BC 110231 RO

                                  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.:  BC 110231 RO

              NATHAN KATZ REALTY COMPANY,
                                                  DRO DOCKET NO.: 13155,
                                                  EXAMINING UNIT
                                                  TENANT'S ELEODORA CORTEZ
                                  PETITIONER
          ----------------------------------X                                   


              ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                        IN PART

          On March 12,  1987,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          February 6, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus  Circle,
          New York, New York concerning  housing  accommodations  known  as
          Apartment 3C, 47-06 46th Street, Woodside, New York  wherein  the
          Rent  Administrator  determined,  in  relevant  part,  that   the
          tenant's rent exceeded the fair market value and ordered a refund 
          of $6,365.86 in excess rent and excess security.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in  the  record
          and has carefully considered that portion of the record  relevant
          to the issues raised by the administrative appeal.

          The tenant commenced this proceeding on July 31, 1984 by filing a 
          timely challenge to  the  owner's  initial  registration  of  the
          subject apartment, in part  based  on  the  allegation  that  her
          registered rent constituted an overcharge.

          In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that the tenant  was
          the first stabilized tenant after vacancy decontrol in 1982.

          The owner was unable was unable to provide proof that the  tenant
          had been served with a DC-2 Notice, advising her of the right  to
          file a Fair Market Rent Appeal (FMRA).   The  owner  also  stated
          that the prior owner had set the tenant's initial rent.



          Accordingly, the overcharge complaint was processed  as  a  FMRA.
          Since the owner was  unable  to  submit  the  requested  data  to
          establish a  comparable  rent,  the  Administrator  used  Special
          Guidelines Order Number 14, the 1982 Maximum Base Rent (MBR), and 
          the 1982 Fuel Cost Adjustment to establish the fair market  rent.
          The prior owner, Bliss Towers, was not served with  the  tenant's
          complaint nor named in the Administrator's Order.






          BC 110231 RO

          In  this   petition,   the   owner   contends   that   the   Rent
          Administrator's Order is incorrect and should be modified because 
          there was never an intentional overcharge by the  petitioner  who
          had merely added lawful Guidelines increases to the rent  set  by
          the prior owner.  In addition, the owner contends that  $1,478.52
          of the excess rent had been collected by the prior  owner  before
          the  petitioner  acquired  the  subject  building  on  July   29,
          1983.  Accordingly, the owner asserts that this  portion  of  the
          excess rent should not be the obligation of the petitioner.

          In addition, the owner asserts that  it  had  complied  with  all
          requests for comparability data.  The  owner  lists  the  current
          rents  of  other  apartments  in  the  tenant's  line   to   show
          comparability and attaches a 1974-1975 rent roll.

          In answer to this petition, the tenant contends  that  the  order
          should be upheld because since  her  complaint  was  filed  after
          April  1,  1984  the  current  owner  is  responsible   for   all
          "overcharges."  In addition, the tenant requests that  the  order
          be amended to show excess rent collected  subsequent  to  October
          31, 1985, the computation date of the Administrator's Order.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be
          granted in part.

          The owner is correct that rent in excess of the fair market  rent
          collected by a prior owner  is  not  the  responsibility  of  the
          current owner.  See Section 2522.3(d) of the  Rent  Stabilization
          Code which allows a tenant to deduct such excess  rent  from  the
          current owner only "to the extent the present owner is liable for 
          all or any part of the refund."

          The tenant is apparently relying on Code Section 2526.1(f)  which
          holds a current owner liable for all overcharges collected  by  a
          prior owner when the overcharge complaint is filed  on  or  after
          April 1, 1984.  However, Section  2526.1(g)  explicitly  excludes
          FMRA's from the provisions of Section 2526.1.   Even  though  the
          tenant stated her objection as an overcharge,  the  Administrator
          properly processed it as a FMRA since the tenant  was  the  first
          stabilized tenant.  [Had  the  objection  been  processed  as  an
          overcharge none would have been found since the tenant's  initial
          rent would have been the base rent and assumed to be lawful.]

          Accordingly, the Administrator's  Order  is  hereby  modified  to
          reduce the excess rent for which  the  petitioner  is  liable  by
          $1,478.52 to a new total of $4,887.34, including excess security.

          The other  contentions  of  the  petitioner  are  without  merit.
          Excess rent must be refunded regardless of the owner's  intention
          or lack thereof.  Furthermore, the record shows  that  on  August
          22, 1986, the petitioner was sent an RTP-22(8/85) form requesting 
          full comparability data.

          In the owner's September 10, 1986 response only  two  leases  for
          allegedly comparable apartments were  submitted,  as  opposed  to
          either the information regarding 1971-1974 rents  represented  on
          Schedule A attached to the request or complete  rental  histories
          for all apartments in the subject line.  In short, the petitioner 






          BC 110231 RO
          did not submit even a  significant  portion  of  the  information
          requested.  Furthermore, the owner was unable to prove that a DC 
          2 Notice  had  been  served  on  the  tenant.   Accordingly,  the
          Administrator correctly used the Special Guideline  to  determine
          the Fair Market Rent.  These deficiencies have  in  no  way  been
          corrected on appeal.

          The tenant's request that the Administrator's  Order  be  updated
          must be denied.  An  administrative  appeal  is  not  a  de  novo
          procedure.  The Administrator established the November 1, 1983  -
          October 31, 1985 rent as $278.97.  (The  record  shows  that  the
          tenant failed to comply  with  a  request  to  submit  subsequent
          leases to the Administrator.)  Under the  decision  herein,  this
          remains the lawful stabilized rent for that period and it can  be
          increased only by  Guidelines  increases  or  other  lawful  rent
          adjustments.

          This Order is without prejudice to the tenant's right to  proceed
          against the prior owner in a  Court  of  competent  jurisdiction.
          However, the Commissioner did not herein direct the  prior  owner
          to refund the excess rent it collected since that owner was never 
          a party to these proceedings.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          in part; and the Rent Administrator's  order  be,  and  the  same
          hereby is, modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.


          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