BD 410140-RT, et al.
                        STATE OF NEW YORK
                           GERTZ PLAZA
                     92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                     JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

----------------------------------x     S.J.R. 6113
APPEALS OF                              ADMINISTRATIVE
                                        DOCKET NOS.:
                                        BD 410140 RT
       JAN SHALOW                       BC 410355 RT
       BRISTOL EAST COMPANY,            BC 410490 RO

                                        DISTRICT RENT
                                        ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                        NO.: 00036787

                             IN PART
      The Commissioner has consolidated these proceedings as they
contain common issues of law and fact.

      The  above  named  petitioners filed timely  Petitions  for
Administrative Review against an order of the Rent  Administrator
issued  February  18,  1987.   The Commissioner  notes  that  two
iden-tical   petitions  filed  by  the  tenant  were  erroneously
assigned  separate docket numbers which are consolidated  herein.
The  order  here  under  review concerned housing  accommodations
known as Apt. 5-D located at 310 East 65th Street, New York, N.Y.
wherein  the  Administrator  found  that  the  tenant  had   been
overcharged  and computed the total overcharge in the  amount  of

      The  Commissioner  has reviewed the  record  and  carefully
considered  that portion relevant to the issues raised  by  these

      The tenant commenced this proceeding on October 24, 1984 by
filing  an  objection  to  the 1984 Apartment  Rent  Registration
wherein she stated that her first lease for the subject apartment
began  on  July  1, 1984 at a monthly rental of $678.   She  also
claimed  that she was residing in the apartment on April 1,  1984
at a rent of $600 per month, that, in addition to the "general

overcharge",  the owner was overcharging her for  certain  appli-
ances it had installed, that the room count for the apartment was
incorrect and that the owner failed to include gas for cooking on
the registration statement.

      The  owner  was  served with a copy of  the  objection  and
afforded  an opportunity to reply.  The owner filed an answer  on
December  24, 1986, through counsel.  Copies of all  leases  from
the  base date were submitted.  The response raised the following
points regarding the tenant's assertions in the objection:

          1.A  DHCR  order  bearing Docket  No.  L  000741-R
          established that the tenant's legal rent on
          April 1, 1984 was $600 per month.

          2.The  owner reduced the tenant's rent to  $593.75
          on February 1, 1985 and refunded $639.75 in excess
          rent collected.
          3.Petitioner  Shalow  was  a  subtenant   in   the
          apart-ment  from October 15, 1977  until  July  1,
          1984  when  she  signed a two  year  lease.   From
          October  15,  1977 until October 31,  1980  Shalow
          resided  in  the apartment without the consent  of
          the owner. The owner commenced a dispossess action
          and  the  tenant commenced a declaratory  judgment
          action.  These  proceedings were  settled  when  a
          stipulation was entered into between the owner and
          the  prime  tenant  (Roni  Wecker)  which  allowed
          Shalow  to  remain  as  a  legal  subtenant  until
          October  31,  1982.   She was  also  permitted  to
          remain in the apartment for one additional year.
          Petitioner Shalow did, in fact, continue to reside
          in the apartment through October 31, 1983. A new 2
          year lease was then entered into between the owner
          and  a different prime tenant (Lita Chadrjian) for
          the  period  from November 1, 1983 to October  31,
          1985. Petitioner Shalow and Chadrjian entered into
          a  sublet  agreement on November 23, 1983  wherein
          Shalow  was  permitted to remain in the  apartment
          for three months. Petitioner Shalow did not vacate
          after the expiration of the three month period and
          signed  her  own  two  year  lease  for  a  period
          com-mencing  July 1, 1984. The owner  states  that
          Shalow  consented  to the installation  of  a  new
          refriger-ator,   venetian  blinds   and   an   air
      The  owner also filed answers to the objection to the  room
count as well as Petitioner Shalow's statement about cooking  gas
being a required service.  The owner submitted a floor plan for
the apartment and stated that the room count had no bearing on
the  legal rent for the apartment.  The owner further stated that
a  charge  for cooking gas is included in the rent as  the  owner
pays for gas pursuant to a master meter.

      Petitioner  Shalow filed a reply to the owner's  answer  on
January 7, 1985.  While restating much of the history of this
proceeding  that  the owner had set forth in its  answer,  Shalow
raised the issue of an illusory prime tenancy by Lita Chadrjian.
Shalow  stated that the lease signed by Chadrjian and  the  owner
was  "a pure illusory lease...inasmuch as Lita Chadrjian was  and
still is the wife of the general partner of Bristol East Company,
Mr. Jack Chadrjian."

      Petitioner  Shalow  requested  the  Administrator  to  void
Chadrjian's  lease and deem her the prime tenant of  the  subject
apartment as of November 1, 1983. She also stated that the owner
was "willfully and knowingly" overcharging her.

      The  Administrator issued the order here  under  review  on
February  18, 1987.  The Administrator found that the  owner  was
providing  cooking gas for the subject apartment.  Based  on  the
evidence  submitted,  the Administrator ruled  that  the  subject
apartment  contained one room and the registration statement  was
corrected  to  so reflect.  The Administrator did note  that  the
room count had no bearing on the rent in effect on April 1, 1984.

     With respect to the overcharge portion of the objection, the
Administrator  found an overcharge existed for  the  period  from
July  1,  1984 to June 30, 1986. The overcharge was  computed  at
$3678.00.   The  Administrator then  added  interest  and  excess
security  resulting  in  a total overcharge  of  $4166.63.   Both
parties have appealed the Administrator's order.

      The  tenant  has  raised the following  objections  to  the
Administrator's order:

          1.The  Administrator found that the base rent  was
          $340 per month.  That finding is erroneous because
          the  tenant established in documents submitted  in
          another  proceeding (Docket No. L  000741-R)  that
          the base rent is $286.00 per month.
          2.Rent  Guideline Board Order #12 was  erroneously
          applied inasmuch as a 5% vacancy allowance was
          granted to the owner for the lease beginning
          November 1, 1980 when no actual change in tenancy

          3.Lita Chadrjian was an illusory prime tenant  and
          the  Administrator's order should be  modified  to
          reflect the fact that Shalow was the prime  tenant
          beginning November 1, 1983.
          4.By reason of the foregoing, the second Guideline
          15  increase  with the two year vacancy  allowance
          should  never have been taken.  Additionally,  the
          $38.03  the Administrator allowed for installation
          of  the  refrigerator, air conditioner and  blinds
          was excessive.
          5.The overcharge was willful and the Administrator
          should have so found.
          6.Treble  damages and attorney's fees should  have
          been awarded.
      The owner's petition sets forth three grounds for 
      modification of the Administrator's order:

          1.The alleged reduction of the rent on November 1,
          1983  and the refunding of $639.75 in excess  rent
          2.In  Docket No. L 000741-R the April 1, 1984 rent
          was established at $600 per month.
          3.The   Administrator's   order   overlooks    the
          agreement to sublet made between the owner and the
          tenants   of  record  pursuant  to  a  stipulation
          entered  in  open court which gave the  owner  the
          right  to  charge the rent charged for the  period
          from November 1, 1980 through October 31, 1982.
      The  owner  also filed a response to the tenant's  petition
wherein it denied any willful intent to overcharge the tenant and
asserted that the tenant should seek redress against the tenant's
of record of the apartment for any overcharges.

      The  Commissioner has carefully considered the evidence  in
the  record  and  is  of the opinion that the  tenant's  petition
should  be  granted  in part and the owner's petition  should  be

      The  Commissioner  initially notes that  the  parties  have
raised the issue of the effect of the Administrator's decision in
Docket No. L 000741-R in which the April 1, 1984 rent of the

subject  apartment  was  established  at  $600  per  month.   The
Commis-sioner  further  notes that,  on  December  7,  1990,  the
Administrator  issued an order (Docket No.  CI  410032-RP)  which
revoked the order cited by both parties in these appeals based on
a  finding  that the tenant had filed a timely challenge  to  the
1984  registration statement in this proceeding.  Therefore,  the
portion  of  the petitions of both parties which  relies  on  the
revoked  order  as a ground for modification of  the  order  here
under review is denied.

      However,  the  evidence  of record  supports  the  tenant's
asser-tion  that the April 1, 1980 base rent was  $286.00  rather
than  $340.00.  The owner's answer to the complaint in which  the
changes  in  rent since the base rent date were indicated  listed
the  rent for the lease term from October 15, 1977 to October 31,
1980  as  $286.00 per month with an explanation that the  $340.00
stated  in  the lease was rolled back "pursuant to  agreement  of

      The  owner also submitted a copy of a letter, dated January
30,  1978  from the Rent Stabilization Association to  the  owner
demanding copies of the May 31, 1968 lease and all subsequent and
renewal  leases.  The letter bears handwritten notations  at  the
bottom  indicating that the rent for Roni Wecker's vacancy  lease
was being corrected to $286.00, as the correct increase above the
prior tenant's rent of $245.50, and $243.00 was being credited to
Ms. Wecker for 4.5 months overcharges.

      A  revised rent calculation chart is attached to an made  a
part of this order, using $286.00 as the April 1, 1980 base rent.
      Petitioner  Shalow  states that the  5%  vacancy  allowance
allowed  by the Administrator for the two year lease term  begin-
ning  November 1, 1980 was erroneous.  The tenants of record  are
alleged  to be the same ones residing in the apartment on October
31,  1980.   A review of the evidence reveals that the tenant  of
record  on October 31, 1980 was one Roni Wecker, and the  tenants
of  record for the lease commencing November 1, 1980 were  Howard
and  Roni  Cowan,  and that Roni Cowan was formerly  Roni  Wecker
before  her marriage to Howard Cowan.  The addition of a spouse's
name to a lease does not warrant a vacancy allowance.

     Petitioner Shalow also contends, inter alia, that the $38.03
charge  for  the installation of the air conditioner, blinds  and
refrigerator was excessive.  The owner, in answer to the tenant's
objection, produced documentation substantiating the cost of  the
installations.  The Administrator's calculation of $38.03

represented  1/40 of the total cost as allowed by the  Rent  Sta-
bilization Code (see 9 NYCRR 2522.4 [a][1],[4]).  This amount was
then  added to the allowable increase pursuant to Rent Guidelines
Board  Order  #15.  The Administrator utilized the  correct  pro-
cedure.  Petitioner Shalow merely states that the $38.03 is
"excessive".   Without  any  evidence  to   rebut   the   owner's
documenta-tion,  the tenant's contention must  be  rejected.  The
Commissioner affirms that portion of the order here under  review
which assessed the $38.03 charge for the installations.

      The Commissioner also finds that the November 1, 1983 lease
with  Lita  Chadrjian is void and should not have been considered
by  the  Administrator  in determining the  complaining  tenant's
lawful  rent.  The purported tenant never took occupancy  of  the
subject  apartment  which was continuously occupied  during  this
time  by the complainant.  The sublet agreement between the prime
tenant and the complainant is also void since it was for a  three
month term and leases for three months or less are not recognized
for  the  purpose of determining a lawful stabilized  rent.   The
complaining  tenant  should be deemed  the  prime  tenant  as  of
November  1,  1983 and a second vacancy allowance should  not  be
added when the complainant finally signed a lease in her own name
for  the term commencing July 1, 1984.  This adjustment has  also
been made in the Rent Calculation Chart accompanying this order.

      The  owner's argument that the rent stated in the  stipula-
tion  settling the court proceeding with the prior prime  tenants
should be used to determine the lawful rent in this proceeding is
without  merit.  Since the complainant herein was not a party  to
the  court  proceeding,  the settlement of  that  action  is  not
binding on her. Moreover, according to the policies of the former
Conciliation and Appeals Board (CAB), the owner was  required  to
charge a stabilized rent to the former prime tenants, even though
they admitted not using the apartment as their primary residence.

      The alleged rent adjustment and refund made by the owner is
unsubstantiated by rent ledgers or cancelled checks or any  other
documentation and therefore cannot be considered by  the  Commis-
sioner as an offset for the refund ordered herein.

      Finally,  the  Commissioner finds that the  owner  has  not
established  by  a  preponderance  of  the  evidence   that   the
over-charge  was  not  willful and, in  accordance  with  Section
2526.1(a)(1)  of  the code, treble damages  are  warranted.   The
overcharges are the result of the use of an incorrect  1980  base
rent when the owner knew the rent had been adjusted as a result

of another proceeding, the belief that the rent for non-primary
residents is not subject to stabilization when established policy
at  the time said otherwise, and basing the complainant's rent on
the  lease for an illusory tenant who never took occupancy. These
indicate  willfulness for which treble damages must  be  imposed.
The  total  overcharge  is now computed at  $21,987.82  including
treble damages and excess security.

      It  is noted that the overcharges determined herein concern
those   charged  the  complaining  tenant  by  the  owner.    Any
additional refunds due to the tenant by the former prime  tenants
are not involved in this proceeding.

      The  tenant  may  enforce this order as a judgment  or  may
credit  up  to  20%  of  the  overcharge  each  month  until  the
over-charge is fully credited.

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

      ORDERED, that the owner's petition be, and the same  hereby
is,  denied,  that the tenant's petition be, and the same  hereby
is,  granted in part, and that the Commissioner's order  be,  and
the  same  hereby is, modified in accordance with this Order  and


                                              Deputy Commissioner

                             RENT CALCULATION CHART

TENANTS  :  Wecker/ H. & R. Cowan /Shalow                              Rent Overcharge (through 06/30/86)   =    $  21,727.62

PREMISES :  310 East 65th Street, N.Y., NY                             Excess Security                      =    $     260.20

APT. #   :  5-D
                                                                            TOTAL OVERCHARGE                =    $  21,987.82
DOCKET # :  BD 410140-RT                                                                                           ============
                                                                                                 Pg.  1  of  2
     (1)        |          (2)         |      (3)     |     (4)     |           (5)            |   (6)    |       (7)
                |      LEASE TERM      |  ACTUAL RENT |  EFFECTIVE  |                          |  LAWFUL  |   OVERCHARGE
 TENANT'S NAME  |   FROM          TO   |    CHARGED   |   DATE OF   |        EXPLANATION       |  STABIL. |   CALCULATION
          |                      |              | INCREASE(S) |                          |  RENT /1 |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
 Wecker         |           |          |              |             |         Base Rent        | $ 286.00 |       - 0 -
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             | Guideline 12:  Base rent |          |
 H. & R. Cowan  | 11/01/80  | 10/31/82 |  $ 400.00    |             | of $286.00 + 14% increase| $ 326.04 |       - 0 -
                |           |          |              |             | for 2 year lease.        |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             | Guideline 14:  09/30/82  |          |
 H. & R. Cowan  | 11/01/82  | 10/31/83 |  $ 475.00    |             | rent of $326.04 + 4% in- | $ 339.08 |       - 0 -
                |           |          |              |             | crease for 1 year lease. |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             | Guideline 15:  09/30/83  |          | $   220.23 per mo.
 Shalow         | 11/01/83  | 03/31/84 |  $ 600.00    |             | rent of $339.08 + 7% in- | $ 379.77 |     x    5 mos.
                |           |          |              |             | crease for 2 year lease  |          | $ 1,011.15
                |           |          |              |             | + 5% vacancy allowance.  |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |

/1   Where the actual rent charged is less than the rent with maximum permitted increases, the lawful stabilization rent is
     limited to the rent charged.

                             RENT CALCULATION CHART

TENANTS  :  Wecker/ H. & R. Cowan/ Shalow                              Rent Overcharge (through 06/30/86)   =    $  21,727.62

PREMISES :  310 East 65th Street, N.Y., NY                             Excess Security                      =    $     260.20

APT. #   :  5-D
                                                                            TOTAL OVERCHARGE                =    $  21,987.82
DOCKET # :  BD 410140-RT                                                                                           ============
                                                                                                 Pg.  2  of  2
     (1)        |          (2)         |      (3)     |     (4)     |           (5)            |   (6)    |       (7)
                |      LEASE TERM      |  ACTUAL RENT |  EFFECTIVE  |                          |  LAWFUL  |   OVERCHARGE
 TENANT'S NAME  |   FROM          TO   |    CHARGED   |   DATE OF   |        EXPLANATION       |  STABIL. |   CALCULATION
          |                      |              | INCREASE(S) |                          |  RENT /1 |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          | $   220.23 per mo.
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |     x    3 mos.
Shalow          | 04/01/84  | 06/30/84 |  $ 600.00    |             | Treble damages for all   | $ 379.77 |     660.69
                |           |          |              |             | post 04/01/84 overcharges|          |     x    3
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          | $ 1,982.07
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             |                          |          |
                |           |          |              |             | Guideline 15:  09/30/83  |          | $   260.20 per mo.
 Shalow         | 07/01/84  | 06/30/86 |  $ 678.00    |             | rent of $339.08 + 7% in- | $ 417.80 |     x   24 mos.
                |           |          |              |             | crease for 2 year lease  |          | $ 6,244.80
                |           |          |              |             | + 5% vacancy allowance + |          |   x      3
                |           |          |              |             | $38.03 for 20 C(1) in-   |          | $18,734.40
                |           |          |              |             | crease                   |          |

/1   Where the actual rent charged is less than the rent with maximum permitted increases, the lawful stabilization rent is
     limited to the rent charged.


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