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 210384-RO
                                         :  
                                            DRO DOCKET NO.: K 3104157-R
       DAVID LEMPEL,
                           PETITIONER    : 
     ------------------------------------X                             


           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


     On March 25, 1987, the above named petitioner-owner filed a  Petition  for
     Administrative Review against an order issued on February 18, 1987, by the 
     District Rent Administrator, concerning housing  accommodations  known  as
     160 West 2nd Street, Brooklyn, New York, Apartment B-4.

     The appealed order of the District Rent Administrator determined that  the
     tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $3,671.26, from September  1,
     1975; that the owner failed to provide a full rental history  and  further
     directed the current owner to roll back the rent to the lawful  stabilized
     amount and to make full refunds  to  the  tenant.   The  overcharge  total
     included excess security and interest on that portion  of  the  overcharge
     occurring on or after April 1, 1984.

     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.

     In this petition, the owner contends, in substance, that he  acquired  the
     subject  premises  on  August  18,  1981;  that  he  should  not  be  held
     responsible for the prior  owner's  overcharges;  that  he  unsuccessfully
     attempted to obtain rent records from the prior owner and that  he  should
     not be held responsible for a failure to submit rent records over which he 
     had no control.

     In response, the tenant asserted that she will continue  paying  the  same
     rent of $263.50 per month until a decision is rendered by the DHCR on  the
     owner's appeal.

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

     The proceeding was commenced by the filing, on March 31, 1984  of  a  rent
     overcharge complaint by the tenant.  The  tenant  stated  that  she  first
     moved into the subject apartment in September, 1975.

     Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code requires that  an  owner
     retain complete records for 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.






          DOCKET NUMBER: BC 210384-RO
     Section 26-516 of Rent Stabilization Law, effective April 1, 1984, limited 
     an owner's obligation to provide rent records by providing that  an  owner
     may not be required to maintain or produce rent records for  more  than  4
     years  prior  to  the  most  recent   registration,   and   concomitantly,
     established a 4 year limitation on the calculation of rent overcharges.

     It ha/s been the DHCR's policy that overcharge complaints filed  prior  to
     April 1, 1984 are to be processed pursuant to the law or Code in effect on 
     March 31, 1984.  (See Section 2526.1(a) of the current Rent  Stabilization
     Code.)  The DHCR has therefore applied Section 42A of the former  Code  to
     overcharge complaints filed prior to April  1,  1984,  requiring  complete
     rent records in these cases.  In  following  this  policy,  the  DHCR  has
     sought to be consistent with the legislative intent of the Omnibus Housing 
     Act (Chapter 403, Laws of 1983), as  implemented  by  the  New  York  City
     Conciliation and Appeals Board (CAB), the predecessor agency to the  DHCR,
     to determine rent overcharge complaints filed with the CAB prior to  April
     1, 1984 by applying the law in effect at the  time  such  complaints  were
     filed so as not to deprive such tenants of their right to have the  lawful
     stabilized rent determined from the June 30, 1974 base date and so as  not
     to deprive tenants whose overcharge claims accrued more than 4 years prior 
     to April 1, 1984 of their right to  recover  such  overcharges.   In  such
     cases, if the owner failed to  produce  the  required  rent  records,  the
     lawful stabilized  rent  would  be  determined  pursuant  to  the  default
     procedure approved by the Court of Appeals in 61 Jane Street Associates v. 
     CAB, 65 N.Y.2d 898, 493 N.Y.S.2d 455 (1985).

     However, it has recently been held in the case of J.R.D. Mgt. v.  Eimicke,
     148 A.D.2d 610, 539 N.Y.S.2d 667 (App. Div. 2d  Dep't  1989),  motion  for
     leave to reargue or for leave to appeal to the  Court  of  Appeals  denied
     (App. Div. 2d Dep't, N.Y.L.J., June 28, 1989,  p.25,  col.1),  motion  for
     leave to appeal  to  the  Court  of  Appeals  denied  (Court  of  Appeals,
     N.Y.L.J., Nov. 24, 1989, p. 24, col. 4).,  motion  for  leave  to  reargue
     denied (Court of Appeals, N.Y.L.J., Feb. 15, 1990, p.25, col. 1), that the 
     law in effect at the time  of  the  determination  of  the  administrative
     complaint rather than the law in effect at the time of the filing  of  the
     complaint must be applied and that the DHCR could not require an owner  to
     produce more than 4 years of rent records.

     Since the issuance of the decision in JRD, the Appellate  Division,  First
     Department, in the case of Lavanant v. DHCR, 148 A.D.2d 185, 544  N.Y.S.2d
     331 (App. Div. 1st Dep't 1989), has issued a decision in  direct  conflict
     with the the holding in JRD.  The Lavanant court  expressly  rejected  the
     JRD ruling, finding that the DHCR may properly require an owner to  submit
     complete rent records, rather than records for just four years,  and  that
     such  requirement  is  both  rational  and  supported  by  the   law   and
     legislative history of the Omnibus Housing Act.

     Since in the instant case the subject dwelling  unit  is  located  in  the
     Second Department, the DHCR is constrained to follow the JRD  decision  in
     determining the tenant's overcharge complaint,  limiting  the  requirement
     for rent records to April 1, 1980.

     In this case, the record contains a rental history going back to April  1,
     1980.  Therefore, the owner can not be held to have defaulted.








          DOCKET NUMBER: BC 210384-RO
     Accordingly, the Commissioner notes that  it  will  not  be  necessary  to
     consider the owner's other allegations on appeal.

     Starting with a base date rent of $212.12 in the lease  from  February  1,
     1980 to January 31, 1983, the lawful stabilization rent in the  subsequent
     lease is as follows: 

          $233.33 ($212.12 plus 10% increase above the September
          30, 1982 rent of $212.12 = $233.33 for a 3 year renewal lease).

     Because  those  were  the  rents  actually  charged,  there  has  been  no
     overcharge, and the Administrator's  order  finding  an  overcharge  must,
     therefore, be revoked.

     Furthermore, the Commissioner has examined the  rents  from  September  1,
     1975 to March 31, 1980 and  finds  that  the  owner  did  not  collect  an
     overcharge during this period. 

     If the owner has already complied with the Administrator's order and there 
     are arrears due to the owner as a result of the instant determination, the 
     tenant  may  pay  off  the  arrears  in  twenty-four  (24)  equal  monthly
     installments.  Should the tenant vacate after the issuance of this  order,
     or have previously vacated, said arrears shall be payable immediately.

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

     ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is granted;  and  that
     the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is revoked in accordance 
     with this order and opinion.

     ISSUED:













                                                                   
                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                           Deputy Commissioner




                                                   
    

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