BA 110147 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  SJR 6380
      IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE    ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
      APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BA 110147 RO

                                             DRO DOCKET NO.: TC 051731 G/
           Michael M. Lee,                                   CDR 28367

                                             TENANT: Jose and Susan           
                               PETITIONER              Marroquin
      ------------------------------------X                             


          ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW



      On January 16, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
      for Administrative Review against an order issued on December 12, 1986  
      by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York, 
      concerning the housing accommodations known as 84-09 Talbot Street,
      New York, Apartment No. A34, wherein the Administrator determined that 
      an overcharge had occurred and directed the owner to refund overcharges 
      of $4,299.28 inclusive of excess security and interest on the overcharge 
      occurring on or after April 1, 1984.  The owner's Petition was denied on 
      March 10, 1992.

      Subsequent thereto, the petitioner filed a petition in the Supreme Court 
      pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules requesting 
      that the Commissioner's determination upholding the Rent Administrator's 
      order be reversed.

      On August 5, 1992, an order was signed by Justice Leviss remitting the 
      proceeding to the DHCR for reconsideration in light of the decision in 
      JRD Management V. Eimicke.

      The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly determined 
      the tenant's complaint of rent overcharge.

      Review of the record reveals that the tenants commenced this proceeding 
      by filing a complaint of rent overcharge on March 30, 1981 and that the 
      owner submitted an incomplete rental history, omitting a lease covering 
      the period June 1, 1979 through October 31, 1979, in response.  Based 
      upon the evidence in the record, the Commissioner issued an order 
      affirming the Rent Administrator's determination.




      However upon reconsideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
      this petition should be granted.







          BA 110147 RO


      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 years prior to the most recent registration, and 
      concomitantly, established a 4 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 sought to be consistent with the 
      legislative intent of the Omnibus Housing Act (Chapter 403, Laws of 
      1983) to determine rent overcharge complaints filed 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. 

      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 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, 1980 
      discloses that the April 1, 1980 rent was $287.50.  Review of the record 
      reveals that all subsequent rents were collected in accordance with 
      applicable Rent Guidelines Board orders.  Accordingly, the Commissioner 


          BA 110147 RO

      finds that there was no overcharge and dismisses the complaint.

      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 is permitted to pay off the arrears in 24 
      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 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 found that no rent overcharge occurred.


      ISSUED:



                                                                  
                                      JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                      Acting Deputy Commissioner




                 




































          BA 110147 RO



    

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