STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE
APPEAL OF ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
DOCKET NO.: BA 110438-RO
MAMNOON A. MARGHOOB, DRO DOCKET NOS.: 17044
TENANT: HENRY HORTON
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On January 12, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
December 16, 1986 by the District Rent Administrator, 2 World
Trade Center, New York, New York concerning housing
accommodations known as Apartment B15 at 77-02 34th Avenue,
Jackson Heights, New York wherein the District Rent Administrator
determined that the owner had overcharged the tenant.
The issue in this appeal is whether the District Rent
Administrator's order was warranted.
The applicable sections of the Law are Section 26-516 of the
Rent Stabilization Law and Sections 2522.4(a) and 2526.1(a) of
the Rent Stabilization Code.
The Administrator's order used a April 1, 1980 base rent of
$255.19 to determined a lawful rent of $346.76 in the
complainant's vacancy lease commencing April 1, 1984, and found
an overcharge of $4,991.15 as of March 31, 1986. The order
stated that the owner had not submitted documentation for claimed
renovations and new appliances.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the
documentation was submitted on time. With his petition the owner
has enclosed a copy of a certified mail receipt signed by a
Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) staff member on
February 4, 1986; and a March 25, 1984 invoice from Deco Renew
for "complete renovation of whole apt." of Apartment B-15 for
$7,036.25, consisting of the following:
1) Repair wood floor, sand and polish
2) Remodel kitchen:
1) Break and remove old cabinet
2) Fix new cabinets
1) Remove old apps.
2) Supply and install new apps.
1) Remove old medicine cabinet
2) Install new " "
3) Fix all bathroom ceramic tile
4) Remove old and fix new vanity
1) Primer and base
2) Plaster and sand
3) Good two coat paint
The owner also enclosed a March 27, 1984 invoice for $891.73 for
"additional charges for repairs in Apartment # B-15 and B-60"; an
invoice for $9,580.13 for work in Apartment B-60; and cancelled
checks to Ahmed Gangat made out on April 4, 1984, May 7, 1984 and
July 30, 1984 and totalling $15,724.65. The owner contended that
the $891.73 cost should be pro-rated between the two apartments,
with a cost of $378.24 being assigned to the subject apartment.
While the invoices total $17,508.11, the owner later stated that
the reduced amount of $15,724.65 was paid after negotiations with
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
granted in part.
The non-itemized $7,036.25 invoice submitted by the owner is
problematic, since it contains both allowable [new appliances]
and non-allowable ordinary repair and maintenance [repair, sand
and polish floors, repair tile, and paint] items. (The $891.73
invoice is not problematic, since it is for "repairs" and is
therefore not allowable.) Because there is no evidence or even
contention that improvements were not made, the Commissioner
considers it appropriate to allow some rent increase for them.
Of the potential $6,319.50 of possible expenses from the invoice
($7,036.25 billed, pro-rated to account for the percentage of all
three invoices actually paid), $4,000.00 is allowed as likely
being not more than the value of the new equipment installed in
and improvements made to the tenant's apartment, after excluding
costs for work constituting ordinary maintenance and repairs.
This entitles the owner to an increase of $100.00 ($4,000.00
divided by 40) in the complainant's vacancy lease over what would
normally be allowed. The lawful stabilization rent in the
tenant's initial lease from April 1, 1984 to March 31, 1985 is
therefore $446.74 per month (September 30, 1983 rent of $304.16
increased by a Guideline 15 increase of 4% for a one-year lease
and 10% vacancy allowance equals $346.74, plus $100.00 for new
equipment and improvements). Because the owner charged $525.00,
there was an overcharge of $78.26 per month for 12 months, or
$939.12. Interest on that overcharge is $130.31 through March
31, 1986, the last day covered by the Administrator's order. The
lawful stabilization rent in the tenant's lease from April 1,
1985 to March 31, 1986 is $473.54 per month (September 30, 1984
rent of $446.74 plus a 6% Guideline 16 increase for a one-year
renewal lease). Because the owner charged $556.50, there was an
overcharge of $82.96 per month for 12 months, or $995.52.
Interest on that overcharge is $48.53 through March 31, 1986.
The total overcharge as of March 31, 1986 was therefore $2,196.44
($939.12 plus $130.31 plus $995.52 plus $48.53 equals $2,113.48,
plus excess security of $82.96).
The owner is cautioned to adjust the rent, in leases after those
considered in this order, to amounts no greater than that
determined by this order plus any lawful increases, and to
register any adjusted rent, with this order being given as the
reason for the adjustment. Because of the possibility that the
tenant herein may have vacated by the time that this
determination is issued, a copy of this determination is being
mailed to the tenant-in-occupancy.
If the owner has already complied with the Administrator's order
and there are arrears due to the owner as a result of the present
determination, the owner is directed to allow the tenant to pay
off the arrears in twelve equal monthly installments. Should the
tenant vacate after the issuance of this order, or have
previously vacated, said arrears shall be payable immediately.
This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the
owner may institute a proceedi g pursuant to Article Seventy-
Eight of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed and enforced
by the tenant 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, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted
in part and that the Administrator's order be, and the same
hereby is, modified in accordance with this order and opinion.
The total overcharge, including excess security of $82.96 is
$2,196.44 as of March 31, 1986. The lawful stabilization rent is
$473.54 per month in the lease from April 1, 1985 to March 31,
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner