BF 210235 RO
STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: BF 210235 RO
BURCHELL BLACK, DRO ORDER NO.: CDR 30,436
TENANT: RITA WILKINSON
NEW OWNER: MATTHEW PETERS
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
FURTHER MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On June 29, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
June 1, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New
York, New York, concerning housing accommodations known as 2nd
Floor Apartment, 21 East 88th Street, Brooklyn, New York, wherein
the Rent Administrator determined that there had been an
overcharge of $1,072.01, including interest and excess security.
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.
The tenant commenced this proceeding on December 21, 1982 by
filing an overcharge complaint with the New York City
Conciliation and Appeals Board (CAB), the agency formerly
charged with enforcing the Rent Stabilization Law, based on the
allegation that the owner had imposed rent increases in excess of
those allowed by the applicable Rent Guidelines Board orders.
In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that it had added a
"reasonable" one percent increase to the 1981 renewal leases as
compensation for alleged damage to the apartment. After an
unrelated court proceeding, a six month lease was agreed upon at
the expiration of which the tenant agreed to vacate. However,
the tenant refused to vacate at the end of that lease term and
was a "holdover" tenant at the time of the owner's answer in this
proceeding, paying the same rent as during the six month lease.
The owner also made certain allegations about the tenant which
are not relevant to this proceeding.
In reply, the tenant denied that the damage had been the fault of
the tenant and made certain allegations regarding other service
BF 210235 RO
problems in the subject premises. The tenant admitted stating to
the judge in the above-described court proceeding that she
intended to vacate the apartment after six months, but denied
ever promising to do so.
In Order Number CDR 30,436, the Rent Administrator computed the
overcharge through October 31, 1984.
In this petition, the owner contends that the Rent
Administrator's Order is incorrect and should be modified because
the Administrator failed to show that the first renewal lease was
for six months and had been preceded by a three month period
with no lease at the prior lease rent and followed by a fifteen
month period at the rate of the six month lease.
The tenant did not answer this petition, although give the
opportunity to do so.
The Commissioner notes that on June 19, 1987 the tenant filed a
petition in which she submitted a rent chart alleging different
lease periods than those shown on the Administrator's chart.
That petition was rejected on November 16, 1988 under Docket
Number BF-210199-RT. The tenant was afforded fifteen days in
which to refile her petition. To date no such refiling has been
received. As stated in the rejection order, failure to timely
refile results in the automatic dismissal of the tenant's
petition. Therefore, that petition has been dismissed and is not
herein under consideration.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition
should be granted.
The record clearly supports the allegations of the owner. The
attached rent calculation chart, commencing with the complaining
tenant's initial lease, shows the correct rental history and
overcharges. The Commissioner notes that the six month lease
commenced under Guidelines Order Thirteen which provided that
renewal leases for less than one year can receive the one year
Guidelines increase, here 10%. The additional one percent
charged by the owner is disallowed herein without prejudice to
the owner's right, if any, to proceed against the tenant for any
damage to the subject apartment. Similarly, this Order is
without prejudice to the tenant's right to file a service
complaint, if the facts so warrant.
Since the owner failed to either enforce the alleged six month
agreement or give the tenant a new lease for fifteen months after
the expiration of the six month lease, the owner does not receive
the benefit of a Guidelines increase for the fifteen month
The Commissioner notes that the parties have stated that the
subject building was sold on September 1, 1985, i.e., after the
computation date of the Administrator's Order.
Rent Stabilization Code Section 2526.1(f) provides that a new
owner is responsible for all overcharges collected on or after
April 1, 1984, even for a complaint filed prior to that date.
However, the new owner was never made a party to this proceeding.
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Accordingly, on May 15, 1991 the new owner, was served with a
copy of the Administrator's order as well as the owner's
petition and given 35 days in which to respond thereto. The new
owner was also informed that it could be held responsible in this
Order for all overcharges from April 1, 1984 to the date of this
Order. In addition the former owner-petitioner was informed that
this Order would compute overcharges subsequent to October 31,
1984, the computation date of the Administrator's order. All
three parties were requested to submit leases subsequent to
October 31, 1984 and to notify the Division of any refunds
To date only the tenant has responded to the notices sent on
May 15, 1991. The tenant submitted leases from 1983 to the
present and did not state that any refund had been made. The
attached rent calculation chart shows the overcharges through
September 30, 1991.
This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the
owner may institute a proceedi g 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 in the amount of
all overcharges collected by the prior owner, petitioner herein,
with interest on those collected on or after April 1, 1984, i.e.,
$154.54. The overcharges with interest and excess security
collected by the current owner total, $309.90. Not in excess of
twenty percent thereof per month may be offset against any rent
thereafter due the owner.
In the alternative, all overcharges collected by the prior owner
through March 31, 1984, i.e., $94.08, can be enforced by the
tenant as a judgment against the prior owner and $374.09 in
overcharges, interest and excess security can be offset against
the rent as above. (The $3.93 discrepancy in totals is due to
the allocation of interest.)
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted
and the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.