Docket No. BH410331RO
                                    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
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. BH410331RO 

                                                  DISTRICT RENT             
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
          Barbara Sloan,                          NO. L005359R
           
                                   PETITIONER
          ------------------------------------X

                      ORDER AND OPINION TERMINATING PROCEEDING


              On August 27, 1987, the above-named landlord filed a petition 
          for administrative review of an order issued on July 27, 1987 by a 
          Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known as 
          the Top Floor Apartment, 263 West 12th Street, New York, New York.

              This proceeding was commenced by the subject tenants filing a 
          rent overcharge dated September 25, 1985.

              The subject tenants first took occupancy on March 1, 1964 at a 
          monthly rent of $115.00.

              In her answer, dated January 20, 1987, the subject landlord 
          asserted, among other things, that the subject building only 
          contains two apartments, and that the landlord's address is the 
          same as the subject building's address.

              On June 15, 1987, the Administrator mailed a "Notice of 
          Commencement of Proceeding To Determine Facts or Fix Maximum or 
          Legal Regulated Rent" to the subject landlord.  The above-mentioned 
          notice proposed to determine that the subject apartment is rent 
          controlled and to establish its maximum rent at $132.00 per month 
          effective August 1, 1970.  The notice also requested that the 
          landlord submit evidence of any improvements done to the subject 
          premises which would warrant an increase in the subject apartment's 
          maximum rent.

              The record reflects that the landlord did not respond to the 
          above-mentioned notice.

              In the order under review herein, the Administrator determined 
          that the subject apartment is rent controlled and that its maximum 
          rent is $132.00 per month effective August 1, 1970; that the 
          Administrator's order directed the landlord to refund to the 












          Docket No. BH410331RO

          subject tenants all rents collected in excess of the legal maximum 
          rent with interest, beginning no earlier than two year prior to 
          September 26, 1985, and that the Administrator's order stated that:  
          "Owner may apply for rent adjustments for any improvements to 
          apartment and/or building since above date by requesting a Section 
          2202.22... and by entering the Maximum Base Rent System."

              In her petition the subject landlord asserts, among other 
          things, that the rent agency mailed the aforementioned notice to an 
          address which was different than the address listed in the 
          landlord's answer; that the rent agency mailed the aforementioned 
          notice and the Administrator's order to "a defunct address"; that 
          after the expiration of the aforementioned renewal lease the 
          subject tenants had voluntarily agreed to pay rent in excess of 
          $132.00 per month; that since 1969 there have been building-wide 
          improvements done to the subject building at a cost of 
          approximately $20,341.83, and that the subject landlord acquired 
          the subject building in July, 1985.

              To her petition the subject landlord attaches, among other 
          things, a list of various alleged improvements done to the subject 
          premises, and various cancelled checks and invoices relating to the 
          alleged improvements.

              In their response, dated November 27, 1987, the subject tenants 
          assert, among other things, that after the subject landlord 
          purchased the subject building there has been a diminution of 
          services including: discontinuance of garbage pick-up at the 
          apartment door; no access to the washing machine and dryer in the 
          basement; no access to the storage space in the basement; "cleaning 
          of the stairs and hall leading to the apartment became sporadic and 
          later non-existent", and that the providing of heat is not 
          dependable.

              Based on the record in this proceeding, the Commissioner finds 
          that the aforementioned "Notice of Commencement of Proceeding To 
          Determine Facts or Fix Maximum or Legal Regulated Rent" was mailed 
          to the landlord's prior address, and not the address that was noted 
          in the landlord's answer.  Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that 
          the subject landlord was not given an opportunity, in the 
          proceeding before the Administrator, to submit evidence of  
          improvements done to the subject premises which would qualify for 
          rent increases.

              However, the Commissioner is of the opinion that it is not 
          necessary to remand this proceeding to the Administrator.  The 
          record reflects that on February 9, 1993, the rent agency mailed a 
          letter to the subject landlord at the subject building's address, 
          which is the address noted in the landlord's answer.   The letter 
          asked the subject landlord if there is still an active issue to be 
          resolved in this proceeding.  The record further reflects that on 
          February 25, 1993 the above-mentioned letter was returned to the 






          Docket No. BH410331RO

          rent agency in an envelope marked "Returned to Sender-Attempted Not 
          known."    

              The rent agency's record and the record in this proceeding does 
          not contain a current address for the subject landlord.  As the 
          subject landlord has not informed the rent agency of her current 
          address; that any notices which would have been mailed to the 
          subject landlord at her last known address would have been returned 
          to the rent agency as undeliverable; that as a result of the rent 
          agency not knowing the landlord's address, the Administrator would 
          not be able to request further evidence from the landlord as to 
          improvements done to the subject premises, the Commissioner is of 
          the opinion that remanding this proceeding to the Administrator 
          would be a waste of time as any remand proceeding would be 
          conducted without the knowledge of the subject landlord.

              The Commissioner is accordingly of the opinion that this 
          proceeding should be terminated.

              The Commissioner finds that the landlord's assertion that the 
          tenants' voluntarily agreed to pay rent in excess of the maximum 
          rent is irrelevant.  Section 2200.15 of the City Rent and Eviction 
          Regulations state that:  "An agreement by the tenant to waive the 
          benefit of any provision of the Rent Law or these regulations is 
          void."

              The Commissioner is of the opinion that this order is issued 
          without prejudice to the landlord's right to file an application 
          with the rent agency for an increase in the subject apartment's 
          maximum rent due to apartment improvements and major capital 
          improvements, if the facts so warrant.

              THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the City Rent 
          and Rehabilitation Law and the Rent and Eviction Regulations, it is

              ORDERED, that this proceeding be, and the same hereby is, 
          terminated.

          ISSUED:



                                                                            
                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Deputy Commissioner






    

TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name