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

          APPEAL      OF                                   DOCKET      NOS.:
                                                  BD 510295-RO  
                                              :         BD         510428-RO
                                                 DRO  DOCKET   NO.:   015384
           237 WEST 230TH STREET REALTY CORP.,                     
                                                 TENANT: NANCY KISTNER    

                                 PETITIONER   :  


               On April 22 and April 30, 1987 t e  above  named  petitioner-
          owner was deemed to have filed Petitions for Administrative Review 
          against an order issued on March 18, 1987  by  the  District  Rent
          Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New  York  concerning
          housing accommodations known as Apartment No. 3F at 239 West 230th 
          Street, New York, New York wherein the District Rent Administrator 
          determined that the owner had collected excess rent.   The  latter
          petition, assigned Docket No. BD 520428-RO, was dismissed on  June
          12, 1987 as untimely.  When the owner  submitted  proof  that  the
          petition  was  actually  timely  filed  on  April  22,  1987,  the
          Commissioner issued an  order  on  July  31,  1987  reopening  the
          proceeding for further consideration.  As the  two  petitions  are
          identical, the two proceedings are herein merged  and  decided  in
          one order and opinion.   

               The issue in these  appeals  is  whether  the  District  Rent
          Administrator's order was warranted.

               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 appeals.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced  by  the  filing  in
          August, 1984 of a Tenant's Fair Market Rent Adjustment Application 
          ("fair market rent appeal"), in which the tenant stated  that  she
          had commenced occupancy on August 1, 1984 at a rent of $306.00 per 

               The owner was served with  a  copy  of  the  application  and
          requested to respond.  In an answer mailed on June  13,  1986  the
          owner contended in substance that the complainant  was  the  first
          stabilized tenant, and that her initial rent was adjusted to an 

          amount based on a vacancy allowance, on the cost of a  new  stove,
          new refrigerator and new cabinets, and  on  the  rent  of  similar

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BD 510295-RO; BD 510428-RO
          apartments in the building.  On December 17, 1986  the  owner  was
          sent forms for use in submitting data about comparable apartments, 
          but the owner did not make any further submissions. 

               In an order issued  on  March  18,  1987  the  District  Rent
          Administrator, because the owner had not  submitted  comparability
          data or evidence of the installation of new equipment, established 
          the Fair Market Rent of $243.65 by use of the Special Fair  Market
          Rent Guidelines Order, and directed the owner to refund the excess 
          rent  of  $1,558.75  collected  as  of   July   30,   1986.    The
          Administrator's order, while listing the correct street  addresses
          and ZIP Codes of the tenant and owner, stated that  they  were  in
          Brooklyn rather than The Bronx.  The file of the proceeding before 
          the Administrator does  not  indicate  that  either  of  them  was
          returned by the Postal Service.

               In this petition the owner contends in substance that it  was
          not afforded an opportunity to submit updated comparability  data;
          that  this  argument  is   enhanced   by   the   fact   that   the
          Administrator's order was sent to Brooklyn instead of  The  Bronx;
          that it in fact did not even  receive  the  Administrator's  order
          until given a copy by the tenant; that there is one  apartment  in
          the subject building [not in the same line] suitable  for  use  in
          the comparability test; that documentation now  submitted  showing
          the installation of new  equipment  should  be  accepted,  as  the
          Commissioner   has   indicated   in   Saxony   Realty   Associates
          (Administrative Review Docket No.ARL 06156-Q) that the DHCR has  a
          duty  to  request  additional  information   when   a   particular
          submission is inadequate for its proffered purpose; and  that  the
          Administrator should have  taken  into  account  a  rent  increase
          effective  February  1,  1986  granted   for   a   Major   Capital
          Improvement.  With its petition the owner has enclosed a  copy  of
          an order granting a rent increase for Major Capital  Improvements,
          rent ledgers  regarding  the  claimed  comparable  apartment,  and
          documentation of  the  expenditure  of  $214.40  for  new  kitchen
          cabinets just prior to the tenant commencing occupancy.    

               In answer, the tenant asserts in substance that the owner was 
          afforded an opportunity to submit  comparability  data;  that  the
          rent of the allegedly comparable apartment has in  any  event  not
          been shown to be a lawful rent; that any  rent  increase  for  new
          equipment could only be 1/40th of its cost; that any later-granted 
          rent increase for Major Capital Improvements is  not  relevant  to
          the lawful rent on August 1, 1984; that she had no  difficulty  in
          receiving her copy of the order; that she did not give a  copy  to
          the owner; and that the owner must also  have  received  its  copy
          when she received hers.  

               The Commissioner is of the  opinion  that  these  proceedings
          should be remanded to the Rent Administrator. 

               While it may be that the orders mailed to the tenant and  the
          owner in Brooklyn actually reached them at their correct addresses 
          in The Bronx, it cannot be ascertained from the file what  address
          was used in mailing the December 17, 1986 packet of forms  to  the
          owner, which packet included twelve pages of  detailed  forms  and

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BD 510295-RO; BD 510428-RO
          instructions for the owner to use in furnishing comparability data 
          as well as setting forth rent  increases  due  to  new  equipment.
          Because of the possibility that the packet was mailed to  Brooklyn
          and did not reach the owner, these proceedings are being  remanded
          for consideration of the evidence which the owner would have  been
          able to submit had it received the packet.  The Commissioner notes 
          that additional  evidence  will  be  necessary  to  establish  the
          comparability as well as the lawfulness of the rent  of  Apartment
          3G, and that data on the controlled and stabilized  rents  of  all
          apartments in both the "F" and "G" lines will be required as well. 
               While further evidence  is  being  accepted  from  the  owner
          because of the possibility that forms  specifically  intended  for
          the owner were not received by it, the Commissioner does not  wish
          to appear to accede to the owner's  position  that  the  order  in
          Docket No. ARL 06156-Q imposes a  duty  on  the  DHCR  to  request
          additional information.  In ARL 06156-Q the owner was not  allowed
          to submit new evidence, although it was acknowledged that the DHCR 
          had on some occasions informed owners who had  partially  complied
          with a request for documents of the  incompleteness  of  the  data
          submitted, and given them a chance to file the missing  documents.
          In the present case, if it were clear that the owner had  actually
          received the December 17, 1986 mailing but had not  submitted  any
          comparability data  or  evidence  regarding  new  equipment,  such
          evidence would not have  been  accepted  for  the  first  time  on

               While the tenant is  correct  that  the  increase  for  Major
          Capital Improvements is not relevant to the lawful rent  when  she
          commenced occupancy on August 1, 1984, since it was effective only 
          as of February 1, 1986, it is relevant to a portion  of  the  time
          period concerned in the Administrator's order. 

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

               ORDERED, that these petitions be, and the  same  hereby  are,
          granted to the  extent  of  remanding  these  proceedings  to  the
          District Rent Administrator for further processing  in  accordance
          with this order and opinion.  The automatic stay  of  so  much  of
          the District Rent Administrator's order as directed  a  refund  is
          hereby continued until a new order is issued upon remand.  

          However, the Administrator's determination as to the rent  is  not
          stayed and shall remain in  effect,  except  for  any  adjustments
          pursuant to lease renewals, until the Administrator issues  a  new
          Order upon remand.  


          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BD 510295-RO; BD 510428-RO

                                          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