Docket Number: BE-110076-RT
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BE 110076-RT
             BETTY PERRY,                      DRO DOCKET  NO.:  Q  312126OR
                              PETITIONER    : 

        On May 19, 1987, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a  Petition
        for Administrative Review against an order issued on April 14, 1987, 
        by an Administrator concerning the housing  accommodation  known  as
        89-29 163rd Street, Jamaica, New York,  Apartment  5M,  wherein  the
        Administrator determined that  the  tenant  of  the  above-mentioned
        apartment had been overcharged in the amount of $3,383.12  including
        interest on those overcharges made on or after April 1, 1984.  

        The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was initiated  prior  to
        April 1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1(a)(4)  and  2521.1(d)  of  the  Rent
        Stabilization Code (effective May 1, 1987) governing rent overcharge 
        and fair market rent proceedings provide that determination of these 
        matters be based upon the law or code provisions in effect on  March
        31, 1984.   Therefore,  unless  otherwise  indicated,  reference  to
        Sections of the Rent Stabilization Code (Code) contained herein  are
        to the Code in effect on April 30, 1987.

        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 general rent overcharge complaint by the  tenant.   The  tenant
        stated in the Complaint that she moved into the subject apartment on 
        October 1, 1978 pursuant to a written 3 year lease at  a  rental  of
        $285.00.  She alleged that the former tenant was paying only $185.00 
        per month and that despite several  oral  requests  and  a  subpoena
        duces tecum issued March 25, 1983 (Index #L+T  16993/83)  the  owner
        had not given her a rental history.

        The owner was served with a copy of the tenant's complaint  and  was
        requested to submit copies of all leases or rent  records  to  prove
        the lawfulness of the rent being charged.

          Docket Number: BE-110076-RT

        The  owner  responded  asserting  that  they  had  entered  into  an
        Assurance of Discontinuance with the Attorney General's office.  The 
        Division requested a copy of the assurance to which  the  owner  did
        not respond.

        By letter dated January 12, 1987,  the  DHCR  asked  the  tenant  to
        submit copies of the leases she had entered into since  her  initial
        occupancy  of  the  subject  premises.   In  response,  the   tenant
        submitted a copy of a lease dated October 1, 1978 through  September
        30, 1981, copies of lease renewal riders for the period October 1981 
        through September 1987, a copy of the subpoena  duces  tecum  issued
        March 18, 1983 (Index  #L+T/16993/83)  and  receipts  for  bills  in
        payment to the owner for fuel surcharges and "legal  fees"  covering
        the period August 1980 through October 1981.

        The owner was sent a Final Notice of Pending Default on February 23, 
        1987 and in response, the owner simply stated that the apartment has 
        been stabilized since 1965 and was never subject to rent control.

        In the absence of a complete rental history,  an  order  was  issued
        using the  default  rent  computation  method.   The  District  Rent
        Administrator determined that the lawful  stabilized  rent  for  the
        tenant's initial lease of October 1, 1978 through September 30, 1981 
        was $251.10; subsequent rent guidelines increases revealed that  the
        tenant had been overcharged in the amount  of  $3,383.12,  including
        interest on those overcharges collected on or after April 1, 1984.

        In her petition the  tenant contends that the Administrator's  order
        is unfair as  the  overcharge  determination  is  not  based  on  an
        analysis of the full rental history for the subject apartment  which
        the tenant asserts it was the owner's duty to provide.   The  tenant
        further alleges that the owner deliberately withheld  disclosure  of
        the full rental history in a calculated attempt to deny the tenant a 
        larger  overcharge  award.   The  tenant  also  believes  that   the
        overcharge was deliberate on the owner's part and  thereby  requests
        that treble damages be imposed.

        The owner's answer to the tenant's petition  is  that  the  petition
        should be dismissed as untimely.

        After careful consideration the evidence of record, the Commissioner 
        is of the opinion  that  this  petition  for  administrative  review
        should be granted.

        It is noted initially that the owner's assertion that  the  tenant's
        petition is untimely is without merit.   The  Administrator's  order
        was issued on April 14, 1987 and the petition was filed on  May  19,
        1987, the 35th day,  which  satisfies  the  timeliness  requirements
        specified in Section 2529.2 of the Rent Stabilization Code.

        The tenant in her petition seeks an award of  treble  damages  as  a
        penalty for the owner's persistent refusal to submit  rent  records.
        Section 2526.1 of the Code provides that an owner who  is  found  by
        DHCR to have collected rent in excess of the legal regulated rent 

          Docket Number: BE-110076-RT

        shall be ordered to pay to the tenant a penalty equal to three times 
        the amount of  such  excess,  unless  the  owner  establishes  by  a
        preponderance of the evidence that the overcharge was not wilful.

        Given the case of  J.R.D.  Mgt.   v.  Eimicke,  148  A.D.2d  610,539
        N.Y.S.2d 667 (App. Div. 2d Dept. 1989), which held that an owner  of
        a building located in the Second  Department  was  not  required  to
        submit a rental history before April 1, 1980 in  a  rent  overcharge
        proceeding initiated before April 1, 1984, the Commissioner does not 
        find that the imposition of treble  damages  is  warranted  in  this
        case.  The Commissioner affirms the finding of  overcharges  because
        the owner failed  to  file  a  petition  for  administrative  review
        against the Administrator's order.

        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 Administrator's order be and the  same  hereby  is  modified  in
        accordance with this order and opinion.


                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


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