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. BE 110335 RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO. 17183
          BOULEVARD GARDENS OWNER'S CORP.        TENANT: P. AND D.  HARCOURT
                     

                                PETITIONER    : 
          ------------------------------------X 

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW AND 
          MODIFYING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER 


               On April 30, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review  against  an  order  issued  on
          March 19, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New 
          York, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 30 
          81 54th Street, Queens, New York, Apartment No.  5F,  wherein  the
          Rent Administrator determined that the owner had  overcharged  the
          tenant.  The petition is accepted as timely because a copy of  the
          Rent Administrator's order was not sent to the  current  owner  at
          its correct address although the  current  owner  had  listed  its
          current address in correspondence received during  the  course  of
          the proceeding before the Rent Administrator.

               The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the 
          provisions of Section 2526.1 of the Rent Stabilization Code.

               The issue herein is whether the  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 appeal.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced in  August  1984  by
          the filing of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant  in  which
          the tenant stated that he first moved to the subject apartment  on
          July 15, 1982.

               The prior owner "Boulevard Gardens Housing  Corporation"  was
          served with a copy of  the  tenant's  complaint  and  in  response
          submitted a rental history from April 1, 1980 and  indicated  that
          the tenant had vacated on or about June 30, 1986.  The prior owner 
          also indicated that at the time of initial occupancy of the tenant 
          herein, improvements  had  been  made  in  the  subject  apartment
          entitling the owner to a rent increase of $183.38.

               The prior owner was  asked  to  submit  copies  of  cancelled
          BE 110335 RO









          checks and contracts to  substantiate  the  cost  of  the  alleged
          improvements and/or renovations done in the subject apartment.  In 
          a response dated February 6, 1987, the managing agent -  Kingswood
          Management Corporation - of the current owner - "Boulevard Gardens 
          Owner's Corporation" -  stated  in  substance  that  it  felt  all
          inquiries and information had already been supplied.

               In Order Number 17183, the Rent Administrator determined that 
          the tenant had  been  overcharged  in  the  amount  of  $20,891.96
          through July 31, 1986 including treble damages from April 1,  1984
          through March 31, 1986.

               In this petition, the current owner alleges in substance that 
          the imposition of treble damages was  not  warranted  because  the
          current owner supplied all of the information in  its  possession,
          that the current owner took title to the subject premises on  July
          15, 1986, that the  current  owner  reasonably  believed  that  an
          increase in  rent  based  on  improvements  made  to  the  subject
          apartment was  justified,  that  the  tenant  never  disputed  the
          installation of new equipment, that the Rent Administrator  should
          have notified the current owner that it lacked  documentation  for
          the provided improvements after receiving  the  February  6,  1987
          response in which the current owner  had  stated  information  had
          already been supplied, that the current owner did not collect  any
          of the alleged overcharges, and that  the  order  awarding  treble
          damage is arbitrary and capricious in that the Rent  Administrator
          has not awarded treble damages in one case - CDR  21,332,  -  even
          though the owner in that case was in total default.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should
          be denied and the Rent Administrator's order modified.

               With regard to the  imposition  of  treble  damages,  Section
          2526.1 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in  pertinent  part
          that any owner who is found by the DHCR to have collected any rent 
          or other consideration in excess of the legal  regulated  rent  on
          and after April 1, 1984 shall be ordered to pay to  the  tenant  a
          penalty equal to three times the amount of such  excess.   If  the
          owner established by a preponderance  of  the  evidence  that  the
          overcharge was not willful, the DHCR shall establish  the  penalty
          as the amount of the overcharge plus interest from the date of the 
          first overcharge on or after April 1, 1984.

               In the instant case, the current owner has not submitted  any
          evidence to show that the overcharge was not willful.  The current 
          owner is responsible for maintaining  a  complete  rental  history
          including proof of any improvements installed or renovations made. 
          It is noted that the prior  owner  and  current  owner  failed  to
          document the cost of alleged improvements in the proceeding before 
          the  Rent  Administrator  although  specifically  advised  of  the
          necessity to do so.  Therefore, the imposition of  treble  damages
          was warranted.


          BE 110335 RO









               With  regard  to  the  owner's   citing   of   another   Rent
          Administrator's order where treble damages were not imposed, it is 
          noted that such order does  not  reflect  a  proper  statement  or
          application of the DHCR's policy on treble damages  and  therefore
          the Commissioner is not bound by,  and  declines  to  follow  such
          order.

               With regard to the allocation  of  the  overcharges,  Section
          2526.1  (f)  (2)  of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  provides  in
          pertinent part that for overcharge complaints filed or overcharges 
          collected on or after April 1, 1984,  a  current  owner  shall  be
          responsible for  all  overcharge  penalties,  including  penalties
          based upon overcharges collected by any prior owner.  In addition, 
          Section 2520.6 (i) of the Rent  Stabilization  Code  in  pertinent
          part defines owner as a fee owner,  lessor,  sublessor,  assignee,
          net lessee, or a proprietary lessee, or any other person or entity 
          receiving or entitled to receive rent for the use or occupation of 
          any housing accommodation, or an agent of any of the foregoing.

               Based on the above,  the  current  owner  "Boulevard  Gardens
          Owner's  Corporation,"  the  current  owner's   agent   "Kingswood
          Management Corporation" and the  prior  owner  "Boulevard  Gardens
          HOusing Corporation" are jointly  and  severally  liable  for  the
          total overcharge amount of $20,891.96.

               This order may upon the expiration of the period in which the 
          current owner and prior owner may institute a proceeding  pursuant
          to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules,  be  filed  and
          enforced as a judgment.

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

               ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby is, denied,  and,  that  the  order  of  the  Rent
          Administrator be, and the same hereby is, modified  to  show  that
          the current owner  "Boulevard  Gardens  Owner's  Corporation,  the
          current owner's agent "Kingswood Management Corporation"  and  the
          prior owner "Boulevard Gardens Housing  Corporation"  are  jointly
          and  severally  liable  for  the  total   overcharge   amount   of
          $20,891.96. 

          ISSUED



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    
          ```````````````
                            ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BUREAU
                                 COVERING MEMORANDUM










          ARB Docket No.: BE 110335 RO

          DRO Docket No/Order No.: 17183

          Tenant(s): P. and D. Harcourt

          Owner: Boulevard Gardens Owner's Corp.

          Code Section: 2526.1 of RSC

          Premises: 30-81 54th Street, Queens, New York, Apt.5F

          Order  and  Opinion   Denying   Petition   and   Modifying   Order
                           
               Petition denied on basis imposition  of  treble  damages  was
          warranted.  Order modified to show current owner and  prior  owner
          are jointly and severally liable for the total overcharge.









          APPROVED:



          Processing Attorney:                                             

          Supervising Attorney:                                            

          Director: 
              
          Deputy Commissioner:                                             

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


                           Date:              :  by               
                                                    signature
                    


                                      




































    

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