
          Administrator established the stabilized rent.

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AL 410447 RO

               In its Petition, the owner contends  that  the  Administrator
          erred on the rent calculation  chart  attached  to  the  order  by
          failing to acknowledge that the owner  had  submitted  all  rental
          history data from the time the tenants took occupancy under a 
          lease which commenced on May 1, 1979  and  expired  on  April  30,
          1980.  The owner also submits a copy of a rent  registration  card
          that shows that the maximum rent under rent control on February 9, 
          1972 was $400.00 reduced by $25.40 because of a real property  tax
          abatement the owner had obtained.  The owner argues that since the 
          rent controlled rent in 1972 was $400.00 and the tenants'  initial
          rent in 1979  was  $488.00,  the  Administrator's  finding  of  an
          overcharge is arbitrary and capricious.  

               The tenants' answer opposing the Petition asks, in substance, 
          that the order of the Rent Administrator be affirmed, and that the 
          Petition be denied. 

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that the  Petition  should
          be denied.

               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  year  limitation  on  the
          calculation of rent overcharges.

               It had 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
          ovecharge 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).    

               However, it has recently been held  in  the  case  of  J.R.D.

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AL 410447 RO
          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  Dept's,  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. 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  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 First Department, the DHCR is  not  constrained  to
          follow the JRD decision in  determining  the  tenant's  overcharge
          complaint, limiting the requirement for rent records to  April  1,
          1980.   Instead,  following  the  Lavanant  decision,   the   DHCR
          determines cases such as the instant one in  accordance  with  the
          default procedures established under Section 42A, of the  Code  in
          effect on April 30, 1987,as said procedures  were  implemented  at
          the time the complaint herein was filed.   

               The Commissioner finds that the owner has failed to establish 
          a base date for the calculation of the tenants'  stabilized  rent.
          Therefore,  the  Commissioner  believes  that  the   Administrator
          properly held the owner in default when the  only  rental  history
          data the owner submitted related to the tenants' occupancy. 

               The Commissioner notes that the order  below  may,  upon  the
          expiration of the period  in  which  the  owner  may  institute  a
          proceeding pursuant to Article Seventy-eight of the Civil Practice 
          Law and Rules, be filed and enforced by the tenants  in  the  same
          manner as a judgment or not in excess of  twenty  percent  thereof
          per month may be offset against any rent thereafter due the owner.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law  and  Code,
          it is

               ORDERED, that this Petition  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,



          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AL 410447 RO

                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner



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