ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AL 710546 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: AL  710546  RO
                       
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO.: 
                                                 F-A-J-7-1-005-RV 
                BERGEN                   FREEPORT                    ASSOC.
                                                                  
                                                  

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X 

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
            IN PART AND MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               On December 29, 1986, the above-named petitioner-owner filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review against an order  issued  on
          December 23, 1986, by the Rent Administrator, 50 Clinton  Street,
          Hempstead,  NY,  concerning  housing  accommodations   known   as
          Apartment No. 3P located at 190 W. Merrick  Road,  Freeport,  NY.
          The Administrator  determined  that  petitioner  had  offered  an
          improper  renewal  lease.   A  rent  overcharge  of  $889.56  was
          computed. 

               The Commissioner  has  reviewed  the  record  and  carefully
          considered that portion relevant to the  issues  raised  by  this
          appeal.  

               The tenant commenced this proceeding on October 15, 1986  by
          filing a complaint of owner's failure  to  renew  lease.   Tenant
          claimed that the landlord failed to offer him a lease renewal  on
          an RTP-8 form lease as prescribed by Section  45  of  the  Tenant
          Protection Regulations for the  lease  term  commencing  July  1,
          1985.  The lease offered to the  tenant,  though  not  an  RTP-8,
          offered a one or two year renewal.  The tenant chose the two year 
          renewal at a new rent of $667.12.  The owner did not  respond  to
          the complaint.    

               The Administrator granted the complaint.  The lease  offered
          by the owner was found to be in violation of Section  45  of  the
          Regulations.   Pursuant  to  the  mandate  of  that  section  the
          Administrator found that the guideline increase agreed to by  the
          tenant was invalid.  An overcharge of $49.42  per  month  for  18
          months, or $889.56 was assessed. 
           

               On appeal the petitioner argues substantial compliance  with
          the Regulations.  It claims that there was no overcharge  in  the
          rent offered and that it is being penalized solely for not  using
          the RTP-8.        

               After a careful review of the evidence in  the  record,  the






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AL 710546 RO
          Commissioner is of  the  opinion  that  the  petition  should  be
          granted in part and the Administrator's order should be modified. 
           
              Section 2503.5 of the Tenant Protection Regulations  provides
          that a lease renewal notice must be on a form prescribed  by  the
          Division, notifying the tenant in occupancy by certified mail not 
          more than 120 days and not less than 90 days prior to the end  of
          the tenant's lease of the right to renew and giving the tenant  a
          period of 60 days from the date of mailing to accept  the  offer.
          Although the owner herein did not comply with this requirement, a 
          comparison of the RTP-8 form that the owner should have used with 
          the form the owner did  use  reveals  that  the  tenant  was  not
          prejudiced in any way by  the  owner's  error  and  in  fact  was
          granted more time than the Code  requires  to  select  a  renewal
          option.  Moreover, the tenant waited for more than a year  before
          filing a complaint, subjecting the owner to a  greater  financial
          liability than if he had filed a  complaint  when  the  incorrect
          form was first served on him.  

               Based on the particular  circumstances  of  this  case,  the
          Commissioner finds that the penalty assessed by the Administrator 
          of eliminating a guideline increase until a proper  renewal  form
          is offered and directing a refund of  all  overcharges  collected
          was excessive.  A more appropriate penalty would be a  $250  fine
          payable to the tenant as authorized  by  Section  2506.2  of  the
          Tenant Protection Regulations which allows such a penalty when  a
          landlord engages in an act prohibited by the Regulations. 

               The owner is cautioned that its failure to use DHCR's  forms
          in the future will subject  the  owner  to  the  penalty  of  the
          elimination of a guideline.

               THEREFORE,  in  accordance   with   the   Emergency   Tenant
          Protection Act and Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

               ORDERED, that this  petition  be  and  the  same  hereby  is
          granted in part and the Administrator's order  be  and  the  same
          hereby is modified to direct the landlord to pay $250 to the 






          tenant for failure to use the form prescribed by the Division for 
          renewal of the lease commencing July 1, 1985.  The  directive  to
          refund $889.56 and to eliminate a  guidelines  increase  until  a
          proper renewal form is served is hereby revoked.  

          ISSUED:







                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: AL 710546 RO
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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