BG 210328 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.: BG 210328 RO
DRO DOCKET NO.: TC 078499-G
TENANT: ANNIE GREEN
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 15, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
June 12, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New
York, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as
222 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, New York, Apartment No. 3K, wherein the
Rent Administrator determined that the owner had overcharged the
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 issues raised by the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing in
October, 1983, of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant who
first moved to the subject apartment on July 1, 1983 at a rental
of $480.00 per month.
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. The owner did not submit
any rental history for the subject apartment.
In Order Number CDR 30,555, 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
$3,291.81 including interest on the overcharge occurring after
April 1, 1984, and directed the owner to refund such overcharge
to the tenant as well as to reduce the rent.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that there was
BG 210328 RO
an improper determination in that the appropriate rental history
was not used. The owner submitted no rental history along with
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
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) to date and to produce
such records to the DHCR upon demand.
Section 26-516 of 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
produce rent records for more than 4 years prior to the most
recent registration, and concomitantly, established a 4 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 right 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 4 years prior to April
1, 1984 of their right to recover such overcharges. In such
cases, if the owner failed to produce the required rent records,
the lawful stabilized rent would be 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. Mgt. v.
Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610, 539 N.Y.S.2d 667 (App. Div. 2d Dep't
1989), motion for leave to reargue or for leave to appeal to the
Court of Appeals denied (App. Div. 2d Dep't, 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 4 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 Dep't 1989), has
issued a decision in direct conflict with the holding in JRD.
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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.
However, the owner herein did not submit a rental history form
April 1, 1980 so that the Rent Administrator's order determining
a rent overcharge on the basis of the owner's default was
Because this determination concerns lawful rents only through
June 30, 1985, the owner is cautioned to adjust subsequent rents
to an amount no greater than that determined by this order plus
any lawful increases and to register any adjusted rents with this
order and opinion being given as the explanation for the
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 or not in excess
of twenty percent thereof per month may be offset against any
rent thereafter due the owner.
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.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA