DOCKET NUMBER: BD-210458-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 NUMBER: BD-210458-RO
                                               :                               :
                                               :  D.R.O. ORDER NO.:  CDR  29,716
                  MARY KING KUJAWA,            :  D.R.O. DOCKET  NO.:K-3106049-R
                                               :             
                                               :  OTHER PARTY:  JANE SCHWARTZ,  
                                               :                    TENANT
                                   PETITIONER  :  
          -------------------------------------X


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          On April 30,  1987,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          April 2, 1987 by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, 
          New York, New York concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          Apartment 3-L at 92 Berry Street, Brooklyn, New York wherein  the
          District  Rent Administrator determined that the tenant had  been
          overcharged.

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

          This proceeding was originally commenced on March 31, 1984 by the 
          filing of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.  The  tenant
          took occupancy without a written lease on December 17, 1983 at  a
          monthly rent of $250.00.

          The owner failed to submit any rental history data.

          In Order Number CDR  #29,716,  the  District  Rent  Administrator
          established the lawful  stabilized  rent  based  on  the  owner's
          failure to submit a  complete  rental  history  for  the  subject
          apartment and directed a refund  of  $4,731.47  including  treble
          damages on overcharges collected after  April  1,  1984,  to  the
          tenant.




          In this petition the owner contends, in substance, as follows:

               1.   The  owner  had  no  knowledge  of  a  DHCR  notice
               requesting copies of all leases  or  rent  ledgers  from
               the base date.

               2.   Petitioner took title in 1981  and  "At  that  time
               there was little knowledge of the rental history of  the
               building."






          DOCKET NUMBER: BD-210458-RO

          In  the  tenant's  answer  to  the  Petition,  the  tenant  ,  in
          substance, alleges the following:  

               1.   that the owner's  husband  had  held  title  to
                    the subject building  and  the  one  next  door
                    (90  Berry  Street)   in  partnership  with   a
                    Joseph Trawinski since January 17,  1957;  that
                    on April 11, 1961, the owner  and  her  husband
                    acquired sole title to  92  Berry  Street;  and
                    that on December  4,  1974,  the  building  was
                    deeded by the owner  to  her  daughter,  Vivian
                    Kujawa.  On December  3,  1981,  Vivian  Kujawa
                    died.  The tenant asserts that when  the  owner
                    alleged in the Petition that  the  owner  "took
                    ownership  of  the  building  in   1981",   the
                    circumstances were not those  under  which  one
                    might expect that taking title after  the  base
                    date might supply some explanation  (if  albeit
                    not  an  excuse)  for   the   current   owner's
                    failure to provide a complete rental history.

               2.   The  owner  has  presented  no  basis  for  the
                    revocation of the order below.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the  petition  should  be
          denied.

          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 Division of  Housing  and  Community  Renewal
          upon demand.

          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 has been the  Division  of  Housing  and  Community  Renewal'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)(4)  of  the  current  Rent
          Stabilization  Code.)  The  Division  of  Housing  and  Community
          Renewal 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 Division of Housing and Community Renewal 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 Division of Housing and Community Renewal, to determine  rent
          overcharge complaints filed with the CAB prior to April  1,  1984






          DOCKET NUMBER: BD-210458-RO
          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 Division of Housing 
          and Community Renewal 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 holding in JRD.  



          The Lavanant court expressly rejected  the  JRD  ruling,  finding
          that the Division of Housing and Community Renewal  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  Division  of  Housing  and  Community
          Renewal 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 owner has failed to  submit  a  rental  history
          that conforms to the JRD ruling above and has not corrected  that
          default on appeal, therefore, the owner  must  be  held  to  have
          defaulted.  The owner's assertion that the owner had no knowledge 
          of the notices sent by  the  Administrator  is  rebutted  by  the
          record herein.  That  record  shows  that  two  separate  notices
          requesting a complete rental history were sent to the owner, 
          properly addressed to the owner at 92 Berry Street, Brooklyn, 
          New York.

          Moreover, on appeal, the owner asserts that the prior tenant  was
          one Anthony Thomas, who paid a rent  of  $180.00  per  month  and
          occupied the subject apartment for about ten  years,  but  as  to
          which tenancy, the owner has no records because the prior  tenant






          DOCKET NUMBER: BD-210458-RO
          paid in cash.  The owner also asserts that after the prior tenant 
          vacated, it took the owner four months to prepare  the  apartment
          for a new tenant.

          The Commissioner therefore finds that the  owner  has,  in  fact,
          admitted that contrary to their duty under the law,  neither  the
          prior owner nor the petitioner who took title in 1981  maintained
          records of the prior tenant's rent.

          The Commissioner further finds the  documents  submitted  by  the
          owner to  show  expenditures  for  improvements  to  the  subject
          apartment during the vacancy  period  immediately  preceding  the
          tenant's occupancy beyond the scope of review on appeal  as  they
          are submitted,for the first time, on appeal.  Moreover, on  their
          face, none of the documents submitted state that  they  were  for
          equipment and for building materials designated for  use  in  the
          subject apartment.






          The Commisisoner finds that the documents are insufficient  proof
          of any work being done on the subject apartment, let  alone  work
          that would have entitled  an  owner  to  a  rent  increase  under
          20(c)(1) of the Code in effect on April 30, 1987 or  2522.4(a)(1)
          of the Code effective May 1, 1987.

          The Commissioner notes that the Administrator's order  may,  upon
          the expiration of the period in which the owner may institute a 
          proceeding  pursuant  to  Article  Seventy-eight  of  the   Civil
          Practice Law and Rules, be filed and enforced by  the  tenant  in
          the same manner as a judgment or not in excess of twenty  percent
          thereof per month may be offset against any rent  thereafter  due
          the owner.


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

          ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is, denied.


          ISSUED:



                                                                          
                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                             Deputy Commissioner
           








                                               ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BUREAU
                                                COVERING MEMORANDUM


          ARB Docket No.:  BD-210458-RO

          DRO Docket No/Order No.:  K-3106049-R/CDR 29,716
                                                             
          Tenant(s):  JANE SCHWARTZ 

          Owner:  MARY KING KUJAWA,

          Code Section:  2526.1 and 42A

          Premises:  92 BERRY STREET, APARTMENT 3-L, BROOKLYN, NY


              ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

          owner's default consisted of her failure  to  provide  any  rental
          history below.  That default is not corrected  on  appeal  by  the
          owner's claim that the prior tenant lived in the apartment for ten 
          years (roughly 1973-1983) and the owner has  no  records  of  that
          tenancy because the prior tenant paid his rent in cash.


          APPROVED:

          Processing Attorney:                                             

          Supervising Attorney:                                            

          Bureau Chief:                                                    

          Deputy Counsel:                                                  

          Deputy Commissioner:                                             


          Mailed copies of Order and Determination to:
                         Tenant(s)            
                         Owner                
                         Tenant's Atty.       
                         Owner's Atty.        


          Date:                    : by                                   
                                        signature
    

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