BA 410148 RT; ETC.
                                  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 NOS.: BA 410148 RT
                                                               CA 410065 RT
                                                               BF 410216 RT
                                                               BD 430022 RT
                     STANLEY YALKOWSKY,
                                                  D.R.O. DOCKET NOS.: 020935
                                                                      48845 
                                                                      039044
                                                                      34414
                                 PETITIONER                           19466
          ----------------------------------X


                    ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDINGS ON APPEAL 

          On December 29, 1986, the above-mentioned petitioner-tenant filed 
          a Petition for Administrative Review (BA 410148  RT)  against  an
          order (020935) issued on December 9, 1986 by  the  District  Rent
          Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York, concerning 
          housing accommodations known as Apartment 20G,  25  Central  Park
          West, New York, New York.

          On December 27, 1987, the same petitioner filed another  Petition
          for  Administrative  Review  (CA  410065  RT)  against  an  order
          (048845) issued  on  December  22,  1987  by  same  Administrator
          concerning the same housing accommodations.

          On June 8, 1987, the same petitioner filed another  Petition  for
          Administrative Review (BF 410216 RT) against  an  order  (039044)
          issued on May 11, 1987 by the same Administrator  concerning  the
          same housing accommodations.

          On April 13, 1987, the same petitioner filed another Petition for 
          Administrative Review (BD 430022 RT)  against  an  order  (34414)
          issued on March 18, 1987 by  the  same  Administrator  concerning
          Apartment 20E of the same building.

          The Commissioner has consolidated these four  petitions  as  they
          all involve common issues of law and fact.


          The  issue  in  these  appeals  is  whether  the  District   Rent
          Administrator's orders were warranted.

          The applicable sections of the law are Section 2(i)(1)(c),  2(m),
          25 and 26 of the former  Rent  Stabilization  Code  and  Sections
          2520.6(r),  2522.3,  2522.6  and  2528  of   the   current   Rent
          Stabilization Code.







          BA 410148 RT; ETC.
          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 appeals.

          Docket Number 048845

          This proceeding was commenced on August 10, 1984 by the  tenant's
          filing of an objection to the rent/services registration  wherein
          the tenant contended in substance that the April 1, 1984 rent  of
          $861.01 for Apartment 20G was an overcharge, that he received the 
          RR-1 Form from the owner on July 7, 1984, that he first filed  an
          overcharge complaint on May 27,  1980  with  the  New  York  City
          Conciliation and Appeals Board (CAB), the agency formerly charged 
          with enforcing the Rent Stabilization Law, and that ownership  of
          the subject premises had changed  several  times  since  his  CAB
          complaint.  The tenant enclosed a copy of his CAB complaint dated 
          May 27, 1980 wherein the tenant stated that he wasn't  given  the
          DC-2 Form until several months after first moving  in,  that  the
          rental amounts  listed  as  the  1978  maximum  base  rents  were
          inflated, that his rent was in excess of  the  fair  market  rent
          especially considering the poor conditions of the two  apartments
          and the fact that  Apartment  20E  had  no  kitchen,  closets  or
          entryway.

          On July 14, 1986, the owner submitted its answer to the  tenant's
          objection contending  in  substance  that  the  tenant  commenced
          occupancy of the subject apartment on October 1, 1978;  prior  to
          that time  the  apartment  was  rent  controlled;  the  1978/1979
          maximum base rent for the subject apartment was $614.73; pursuant 
          to the Omnibus Housing Act of 1983, the base rent  date  for  the
          subject apartment was the rent charged on  March  31,  1980;  the
          tenant was the  first  rent  stabilized  tenant  of  the  subject
          apartment and did not challenge the initial legal regulated rent; 
          the tenant's initial rent of $717.51  did  not  exceed  the  fair
          market rent because the 1978 Maximum Base Rent (MBR)  of  $614.73
          plus a 20% Special Guidelines increase equals an amount which was 
          greater than the tenant's initial rent; and  the  rental  history
          for the subject apartment indicated that no overcharge occurred.

          On  November  17,  1987,  the  former  managing   agent   (Chanin
          Management, Inc.) of the former owner (Century Apartments,  Inc.)
          informed the Division of Housing  and  Community  Renewal  (DHCR)
          that the subject building was sold by Century Apartments, Inc. in 
          January of 1981, that the tenant executed a  general  release  to
          Century Apartments Inc. on August 30, 1981 wherein $4,471.48  was
          provided to the tenant in return for a release as to  all  claims
          and demands against Century Apartments, Inc., and that  therefore
          the tenant did not have a claim against the former owner.

          In Docket Number 048845 issued December 22,  1987,  the  District
          Rent Administrator  terminated  the  proceeding  based  upon  the
          general release executed by the tenant on August 30, 1981.

          In the petition under  Administrative  Review  Docket  Number  CA
          410065  RT,  the  tenant   contends,   inter   alia,   that   the
          Administrator's order is incorrect and should be reversed because 
          the release given to the owner at the civil trial has nothing  at
          all to do with his rent registration objection; the  wrong  owner
          is listed on the Administrator's order; so  many  docket  numbers






          BA 410148 RT; ETC.
          have been given to the instant proceeding that he is uncertain as 
          to which matter he is appealing; and the Administrator has issued 
          inconsistent orders with regard to his objection to the apartment 
          registration.

          In response, the owner contends in  substance  that  the  general
          release executed by the tenant on August 30,  1981  protects  the
          former owner from all possible claims by the tenant.

          Docket Number 020935

          This proceeding was commenced on August 10, 1984 by the  tenant's
          filing of an  objection  to  the  rent/services  registration  (a
          duplicate of the objection filed under Docket Number 048845).

          On October 27, 1986,  the  owner  submitted  its  answer  to  the
          objection wherein the owner  questioned  the  timeliness  of  the
          tenant's objection and alleged that the tenant had fil d  a  pre-
          April 1, 1984 overcharge complaint under  Docket  Number  048845,
          and therefore these proceedings should be  combined  and  decided
          simultaneously.  The owner also  incorporated  its  answer  filed
          under Docket Number 048845.

          In Docket Number 020935 issued December  9,  1986,  the  District
          Rent Administrator determined that the tenant had filed a  timely
          objection to the rent registration, but that  no  overcharge  had
          occurred from the base rent date of April 1, 1980.

          In the petition under  Administrative  Review  Docket  Number  BA
          410148  RT,  the  tenant   contends   in   substance   that   the
          Administrator's order is incorrect and should be reversed because 
          the CAB never adjudicated his first complaint as to the  legality
          of his initial rent of $717.51 for Apartment 20G;  it  was  wrong
          for the Administrator to use the rent charged on April 1, 1980 as 
          the base rent; that his initial rent of $575.00 for apartment 20E 
          was excessive considering the fact that the prior tenant was rent 
          controlled and the 1972-1973  MBR  was  $345.46;  and  he  hasn't
          received an answer regarding his complaint as to Apartment 20E.

          In response, the owner contends  in  substance  that  the  rental
          history for the subject  apartment  confirms  the  fact  that  no
          overcharge occurred; pursuant to the Omnibus Housing Act of 1983, 
          the base rent for the subject apartment was the rent  charged  on
          March 31, 1980;  and  pursuant  to  the  holding  in  the  J.R.D.
          Management Corp. case, the owner is only required to provide rent 
          records from no more than four years prior to the Administrator's 
          order.

          Docket Number 039044

          This proceeding was commenced on August 10, 1984 by the  tenant's
          filing of an  objection  to  the  rent/services  registration  (a
          duplicate of the objections filed under Docket Numbers 020935 and 
          048845).

          In Docket Number 039044 issued May 11, 1987,  the  District  Rent
          Administrator dismissed the tenant's objection as being  untimely
          (filed 104 days after receipt of the registration).







          BA 410148 RT; ETC.
          In the petition under  Administrative  Review  Docket  Number  BF
          410216  RT,  the  tenant   contends   in   substance   that   the
          Administrator's order is incorrect and should be reversed because 
          the tenant timely filed his objection within  ninety  days  after
          receipt of the registration; the tenant  has  had  an  overcharge
          complaint pending since 1980 which has yet to  be  resolved;  and
          the Administrator has needlessly created several  docket  numbers
          for the instant proceeding causing much confusion.

          In  response,  the  owner  contends   in   substance   that   the
          Administrator's  order  should  be  affirmed  as   the   tenant's
          objection was filed more than  104  days  after  receipt  of  the
          registration.

          Docket Number 019466

          This proceeding was commenced on August 10, 1984 by the  tenant's
          filing of an objection  to  the  rent/services  registration  for
          Apartment  20E  of  the  subject  building  wherein  the   tenant
          contended in substance that the April 1, 1984 rent of $690.00 was 
          an overcharge and that the subject apartment did  not  contain  a
          stove,  refrigerator,  sink,  closets  or  kitchen.   The  tenant
          further contended that he first  filed  an  overcharge  complaint
          with the CAB on May 27, 1980, but hadn't received a determination 
          yet and that  ownership  of  the  subject  premises  had  changed
          several times since then.

          The owner submitted  an  answer  to  the  tenant's  objection  on
          November 5, 1985 and contended in  substance  that:   the  tenant
          moved into Apartment 20G on October 1, 1978;  the  tenant  rented
          the adjoining premises, Apartment 20E, on January 1, 1979; at the 
          tenant's request the owner  agreed  to  alter  Apartment  20E  by
          removing the electrical equipment from the kitchen as well as the 
          sink,  kitchen  cabinets  and  closets,  and  by  installing   an
          interior  door  between  the  two  apartments;   the   alteration
          agreement between the owner's managing agent and the  tenant  was
          an arm's length transaction since the tenant  was  an  attornery;
          the tenant himself requested the change in services and therefore 
          cannot now allege a  reduction  of  services  or  object  to  the
          registration; there is not evidence such as a DHCR date stamp  on
          the tenant's objection to establish conclusively that the  tenant
          timely filed his objection, therefore the tenant's objection must 
          be dismissed; and the tenant was not overcharged as the  tenant's
          initial rent of $575.00 was less then the  fair  market  rent  of
          $605.39 (1978 MBR of $504.49 plus the Special Guidelines increase 
          of 20%).  In support of these contentions, the owner submitted  a
          letter signed by both the tenant and the former owner's  managing
          agent wherein the parties agreed that a gas range,  refrigerator,
          kitchen sink and  kitchen  cabinets  would  not  be  supplied  in
          Apartment 20E, but that the landlord agreed  to  install  at  its
          own  expense  to  a  door  between  Apartments   20E   and   20G.
          Unfortunately, the owner's answer was never served on the tenant.

          In Docket Number 19466 issued December  17,  1985,  the  District
          Rent Administrator determined that the tenant had filed a  timely
          objection to the apartment registration, that the owner  did  not
          provide  the  services  of  a  stove,  kitchen  cabinets,   sink,
          refrigerator and closets for Apartment 20E, and  that  the  above
          services which had been temporarily removed  from  Apartment  20E






          BA 410148 RT; ETC.
          must be reinstalled upon the separation  of  Apartments  20E  and
          20G.

          Docket Number 034414

          This proceeding was commenced on October 5, 1984 by the  tenant's
          refiling of his objection to the rent/services registration which 
          he previously filed  on  August  10,  1984  under  Docket  Number
          019466.

          On October 27, 1986, the owner submitted a  copy  of  the  answer
          which it filed under Docket Number 019466.

          The tenant was served with  a  copy  of  the  owner's  answer  on
          February 19, 1987.  In his response to the  owner's  answer,  the
          tenant contended in substance that he never  made  any  agreement
          with the owner to forego a kitchen in  Apartment  20E,  that  his
          signature was forged by the owner on the letter relating  to  the
          alleged agreement to  forego  equipment  in  Apartment  20E,  his
          objection to the registration was  timely  filed,  and  that  his
          initial rent of $575.00 was excessive in light of the  fact  that
          the prior tenant only paid a monthly rent of $278.12.

          In Docket Number 034414 issued March 18, 1987, the District  Rent
          Administrator determined that no overcharge occurred with respect 
          to Apartment 20E.

          In the petition under  Administrative  Review  Docket  Number  BD
          430022 RT, the tenant contends in  substance  that  the  District
          Rent Administrator's order is incorrect and  should  be  reversed
          because the owner listed in the order is not and  never  was  the
          owner of the subject building, he never arranged with  the  owner
          to remove all kitchen appliance from Apartment 20E,  his  initial
          rent of $575.00 for Apartment 20E was improper, and his  original
          overcharge complaint concerning Apartment 20E was filed with  the
          CAB  in  1980,  but  has  yet  to  be  determined,  and   several
          submissions by the owner pertaining to the instant proceeding and 
          related proceedings were provided to the tenant after the date of 
          the Administrator's order or were not provided to the  tenant  at
          all.

          The owner did not submit a response to the tenant's petition.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that these proceedings must be 
          remanded for further consideration.

          A review of the record in the instant  case  indicates  that  the
          tenant filed an overcharge complaint with  the  CAB  on  May  27,
          1980, but  unfortunately  neither  the  CAB  nor  the  DHCR  ever
          adjudicated his overcharge complaint.  On  August  10,  1984  the
          tenant filed timely objections to the rent/services registrations 
          for Apartments 20E and 20G, included copies of his  original  CAB
          overcharge complaint, and requested a determination regarding his 
          original CAB complaint.  Accordingly, the Commissioner  deems  it
          appropriate to treat the tenant's rent registration objections as 
          overcharge complaints filed prior to  April  1,  1984  for  which
          Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code applies.

          Section 42A requires that an owner retain  complete  records  for






          BA 410148 RT; ETC.
          each stabilized apartment in effect from June 30,  1974  (or  the
          date the apartment  became  subject  to  rent  stabilization,  if
          later) to date and to produce  such  records  to  the  DHCR  upon
          demand.

          A further review of  the  rental  history  in  the  instant  case
          discloses  that  the  complaining  tenant  was  the  first   rent
          stabilized tenant of Apartments 20E and 20G and  was  questioning
          the initial legal regulated rents of both apartments.  Thus, this 
          proceeding must be remanded to determined whether the tenant  was
          entitled to challenge the initial legal regulated  rents  of  the
          subject apartments pursuant to Sections 25 and 26 of  the  former
          Rent Stabilization Code, and if  so,  to  determine  whether  the
          initial legal regulated rents exceed the fair market rents of the 
          subject apartments.  All parties are to be notified and  given  a
          chance to submit evidence in such remanded  proceeding  including
          evidence as to whether the tenant was  served  with  the  Initial
          Legal Regulated Rent Notices (DC-2 Notices).  If the  tenant  was
          served with the DC-2 Notices, then the tenant's  complaints  must
          be dismissed unless they were filed within ninety days after  the
          tenant received the DC-2 Notices.  The  Commissioner  notes  that
          the tenant has alleged that the MBR amounts for  both  apartments
          were excessively high, therefore the  Administrator  should  also
          determine the validity of these MBR's.

          With regard to the tenant's contentions that  Apartment  20E  did
          not have a stove, refrigerator, kitchen, sink and  closets,  that
          the tenant never agreed to the removal  of  this  equipment,  and
          that his  alleged  signature  on  a  letter  submitted  by  owner
          agreeing to the removal of  the  equipment  was  a  forgery,  the
          Commissioner finds that this matter must also be remanded  for  a
          hearing to be held to determined whether the tenant consented  to
          the removal of the above-mentioned equipment.   If  the  tenant's
          signature on the letter submitted by the owner is found to  be  a
          forgery, then the apartment registration  should  be  amended  to
          include the above-mentioned equipment  and  appropriate  punitive
          sanctions for fraud should be imposed if found to be warranted by 
          the Administrative Law Judge.

          With regard to the owner's contention that  the  general  release
          executed by the tenant on August 31, 1981 protects the owner from 
          all possible claims by the tenant, the  Commissioner  notes  that
          the tenant has asserted that the general release has  nothing  to
          do with the instant  proceeding,  but  instead  pertained  to  an
          eviction proceeding for non-payment of  rent  wherein  the  judge
          awarded  the  tenant  a  rent  abatement,  punitive  damages  and
          attorney's fees due to a severe leak  problem  in  Apartment  20G
          which  was  not  repaired  by  the   owner.    Accordingly,   the
          Commissioner rejects the owner's contention.

          With regard to  the  owner's  contention  that  pursuant  to  the
          Omnibus  Housing  Act,  the  base  rent  date  for  the   subject
          apartment was March 31, 1980 and  that  pursuant  to  the  J.R.D.
          Management Corp. decision, the owner is only required to  provide
          rent  records  from  no  more  than  four  years  prior  to   the
          Administrator's order, the Commissioner notes that  the  tenant's
          original overcharge complaint was filed prior to April  1,  1984,
          and therefore Section 2(i)(1)(c) of the former Rent Stabilization 
          Code controls which states as follows:






          BA 410148 RT; ETC.

               The Initial Legal Regulated Rent  for  a  dwelling  unit
               which was subject to the  City  Rent  Law  on  June  30,
               1974, and by virtue of a vacancy on  or  after  July  1,
               1974, becomes subject to  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law,
               shall be the first  rent  charged  and  paid  after  the
               dwelling  unit  first  becomes  subject  to   the   Rent
               Stabilization Law subject to  the  right  of  appeal  as
               prescribed in Sections 24 and 25 of the Code.

          Since the tenant herein was the first rent stabilized  tenant  to
          occupy both of the subject apartments after  decontrol  from  the
          Rent Control Law, the appropriate base rent dates for  Apartments
          20G  and  20E  are  October  1,  1978  and   January   1,   1979,
          respectively.   Furthermore,  the  Commissioner  notes  that  the
          case of J.R.D. Management Corp. v. Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610  (App.
          Div. 2d Dept. 1989), only applies to  accommodations  located  in
          the Second  Judicial  Department  and  the  subject  premises  is
          located in  the First Judicial  Department.   Accordingly,  these
          contentions of the owner are rejected by the Commissioner.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  and
          Code, it is

          ORDERED, that these  petitions  be,  and  the  same  hereby  are,
          granted to  the  extent  of  remanding  this  proceeding  to  the
          District Rent Administrator for further processing in  accordance
          with  this  Order  and  Opinion.   The  following  District  Rent
          Administrator's  orders  are  hereby  revoked:   048845,  020935,
          039044, 034414 and 19466.



          ISSUED:



                                                  ------------------------
                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  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