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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.: BG 210284 RO
SULZBERGER - ROLFE, INC., DRO DOCKET NO.: K 3105404 R/T
TENANT: ANDREA PATTERSON
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 14, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 10, 1987,
by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle New York, New York
concerning the housing accommodations known as 2525 Nostrand 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
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 and a Fair Market Rent Appeal
(hereafter FMRA) by the tenant.
In answer to the tenant's complaint, the prior owner stated in
substance that it was unable to locate a DC-1 or DC-2 Notice on the
subject apartment and advised the Rent Administrator that effective
January 11, 1985 the new management agent for the owner was 2525
Nostrand Owners Corp. P.O. Box 97 Vanderveer Station Brooklyn, New
In Order Number CDR 30,408, 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 $6,723.64 including
treble damages on the overcharge occurring on and after April 1,
1984 and named only the prior owner's agent, Sulzberger Rolfe Inc.
in the order.
In this petition, the prior owner contends in substance that the
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Rent Administrator's order should be revoked because although
advised of the transfer of ownership the Rent Administrator failed
to apportion the overcharge or name the new owner in the order;
that the Rent Administrator failed to utilize its own records to
determine that the subject apartment was previously rent
controlled; that it failed to consider the tenant's FMRA; that
treble damages were not warranted because the complaint was
originally filed with the Conciliation and Appeals Board (hereafter
CAB) which did not provide for treble damages and that Sulzberger-
Rolfe only owned the subject premises from April 20, 1983 through
January 11, 1985.
In answer to the prior owner's petition, the tenant stated in
substance that the order was warranted and it appears both the
prior and current owners are liable.
During the appeal, the Commissioner served a copy of the prior
owner's (Sulzberger-Rolfe) petition along with a copy of the order
appealed herein on the current owner (2525 Realty Co.) and afforded
the current owner opportunity to file an answer to the order or
submit additional evidence for consideration prior to the
determination of the prior owner's petition.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
An examination of the records in this case discloses that the prior
owner did advise the Rent Administrator of the transfer of
ownership and although the current owner was served, only the prior
owner was named in the order.
Moreover, during the appeal, upon first being served with a copy of
the Rent Administrator's order and the prior owner's petition, the
current owner submitted a copy of a letter from the tenant dated
March 26, 1987 indicating that subsequent to her purchase of the
subject apartment under the coop conversion plan but prior to the
issuance of the Rent Administrator's order on June 10, 1987, the
tenant had withdrawn the Fair Market Rent Appeal and overcharge
complaints filed in March 1984.
The current owner contends that this letter was submitted to the
Rent Administrator on May 6, 1987 and in the absence of subsequent
correspondence from the Division of Housing and Community Renewal
(DHCR) the current owner had assumed the proceeding had been
terminated without further action by the Rent Administrator.
The correspondence from the current owner was forwarded to the
tenant but was returned by the United States Postal Service (USPS)
as "moved-not forwardable".
The Commissioner notes that the apparent existence of an effective
Cooperative Conversion plan in the subject premises as of June 28,
1985, currently renders the subject apartment exempt from the
jurisdiction of the Rent Stabilization Law.
Further the record reveals that the tenant withdrew her complaints
prior to the issuance of the Rent Administrator's order.
Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order was not warranted and
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must be revoked.
With regard to the prior owner's contentions that the overcharge
should be apportioned; that the Rent Administrator failed to
consider the tenant's FMRA or utilize its own records and that
treble damages were not warranted, these issues are now rendered
moot by the revocation of the Rent Administrator's order.
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, granted, and that the order of the Rent
Administrator be, and the same hereby is revoked.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner