BC 410492 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK   11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:  BC 410492 RO

                     WISK ASSOCIATES,             RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DRO DOCKET NO.: L 3113879 R
                                                  TENANT:  PAULINE KATZ

                                       IN PART

          On March 20,  1987  the  above  named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          February 17, 1987, by a District Rent  Administrator,  concerning
          housing accommodations known as Apartment 7-A at  310  East  70th
          Street,  New  York,  New  York,   wherein   the   District   Rent
          Administrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged.

          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 of a  rent
          overcharge complaint by the tenant on March 30, 1984.

          The tenant took occupancy pursuant to a 3 year  lease  commencing
          July 1, 1975 and expiring June 30, 1978  at  a  monthly  rent  of
          $421.73.  The tenant stated that there was a hardship increase in 
          1975, but she forgot the amount.

          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 former owner 
          submitted the complete lease history from the base date  of  June

          BC 410492 RO
          30, 1974.  The former  owner  further  claimed  two  4%  hardship
          increases  that  were  incorporated  into  the  leases   executed
          subsequent to a 1975 hardship  order  of  the  Conciliations  and
          Appeal Board (CAB), the agency enforcing rent laws prior  to  the
          Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR).

          Subsequently, the Administrator contacted the current  and  prior
          owners for a copy of the CAB order granting the hardship increase 
          or its docket number.

          In Order Number 29,115, issued on February  17,  1987,  the  Rent
          Administrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged  in
          the amount of $1,671.74 through June 30, 1986,  including  excess
          security and interest accrued  for  overcharges  collected  after
          April 1, 1984.  The Administrator determined the  legal  rent  as
          the  rent  actually  charged  for  the  three-year  lease   terms
          commencing July 1, 1975 and July 1, 1978.   However,  overcharges
          of $26.00 and $26.92 per month were found for the two  subsequent
          lease terms commencing July, 1981 and July,  1984,  respectively.
          The order further declared that the  current  and  former  owners
          failed to submit the opinion  number  for  the  claimed  hardship
          increases and therefore no such increases would  be  included  in
          calculating the legal rent.

          In its petition, dated March 20, 1987, the current owner contends 
          that it was improper for the Administrator to fail to include the 
          two hardship increases, which had  been  granted  ten  years  and
          seven years before the current owner acquired its interest on the 
          property in 1986.  The owner requests the complete record of  all
          hardship increases for  the  subject-building  between  1970  and
          1980, or, in the  alternative,  additional  time  to  obtain  the
          hardship order from DHCR records.

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

          In the  instant  case,  the  Administrator  denied  the  hardship
          increases that were claimed by both the current and prior  owners
          because they did not cite the docket number of the  CAB  hardship
          order or produce a copy of it.   However,  the  tenant  confirmed
          that there was a hardship increase in 1975,  The  fact  that  the
          order could not be immediately identified, does not mean that the 
          Administrator could ignore its existence.  It has been held  that
          the DHCR has an obligation to maintain its own records, and  that
          these must be consulted to resolve  controversies  regarding  the
          rent history.  In the instant case, the tenant  acknowledges  the
          existence of the order, and the lease history contains two  lease
          riders signed by the tenant which explicitly permit the  increase
          for the leases commencing in 1975 and  1978,  respectively.   The
          tenant has not answered  the  petition.   Therefore,  the  record
          sustains the inclusion of these hardship increases in calculating 
          the lawful  rent.   As  a  result,  overcharges  are  reduced  to
          $153.34,  from  $1,671.74,  as  is   documented   in   the   rent
          calculations chart affixed hereto and made a part hereof.

          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 twelve  (12)
          equal monthly installments.  Should the tenant vacate  after  the

          BC 410492 RO
          issuance  of  this  order,  said   arrears   shall   be   payable

          THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law  and  Code,  it

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

                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  Deputy Commissioner

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