ARL 12403-K
                                  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. ARL 12403-K

                                              :  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
               Windsor Place Corp.               DOCKET NO. K 3103269-R

                                                 TENANT:  Allan   Gettleman
           
                                PETITIONER    : 
          ------------------------------------X 

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                          

          On August 5, 1986, the above-named petitioner  filed  a  Petition
          for Administrative Review against an order  issued  on  July  21,
          1986,  by  the  Rent  Administrator,   concerning   the   housing
          accommodations known as 150 Remsen Street,  Brooklyn,  New  York,
          Apartment No. 63, wherein the Rent Administrator determined  that
          the owner had overcharged the tenant.

          The Administrative Appeal is being  determined  pursuant  to  the
          provisions of Section 2526.1 of the  current  Rent  Stabilization
          Code.

          The issue herein is whether the Rent  Administrator's  order  was
          warranted.

          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 in  March,
          1984 of a rent overcharge  complaint  by  the  tenant,  who  took
          occupancy on November 15, 1975 under a lease commencing  November
          15, 1975 and expiring November 14, 1977, at  a  monthly  rent  of
          $215.00.  The owner was served with a copy of the  complaint  and
          was requested to submit rent records to prove the  lawfulness  of
          the rent being charged.  In answer to the  complaint,  the  owner
          stated that no overcharge existed and that  the  owner  purchased
          the building in 1983 and was furnished leases from November 1975. 
          The owner submitted a rental history from November 15, 1976.
          In Order Number 19,944, the Rent  Administrator  determined  that
          due to the owner's failure to submit a complete  rental  history,
          the tenant had  been  overcharged  in  the  amount  of  $4,267.12
          including interest, on the  overcharge  occurring  on  and  after
          April 1, 1984 and directed the owner to refund such overcharge to 
          the tenant as well as to reduce the rent.

          In this petition, the owner alleges, in substance,  that  it  had
          responded to the tenant's  complaint;  that  the  Administrator's
          calculations were in error; and that the  choice  of  methods  to






          ARL 12403-K
          determine the "fair market" rent was  unfair,  resulting  in  the
          finding of overcharge.

          The tenant did not respond to the petition.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be
          granted.
               
          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)  and  to  produce  such
          records to the DHCR upon demand.

          Section 26-516 of the 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  to
          produce rent records for more than four (4) years  prior  to  the
          most recent registration, and concomitantly, established  a  four
          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 filed so as not to deprive such tenants 
          of their rights 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  four  years  prior  to
          April 1, 1984 of the 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. Mgmt. v. 
          Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610. 539 N.Y.S. 2d 667 (App. Div.  2d  Dept.,
          1989). motion for leave to reargue or for leave to appeal to  the
          Court of Appeals denied ( App. Div. 2d Dept., 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.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 four 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






          ARL 12403-K
          A.D.2d 185, 544 N.Y.S.2d 331 (App.  Div.  1st  Dept.  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.   In
          this case, an examination of the rental  history  from  April  1,
          1980  through  October  14,  1985  discloses  that   the   lawful
          stabilized rents were charged, and that no overcharge occurred.

          If the owner has already complied with the  Rent  Administrator's
          order and there are arrears due to the owner as a result  of  the
          instant determination, the tenant shall be permitted to  pay  off
          the arrears in twenty four equal  monthly  installments.   Should
          the tenant vacate after  the  issuance  of  this  order  or  have
          already vacated, said arrears shall be payable immediately.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Appellate  Division  ruling  in
          JRD, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and the 
          same  hereby  is,  granted  and  that  the  order  of  the   Rent
          Administrator be, and the same hereby  is,  revoked,  and  it  is
          determined that the tenant was not overcharged.


          ISSUED:
                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                     
























          ARL 12403-K


































    

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