Docket Number: BC-410222-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BC 410222-RO
             DITMAS MANAGEMENT CO.,            DRO DOCKET NO.: 25480     

                              PETITIONER    : 

        On March 17, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition 
        for  Administrative  Review   against   an   order   of   the   Rent
        Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY issued February  18,
        1987.  The order concerned housing accommodations known as Apartment 
        5-E, located at 140 East  7th  Street,  New  York,  New  York.   The
        Administrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged.  

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

        The tenant filed  a  timely  objection  to  the  1984  Registration,
        claiming  that  the  registered  rent  of  $330  per  month  was  an
        overcharge, that the apartment consists of one (1) room, not two (2) 
        rooms and that the building  registration  was  not  provided.   The
        tenant also explained that an overcharge complaint  the  tenant  had
        filed with the N.Y.C. Conciliation and Appeals Board  (CAB)  against
        the former owner had been withdrawn by the tenant in accordance with 
        an out of court settlement negotiated with the prior owner in  which
        the tenant was given a  new  two  year  lease  for  $300  per  month
        commencing June 15, 1984 in return for the  tenant  withdrawing  the
        case filed with the CAB.  The tenant stated that he wanted the  1984
        registration to reflect this negotiated rental amount.

        The owner responded by submitting a copy of the lease in  effect  on
        April 1, 1980 the base rent date, and all leases subsequent  thereto
        and stated that the apartment contains one (1) room.  The owner also 
        submitted a copy of a lease for a former  tenant.   This  lease  was
        dated October 1, 1980 - September 30, 1982.   However,  the  subject
        tenant moved into the apartment on November  15,  1980.   The  owner
        also asserted that as a result of the negotiated  agreement  between
        the tenant and the former owner, the rent  has  been  adjusted  from
        $330 to $300 per  month  and  the  tenant's  application  should  be
        dismissed as there is no overcharge.

        The Administrator disallowed the lease for the former tenant on  the
        ground that that tenant never took occupancy.  Determining that  the


          Docket Number: BC-410222-RO

        complaining tenant had been overcharged, the Administrator  directed
        the owner to refund $3,349.74 in overcharges including interest  and
        excess security.

        On appeal the owner claims the predecessor landlord and  the  tenant
        entered into a settlement wherein a rental was  agreed  to  for  the
        subject apartment.  By reason of this settlement the tenant withdrew 
        a then pending rent overcharge complaint that had  been  filed  with
        the CAB.  Despite this, the tenant then filed an  objection  to  the
        1984 registration.   In  that  objection  the  tenant  proceeded  to
        challenge the rent as well as state that the owner failed to provide
        a building services registration form.  According to petitioner  the
        settlement precluded the tenant from complaining about the rent.

        The tenant filed a response to the petition wherein he  acknowledged
        that a settlement had  been  reached  with  the  prior  owner.   His
        purpose in filing  the  overcharge  complaint  was  to  correct  the
        apartment registration form.  As a result of DHCR's investigation of 
        the rental history for this apartment, the tenant now knows that  he
        had been overcharged for more than he previously believed  and  that
        he  settled  for  with  the  previous  owner.    He   requests   the
        Commissioner affirm the Rent Administrator's order.

        After careful consideration  of  the  evidence  in  the  record  the
        Commissioner is of the opinion that the petition should be denied.

        As a result of the settlement agreement entered into with the  prior
        owner, the  tenant  withdrew  a  pre-April  1,  1984  complaint  and
        relinquished a claim to certain  rights  for  potential  overcharges
        associated with that claim.  In exchange, the tenant was given a new 
        two year lease at a reduced rent.

        That agreement has no effect on the tenant's subsequent objection to 
        the 1984 registration which,  because  an  overcharge  was  alleged,
        resulted in an examination of the rent records back to April 1, 1980 
        and a determination as to the lawful rent.

        Pursuant to 9NYCRR 2520.13

                  "An agreement by the tenant to waive the bene-
                  fit of any provision of the RSL or this Code
                  is void; provided, however, that based upon a
                  negotiated settlement between the parties and
                  with the approval of the DHCR, or a court of
                  competent jurisdiction where a tenant is re-
                  presented by counsel, a tenant may withdraw,
                  with prejudice, any complaint pending before
                  the DHCR.  Such settlement shall not be
                  binding upon any subsequent tenant, except to
                  the extent that the complaint being settled
                  is subject to the time limitations set forth
                  in the RSL and this Code."

        This settlement  was  neither  approved  by  DHCR  nor  a  court  of
        competent jurisdiction.

        The tenant herein has explained that the settlement reached with the 
        prior owner was part of a general rent strike by the tenants of  the

          Docket Number: BC-410222-RO
        building and was negotiated "because  of  overwhelming  evidence  of
        overcharge" by the prior owner.  The tenant concedes that he was not 
        aware of what the lawful rent actually was for his  apartment  until
        the Administrator so determined it.  Since the  agreement  on  which
        the petitioner seeks to rely is being repudiated by the  tenant  and
        was negotiated by the tenant without knowledge of his  lawful  rent,
        and does not conform to the Code  provision  allowing  a  tenant  to
        waive his rights, it cannot serve to bar the tenant from entitlement 
        to the rent  and  overcharges  established  by  the  Administrator's

        THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is

        ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,  denied  and
        that the Rent Administrator's order be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,


                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


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