ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BA 110136 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.:  BA  110136  RO
                                                 D.R.O. DOCKET NO.:      
                                              :          TC         076047-G
                                                 SJR NO.: 3728
                    GEORGE SUBRAJ,                              

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

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
            AFTER COURT REMIT

               This proceeding  was  commenced  by  the  filing  of  a  rent
          overcharge complaint  by  the  tenant  (Ivory  Watson)  concerning
          housing accommodations known as Apartment No. 5B  at  88-15  144th
          Street, Jamaica, New York. 

               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, 
          among other things, that the prior owner  was  unable  to  furnish
          leases for the subject apartment.

               In Order Number CDR 27,841, the District  Rent  Administrator
          determined that the owner had failed to submit a  complete  rental
          history as required by Section 42A of the  Code;  established  the
          lawful stabilized rent based on the tenant's vacancy rent minus  a
          guideline and vacancy allowance; determined that  the  tenant  had
          been overcharged; and directed the owner to refund overcharges  of
          $5448.15, including interest on overcharges collected after  April
          1, 1984, to the tenant.

               The  owner  filed  a  petition  for   administrative   review
          challenging the Administrator's order. 

               In his petition, the owner contended that he had advised  the
          DHCR on November 12, 1986 that the owner and tenant had reached  a
          settlement and that the tenant wished to withdraw  her  complaint.
          The owner submitted a statement by the tenant  dated  November  7,
          1986 in which the tenant stated that she wished  to  withdraw  her
          complaint and a release signed by the tenant.

               The tenant did not submit an answer to the owner's petition.




               By order issued November 17,  1988,  the  Commissioner  found
          that the Administrator properly determined the  lawful  stabilized






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BA 110136 RO
          rent based on established default  procedures.   The  Commissioner
          also found that the settlement agreement submitted  by  the  owner
          was not binding on the tenant since it was  not  approved  by  the
          DHCR or ordered by a court and the tenant was not  represented  by
          counsel. 

               Subsequent thereto the owner  filed  a  petition  in  Supreme
          Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law  and  Rules
          challenging the Commissioner's order.  

               In the Article 78 petition, the owner argues  that  the  case
          should be reconsidered in light of the decision of  the  Appellate
          Division, Second Department in  the  case  of  JRD  Mgt  Corp.  v.
          Eimicke.  The owner also asserts that the  tenant's  complaint  of
          rent overcharge was "specific" in nature,  that  the  tenant  only
          complained of the $8.00 per month  fuel  surcharge  she  had  been
          charged; that the DHCR should not have expanded on this complaint; 
          that  the  tenant's  specific  complaint  was  resolved   by   the
          settlement, pursuant  to  which  the  excess  fuel  surcharge  was
          refunded; that there was no rational basis for the DHCR to  reject
          the tenant's withdrawal; and  that  the  DHCR  has  accepted  such
          withdrawals where the tenant was not represented  by  an  attorney
          and where the withdrawal was not so ordered by a court.

               By stipulation entered into between the owner and  the  DHCR,
          the proceeding was remitted to the  DHCR  for  reconsideration  of
          all issues raised by the Article 78 petition and for issuance of a 
          new order consistent with the decision of the Appellate  Division,
          Second Department in the case of J.R.D. Mgt. Corp. v. Eimicke.

               Subsequent thereto,  pursuant  to  the  DHCR's  agreement  to
          reconsider all issues raised by the owner in its court action, the 
          owner submitted rental documentation from April 1, 1980 consisting 
          of copies of the prior owner's rent ledger sheets indicating  that
          the prior tenant paid a rent of $355.00 per month  for  March  and
          April 1980 and that the apartment was vacant thereafter  until  it
          was occupied by the complainant tenant in September 1980.

               A copy of this submission was  served  on  the  tenant.   The
          tenant did not respond thereto. 

               After careful consideration of all of the evidence of record, 
          the Commissioner finds that the petition should be granted. 

               A review of the record in this case indicates that the tenant 
          filed a complaint of specific rent overcharge, asserting that  the
          rent of $375.00 per month for her initial 3 year lease  commencing
          September 1, 1980 was increased by  $8.00  for  a  fuel  surcharge
          commencing September 1981 and that she was charged a  $10.00  late
          fee when she paid her rent after the  tenth  of  the  month.   The
          tenant did not claim that her initial rent of $375.00 per month 



          was excessive or request a rental history from the base date.  The
          Commissioner finds that it was improper for the  Administrator  to
          treat this case as a complaint of general  rent  overcharge.   The
          settlement agreement submitted by the owner, which  is  undisputed
          by the tenant, indicates that the $8.00 per month  fuel  surcharge






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BA 110136 RO
          which was  collected  from  September  1981  to  August  1983  was
          refunded to the tenant.   

               The Commissioner finds that any further consideration of  the
          tenant's complaint as a complaint of general  rent  overcharge  is
          unwarranted and the Administrator's order  treating  the  tenant's
          complaint as a complaint of general rent overcharge  and  applying
          the default procedure to  establish  the  lawful  stabilized  rent
          should be revoked.  The Commissioner notes that, in light  of  the
          JRD decision which  is  controlling  in  Second  Department  cases
          limiting the requirement for rent records to a period of  4  years
          from the most recent registration and the  owner's  submission  of
          rental documentation from  April  1,  1980,  the  tenant  was  not
          overcharged (except, as noted above, the improper  fuel  surcharge
          which was refunded to the tenant).  In light of this  finding  and
          the tenant's withdrawal of the complaint, the  Commissioner  deems
          it appropriate to terminate this proceeding.     

               Any arrears owed by the tenant as a result of this order  may
          be paid by the tenant  in  equal  monthly  installments  over  the
          course of the next 24 months.   Should  the  tenant  vacate  after
          issuance of this order or have already vacated, all arrears  shall
          be payable immediately.  

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law  and
          Code, it is

               ORDERED, that  this  petition  be  and  the  same  hereby  is
          granted, and the District Rent Administrator's order  be  and  the
          same hereby is revoked. 

          ISSUED:




                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner



                                          






















          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BA 110136 RO














    

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