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                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BG 410134 RO

                                              :  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
               James Lavin,                      DOCKET NO. TC-070864-G
                                                 TENANT:    Fred     Grundy
                                   PETITIONER : 


          On July 1, 1987, the  above-named  owner  filed  a  Petition  for
          Administrative Review of an Order issued on May 28, 1987  by  the
          Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          164 East 88th Street, New York,  New  York,  Apartment  No.  5FE,
          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 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
          17, 1983 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.  

          The Division did not receive a response to the tenant's March 17, 
          1983 complaint.

          On September 22, 1986 the owner was served with a Final Notice of 
          Pending Default citing the  owner's  failure  to  submit  to  the
          Division a complete rental history and informing the owner of the 
          final opportunity to do so.

          In Order Number TC-070864-G, the  Rent  Administrator  determined
          that, due to the owner's failure  to  submit  a  complete  rental

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          history, the lawful stabilized rent was based on the Section  42A
          default procedure, effecting  a  rent  overcharge  of  $5,774.28,
          including interest on that portion of  the  overcharge  occurring
          on and after April 1, 1984.

          In this  petition,  the  owner  requests  reversal  of  the  Rent
          Administrator's Order and contends in substance that, among other 
          things, he purchased the building on May 10, 1984  and  that  the
          Administrator's determination was unjust inasmuch as he was never 
          informed by the Division that the tenant filed a rent  overcharge
          complaint.  Rather the tenant had just  questioned  rent  arrears
          alleged to have occurred subsequent to the  commencement  of  his
          February 1980 vacancy lease.  The owner further  states  that  he
          served the tenant the 1984 apartment registration  but  that  the
          tenant never challenged said registration.

          In  answer  to  the  owner's  petition,  the  tenant  stated   in
          substance  that,  among  other  things,  the  current  owner  was
          responsible for all claims against the prior owner.   The  tenant
          further  stated  that  he  was  entitled  to  a  rent   rollback,
          notwithstanding the owner's contention that it was never informed 
          of the overcharge complaint.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be

          An examination  of  the  record  in  this  case  discloses  that,
          inasmuch as the tenant  specifically  stated  in  his  overcharge
          complaint that he was charged the lawful  stabilization  rent  on
          the commencement of his vacancy lease which was February 1,  1980
          (but contested rent increases charged thereafter), the owner  was
          not required to provide a rental history before February 1,  1980
          (the commencement of said vacancy lease).

          Since the record contains a rental history going back to February 
          1, 1980, the owner cannot be held to have defaulted.

          Furthermore,  for  the  period  from  the  commencement  of   the
          complainant tenant's vacancy lease (February 1, 1980) through the 
          date of issuance of the Administrator's  Order  (May  28,  1987),
          there is no evidence that the tenant paid  any  excess  in  rents
          lawfully allowed under the applicable rent guidelines.

          Therefore, the Administrator's Order finding  a  rent  overcharge
          must be revoked.

          If the owner has already complied with the  Rent  Administrator's
          Order and there are arrears due to the owner as a result  of  the
          instant determination, the tenant is permitted  to  pay  off  the
          arrears in 24 equal  monthly  installments.   Should  the  tenant
          vacate after the issuance of this order or have already  vacated,
          said arrears shall be payable immediately.

          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,  and  it  is

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          found that no rent overcharge occurred. 


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner


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