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 410318-RO
: DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
DOCKET NO. L 3117211-R
Milford Management Corp.,
TENANT: Esther Trauring
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
IN PART AND MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On June 18, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on May 14, 1987, by a Rent
Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 155 West
68th Street, New York, New York, Apartment No. 1928, wherein the Rent
Administrator determined that the owner had overcharged the tenant.
The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was filed 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 issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order was
The applicable sections of the Law are Section 26-516 of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Section 2526.1(a) of the current Rent
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 by the filing on March 22, 1984
of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant, in which she stated that
she had commenced occupancy in April, 1980 at a rent of $392.09 per
month. The tenant vacated the apartment on March 31, 1983.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and directed to submit
a complete rent history from the base date.
In a submission received December 10, 1986, the owner submitted the
complete lease history, commencing with a lease for the period from
March 1, 1974 to February 28, 1977. Due to an administrative error, the
owner was directed to submit the lease history again. The owner's
submission dated May 6, 1987 contained leases dating from only March 1,
1977. Included with the lease history was a single handwritten sheet,
signed by the complainant, listing various items of equipment installed
in the apartment prior to her occupancy.
In the order here under review, the Rent Administrator determined that,
due to the owner's failure to submit a complete rental history, the
tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $2,724.54, including excess
security, and directed the owner to refund such overcharge to the tenant
as well as to reduce the rent.
In its petition the owner asserts that the tenant did not have standing
to file this complaint because she filed the complaint after she vacated
the subject apartment. The owner also disputes the Administrator's
calculaton of the lawful rent and protests the Administrator's failure
to grant a rent increase for new equipment that was installed in March,
1980. The owner also includes a calculation of the lawful stabilized
rent from the base date which results in a reduction of overcharges.
The tenant's answer disputes the owner's contention that she had no
standing to file the complaint.
The Commissioner is of the considered opinion that this petition should
be granted in part and that the Administrator's order be modified.
The owner's contention that the tenant had no standing to file the
overcharge complaint because she had already vacated the subject
apartment is without merit since no such restriction is stated in the
Rent Stabilization Law and Code.
A review of the record in this case indicates that the owner did submit
to the Administrator the complete lease history dating from the base
date of June 30, 1974. Apparently, the owner omitted the earliest lease
when submitting the lease history for the second time, even though it
had been included in the earlier submission. It was therefore improper
for the Administrator to determine the rent by the default procedure.
Petitioner's claim for a monthly increase of $22.63 for new equipment in
the complainant's vacancy lease, effective March 15, 1980, is denied,
due to insufficient documentation of the cost of the equipment, in
accordance with Policy Statement 90-10. Specifically, a handwritten
list of the new items and their cost, without some independent
documentation of the cost such as cancelled checks or an invoice, is not
acceptable to prove the claim.
Petitioner is correct, however, that a vacancy allowance should have
been included by the Administrator in calculating the complainant's
A recalculation of the lawful stabilized rent results in a decrease of
overcharges to $916.75, from $2,724.54, and an increase in the lawful
rent as of March 31, 1983 to $421.49, from $369.41, as documented in a
rent calculation chart affixed hereto and made a part hereof.
This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the owner may
institute a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law
and Rules, be filed and enforced in the same manner as a judgment. A
copy of this opinion is also being sent to the current occupant of the
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is, granted in part,
and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, amended
in accordance with this order and opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA