BG 210102 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. BG 210102 RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO.K-3104290-R
               P. & J. HIRTH                     TENANT: MARIA MARKHAM

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

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On July 1, 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 the housing accommodations known as 876 Coney 
          Island Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, Apartment No. 3C,  wherein  the
          Rent Administrator determined that the owner had  overcharged  the
          tenant.

               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  by  the  filing  in
          March, 1984, of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant in which 
          the tenant stated that she first moved to the subject apartment on 
          December 1, 1983 at a rental of $340.00  per  month.   The  tenant
          submitted copies  of  the  prior  tenant's  last  lease  and  some
          cancelled rent checks from the  prior  tenant  showing  the  prior
          tenant paid a rent of $198.41 per  month  immediately  before  the
          prior tenant vacated the subject apartment.

               The owner was served with a copy of  the  complaint  and  was
          requested to submit rent records from the base date to  prove  the
          lawfulness of the rent being charged.  In answer to the complaint, 
          the owner stated that the  subject  premises  had  been  renovated
          under the Private Housing Finance Law and that the rent was set at 
          $340.00 per month effective July 1, 1984 by an order issued by the 
          New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development  
          hereafter HPD.  A copy of the  HPD  order  was  submitted  by  the
          owner.  The owner was again directed to submit a  complete  rental
          history, but failed to do so.  The record reveals that the  tenant
          herein subsequently vacated the subject apartment.








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               In Order Number CDR 30,447, 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 $1135.91 
          from December 1, 1983 until July 1, 1984 when HPD set the rent  at
          $340.00 per month.  The Rent Administrator  established  the  rent
          from December 1, 1983 until July 1, 1984 as $198.41  per  month  -
          the last rent paid by the prior tenant.

               In this petition, the owner contends in  substance  that  the
          renovation  of  the  subject  apartment  was  completed  prior  to
          occupancy by the tenant herein,  that  the  owner  should  not  be
          penalized by HPD's delay in issuing  its  order  establishing  the
          rent due to the renovation so  that  the  lawful  stabilized  rent
          should be held to have been $340.00 effective December 1, 1983, or 
          that in the alternative, the December 1,  1983  to  July  1,  1984
          lawful stabilized rent should be established at $232.19 per  month
          ( a 17% increase over the prior tenant's last rent of $198.41  due
          to a vacancy and guideline allowance pursuant to Guideline 15).

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should
          be denied.

               Section 42A of the former Rent  Stabilization  Code  requires
          that  an  owner  retain  complete  records  for  each   stabilized
          apartment in effect from June 30, 1974 (or the date the  apartment
          became subject to rent stabilization, if  later)  and  to  produce
          such records to the DHCR upon demand.

               Section 26-516 of the Rent Stabilization Law, effective April 
          1, 1984, limited an owner's obligation to provide rent records  by
          providing that an owner may not be  required  to  maintain  or  to
          produce rent records for more than four (4)  years  prior  to  the
          most recent registration, and concomitantly,  established  a  four
          year limitation on the calculation of rent overcharges.

               It has been the  DHCR's  policy  that  overcharge  complaints
          filed prior to April 1, 1984, are to be processed pursuant to  the
          Law or Code in effect on March 31, 1984. (see Section  2526.1  (a)
          (4) of  the  current  Rent  Stabilization  Code.)   The  DHCR  has
          therefore applied Section 42A of the  former  Code  to  overcharge
          complaints filed prior to April 1, 1984, requiring  complete  rent
          records in these cases.  In following this policy,  the  DHCR  has
          sought to be consistent with the legislative intent of the Omnibus 
          Housing Act (Chapter 403, Laws of 1983), as implemented by the New 
          York City Conciliation and Appeals  Board  (CAB)  the  predecessor
          agency to the DHCR, to determine rent overcharge complaints  filed
          with the CAB prior to April 1, 1984, by applying the law in effect 
          at the time such complaints were filed so as not to  deprive  such
          tenants of  their  rights  to  have  the  lawful  stabilized  rent
          determined from the June 30, 1974 base  date  and  so  as  not  to
          deprive tenants whose overcharge claims  accrued  more  than  four
          years prior to April 1, 1984 of the right to recover such 



          overcharges.  In such cases, if the owner failed  to  produce  the
          required  rent  records,  the  lawful  stabilized  rent  would  be






          BG 210102 RO
          determined pursuant to the default procedure approved by the Court 
          of Appeals in 61 Jane Street Associates v. CAB, 65 N.Y.2d 898, 493 
          N.Y. S. 2d 455 (1985).

               However, it has recently been held  in  the  case  of  J.R.D.
          Mgmt. v. Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610. 539 N.Y.S. 2d 667 (App. Div.  2d
          Dept., 1989). motion for leave to reargue or for leave  to  appeal
          to the Court of Appeals denied ( App.  Div.  2d  Dept.,  N.Y.L.J.,
          June 28, 1989. p.25, col.1), motion for leave  to  appeal  to  the
          Court of Appeals denied (Court  of  Appeals,  N.Y.L.J.,  Nov.  24,
          1989, p.24, col.4)., motion for leave to reargue denied (Court  of
          Appeals, N.Y.L.J., Feb. 15, 1990, p.25, col.1), that  the  Law  in
          effect at the time of  the  determination  of  the  administrative
          complaint rather than the Law in effect at the time of the filing
          of the complaint must be applied  and  that  the  DHCR  could  not
          require an owner to produce more than four years of rent records.

               Since the issuance of the  decision  in  JRD,  the  Appellate
          Division, First Department, in the case of Lavanant v.  DHCR,  148
          A.D.2d 185, 544 N.Y.S.2d 331  (App.  Div.  1st  Dept.  1989),  has
          issued a decision in direct conflict with the holding in JRD.  The 
          Lavanant court expressly rejected the JRD ruling finding that  the
          DHCR may  properly  require  an  owner  to  submit  complete  rent
          records, rather than records for just four years,  and  that  such
          requirement  is  both  rational  and  supported  by  the  Law  and
          legislative history of the Omnibus Housing Act.

               Since in the  instant  case  the  subject  dwelling  unit  is
          located in the Second  Department,  the  DHCR  is  constrained  to
          follow the JRD decision in  determining  the  tenant's  overcharge
          complaint, limiting the requirement for rent records to  April  1,
          1980.  An examination of the records in this case  discloses  that
          the owner did not provide a rental history from April 1,  1980  as
          required.  Accordingly, the Rent Administrator properly  defaulted
          the owner for the period from December 1, 1983  to  July  1,  1984
          when HPD established the rent at $340.00  per  month  due  to  the
          renovation  of  the  subject  premises.   The  Rent  Administrator
          correctly established the rent during this  period  in  accordance
          with DHCR default procedures as $198.41 - the  last  rent  of  the
          prior tenant.  No allowance  may  be  given  for  the  complaining
          tenant's vacancy lease due to the owner's default.  With regard to 
          the owner's contention that the rent set by HPD effective July  1,
          1984 should be retroactive to December 1, 1983, it is  noted  that
          HPD's order clearly sets the rent at $340.00 per  month  effective
          July 1, 1984 and that the DHCR is not authorized to make  the  HPD
          order retroactive in effect.  If  the  owner  disagreed  with  the
          effective date of the HPD order, its remedy  was  to  appeal  said
          order and not to unilaterally charge  the  tenant  a  higher  rent
          prior to the effective date of the  order.   Therefore,  the  Rent
          Administrator's order was warranted.





               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  as  a
          judgment.






          BG 210102 RO

               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, affirmed.  The amount of 
          the rent overcharge is $1135.91.

          ISSUED



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                     































    

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