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 : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: BF 110065-RO
DRO DOCKET NO.: TC 68290-G
TINA GRAF, CDR 30,261
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN PART
On June 9, 1987 the above named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on May 28, 1987 by the Rent
Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York concerning housing
accommodations known as Apartment 14-5P at 211-01 75th Avenue, Bayside,
New York wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had
overcharged the tenant.
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 on December 9, 1982
of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.
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 submitted a complete rental history
from the base date as required.
In Order Number CDR 30,261 the Rent Administrator determined that the
tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $707.52 and directed the
owner to refund such overcharge to the tenant as well as to reduce the
In this petition the owner makes three claims. First, she claims that the
Administrator used the improper base rent in the rental calculations.
Second, she claims that the Administrator failed to take cognizance of a
hardship rent increase granted by DHCR. Third, the owner argues that,
DOCKET NUMBER: BF 11065-RO
when the tenants moved in, the landlord installed a new refrigerator,
kitchen floor and basin. Thereby, the owner raised the rent pursuant to
Section 20C(1) of the former Rent Stabilization Code. Petitioner also
states that the tenant, in his complaint, misinterpreted the wording of an
interim Electric Order with regard to the removal of the electric
inclusion increase. The owner claimed that the only charges to be removed
were those for air conditioning and washing machine current. The tenant
had construed the order to mean that the electrical inclusion should be
removed when the rent was reduced due to the installation of individual
The owner also stated that the tenant purchased the apartment on August
20, 1983 and resold it on January 26, 1984.
The tenant filed no response to the petition. After a careful review of
the evidence in the record, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the
owner's petition should be granted in part and the Administrator's order
should be modified, to correct certain errors.
The owner's argument about the improper base rent figure is rejected.
Petitioner supplied a lease which purported to show the base rent to be
$254.25 instead of the $225 per month as found by the Administrator. The
lease, however, is for the period from June 1, 1976 to May 31, 1978. The
proper base rent date for this apartment is June 1, 1974. Petitioner's
records indicate that on that date, the rent was $225. The Administrator
was correct in using this amount.
With regard to the alleged improvements made to the apartment,
documentation (i.e paid bills or invoices) was required to be submitted to
the Administrator to establish that an increase is warranted.
Since no such documentation was submitted, an allowance cannot be made for
such alleged improvements in computing the lawful rent.
In its rental history charts the owner claimed that C.A.B. Opinion No.
4828 had authorized a 6.21% hardship increase. The Administrator did not
utilize that hardship increase in his calculations. Taking this into
account, the Commissioner has recalculated the lawful stabilization rents
and the amount of overcharge. They are set forth on the amended rent
calculation chart attached hereto and made a part hereof.
In the tenant's original complaint, he alleged that the rent overcharge
was caused by the owner's failing to deduct an amount equal to 4% of the
total rent, which represented the electrical inclusion allowances granted
in previous guideline increases. The tenant alleged that the 4% reduction
should have been in addition to the CAB ordered $30 rent reduction for
conversion to separate metering.
The Commissioner notes that the directive to delete from the tenant's
rent that portion of the rent attributable to electrical inclusion
allowances was not made until the final determination regarding the
conversion was issued on May 2, 1985 and was effective August 1, 1983 .
The terms of that final order (CDR 03,322) are also incorporated in the
attached rent calculation chart.
DOCKET NUMBER: BF 11065-RO
The corrected computations result in a determination that overcharges of
$248.44 including excess security are due to the tenant. The
Administrator's order is modified to reflect this overcharge.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in part
and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
modified to find a total overcharge of $248.44.