ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.:  BE 410437 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 NO.: BE  410437  RO
                        
                                              :     D.R.O.    ORDER    NO.:
                                                 CDR #29,252
                                                 D.R.O     DOCKET      NO.:
                                                 TC                 74662-G
                DAVID RITTER                                       
               (KENSINGTON HOUSE, INC.)                                   
                                                 Tenant: Martin Levine
                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X 

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
            IN PART

               On May 11, 1987, the above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          April 14, 1987, by the Rent Administrator at 10 Columbus  Circle,
          New York, New York, concerning housing  accommodations  known  as
          Apartment Number 302 at 200 West 20th Street, New York, New York, 
          wherein the Administrator established  the  stabilized  rent  and
          directed the owner to refund $13,917.49 including  interest  from
          April 1, 1984.

               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 issues raised by the administrative appeal.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced on July 29, 1983 by 
          the filing of a complaint of rent overcharge with  the  New  York
          City Conciliation and Appeals Board  (CAB,  the  agency  formerly
          charged with enforcing the Rent Stabilization Law) by the tenant, 
          Martin Levine.


               The owner submitted a rental history from the base date.

               On the chart attached to and made a part of the order, based 
          on a finding that the rental documentation submitted by the owner 
          was not complete, the Administrator  established  the  stabilized
          rent, using the 42A default procedure.






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.:  BE 410437 RO

               In its Petition, the owner contends that  the  Administrator
          erred in failing to acknowledge that the owner  had  submitted  a
          complete rental history as of December 30, 1986; that is,  almost
          four months before the appealed order was issued.  The owner  has
          submitted a rent calculation chart with its petition.  The  owner
          asserts that the overcharges collected from the tenant amount  to
          $4,123.89.  The  owner  notes  [as  the  tenant's  representative
          acknowledged below] that prior  to  the  issuance  of  the  order
          herein, the owner had refunded said sum to the tenant. 

               The tenant's answer opposing  the  Petition  asks  that  the
          order of  the  Rent  Administrator  be  affirmed,  and  that  the
          Petition be denied.  Further, the tenant  asserts,  in  substance
          (in its answer and in subsequent responses to the  arguments  set
          forth in various post-petition papers submitted  by  the  owner),
          that 1) the owner's submission of a complete rental history below 
          was untimely; 2) the overcharge should be calculated through  the
          time of the determination of  the  Petition;  3)  treble  damages
          should have been imposed; and 4) the tenant should  be  permitted
          to raise the issue of treble damages even though he did not  file
          his own petition because the tenant did not file a Petition so as 
          not to further delay the collection of the award provided for  in
          the order below and, further, the owner's  bad  faith  in,  among
          other things, dragging out the proceedings below (taking so  long
          to submit records  it  obviously  had  all  along)  warrants  the
          imposition of treble damages on appeal.  The tenant  also  argued
          that the tenant's complaint should be remanded for processing  as
          a Fair Market Rent Appeal (FMRA) because the DC-2 the  owner  had
          served on a prior tenant was defective in a way that rendered  it
          ineffective as the notice intended by the Code in effect on April 
          30, 1987.  The tenant asserts that this defect was  created  when
          the owner inserted the following  sentence  at  the  end  of  the
          paragraph (the third paragraph in the form)  wherein  the  (then)
          tenant was advised that the  Initial  Legal  Regulated  Rent  was
          $285.00 per month; the  owner  added:  "This  rent  [the  Initial
          Legal Regulated Rent of $285.00 per month] is based on comparable 
          rents in this building."  The tenant, herein, states that because 
          of this defect, the service of this DC-2 notice on the subject  





          prior tenant did not start the Statute of Limitations running for 
          the filing of a FMRA and, therefore, the tenant's  complaint  was
          filed before the time for filing a FMRA had expired.  The  tenant
          cites  three  separate  orders  and  opinions   issued   by   the
          Commissioner in support of his position on this point.    

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

               The Commissioner finds that the  owner  timely  submitted  a
          complete rental history below and that the Administrator's use of 
          the 42A procedure  was  unwarranted.   The  Commissioner  further
          finds that the overcharges to be refunded and the  tenant's  rent
          under his May 1, 1986 to April 30, 1988 lease are as shown on the 
          chart annexed hereto and made a part hereof.  






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.:  BE 410437 RO

               The Commissioner notes that  the  tenant's  stabilized  rent
          under his May 1, 1986 to April 30, 1988 lease was what the  owner
          had calculated it to be in the chart the owner had  submitted  to
          the  Administrator  on   December   30,   1986:   $582.45.    The
          Commissioner further notes  that  the  tenant's  representative's
          letter of January 15, 1987 acknowledged receipt of a check by the 
          tenant for $4,205.12, representing the  overcharges  plus  excess
          security due the tenant as per  the  owner's  calculations.   The
          tenant further acknowledged, in its initial (September 18, 1987) 
          answer to the Petition, that as of January 1, 1987, the owner had 
          adjusted  the  tenant's  rent   to   $582.45.    Therefore,   the
          Commissioner finds, as indicated in the annexed chart, that there 
          were no overcharges after December 31, 1986; and that the net sum 
          to be refunded to the tenant is  the  total  of  the  overcharges
          shown on the annexed chart, $4,389.36, less the  amount  refunded
          by the owner $4,205.12; that is $184.24. 
           
               The Commissioner finds that the tenant's  contention  as  to
          treble damages is beyond the scope of review on appeal as it  was
          not raised in a PAR filed by the tenant.

               The Commissioner finds that the  tenant's  contention,  that
          the DC-2 form submitted  was  rendered  defective  by  the  cited
          insertion, is without merit.  The facts underlying the orders and 
          opinions    cited    by    the    tenant    involved    extensive
          misrepresentations by the respective  owners;  misrepresentations
          that were so materially misleading that they would, if  believed,
          have created a serious doubt in the mind of a  reasonable  person
          as to whether or not that person might  be  entitled  to  file  a
          FMRA.  The Commissioner finds that there is nothing in the record 
          that indicates that the language inserted  by  the  owner  was  a
          misrepresentation.  The Commissioner also finds that if said 


          insertion had stated a misrepresentation and if the  tenant  upon
          whom the DC-2 had been served had believed it, that tenant  would
          still have been apprised  by  this  DC-2  that  that  tenant  was
          entitled to file a FMRA.   

               This DC-2 states that the 1974  Maximum  Rent  was  $149.00.
          The enlarged print on the form clearly states that if the Initial 
          Legal Regulated Rent exceeds  the  1974  Maximum  Rent,  plus  an
          applicable Guidelines increase of 9% (for a one year lease),  11%
          (for a two year lease) or 12 1/2% (for a three year  lease),  the
          tenant is entitled to file a FMRA.  The tenant  served  with  the
          DC-2,  Fereshteh  Mirsepassi,  took  occupancy   as   the   first
          stabilized  tenant  under  a  thirteen  month   (for   Guidelines
          purposes, a two year) lease.  Clearly, this tenant could see that 
          $149.00 plus 11% equals $165.39 (a sum  substantially  less  than
          the Initial Legal  Regulated  Rent)  and  that,  therefore,  that
          tenant was entitled to file a FMRA.   

               The Commissioner points out that by a letter dated  May  18,
          1990, the tenant's representative has  advised  that  the  tenant
          purchased the subject apartment in December of 1987 and  that  as
          to the relevance of that fact to the collection of the balance of 
          the overcharge shown due on the annexed chart, it is the same  as
          if the tenant had vacated.  Therefore, this order may,  upon  the






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.:  BE 410437 RO
          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.  

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

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

          ISSUED:






                                                                        
                                          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