BG 410280-RT


                                  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 410280-RT
                    JOHN             &             FAYE              QUICK,
                                                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                                  44618
                                 PETITIONERS      OWNER: 120 EAST 34TH ST. CO.
          ----------------------------------x


                  ORDER AND OPINION REMANDING PROCEEDING ON APPEAL


          On July 22, 1987  the  above-named  petitioner-tenants,  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          June 17, 1987 by the District  Rent  Administrator,  10  Columbus
          Circle, New York, New York,  concerning  housing  accommodations,
          known as Apartment 2-H at 120 East 34th  Street,  New  York,  New
          York wherein the District Rent Administrator determined that  the
          owner had overcharged the tenants.

          The issue in this appeal is whether the  District  Rent  Adminis-
          trator's order was warranted.

          The applicable sections of the Law are Section 26-516 of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Section 2526.1(a) of the Rent Stabilization 
          Code.

          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
          September, 1984 of an Objection to Rent/Services Registration  by
          the tenants, in which they stated that they had  commenced  occu-
          pancy on November 1, 1981 at a rent of $1,612.00 per month.  



          They claimed that the previous tenants were Carlton and Elizabeth 
          Lee, that those tenants had a rent under $700.00, and that blinds 
          and shades were included in the rent.

          The owner was sent a copy of the objection and requested  to  re-
          spond.  In answer, the owner submitted a lease for Ali  and  Afaf
          Shady, dated  January 17, 1980 and commencing February 1, 1980 at 
          a rent of $1,450.00.  One of the lease  riders,  naming  Ali  and
          Afaf Shady and initiated  "A.S."  in  two  different  handwriting







          BG 410280-RT
          styles, recited in part that "[i]t is hereby agreed between Plaza 
          Realty Investors and John & Faye Quick . . . "

          In an order issued on June 17, 1987 the Administrator found that, 
          based on an April 1, 1980 base date rent of $1,450.00, there  had
          been no overcharge.  The Administrator also  found,  due  to  the
          owner's failure to deny  the  tenants'  claim  about  blinds  and
          shades, that blinds and shades were provided by the  owner.   One
          day after the order was issued a separate reply was received from 
          the owner agreeing that it provided shades.

          In this petition, the tenants contend in substance that the  base
          date is the date the subject apartment first  became  subject  to
          rent stabilization, rather than April  ,  1980,  since  they  ob-
          jected to the registration within 90 days of  service;  that  the
          purported two-year lease with Ali and Afaf  Shady  dated  January
          17, 1980 is manifestly fraudulent; that one  of  the  petitioners
          has just talked with Betty Lee,  who  stated  that  she  and  her
          husband Carlton lived in the subject apartment  for  at  least  6
          years before vacating in late October, 1981; that mail  is  still
          being received at the subject apartment addressed  to  the  Lees;
          that the tenants of three other apartments on the same floor have 
          advised one of the petitioners that Betty and  Carlton  Lee  were
          the immediately prior tenants in the subject apartment; that  one
          tenant  remembers  the  Lees  mentioning  that  their  rent   was
          $698.00; and that another tenant  remembers  being  told  shortly
          before the Lees left in October, 1981 that their rent  was  about
          $800.00.  With their petition the tenants have  enclosed  a  1987
          letter from a bank in Trinidad and Tobago to Mr. C.  Lee  at  the
          subject apartment, and an unpostmarked window-envelope  addressed
          to Mr. Carlton E. Lee at the same address.

          In answer, the owner asserts in substance that the base  date  is
          April 1, 1980; that all rents have represented  lawful  increases
          over the base date rent;  that  the  tenants  have  submitted  no
          evidence of a fictitious base date lease, other than hearsay  and
          envelopes addressed to the Lees, who apparently occupied the 
          apartment at one time; that one of the other tenants whom the 


          petitioners claimed talked about the Lees has stated in  a  sworn
          affidavit that she never made the statements attributed to her by 
          the petitioners; and that  business  records  for  the  last  six
          months of the tenancy of Ali and Afaf Shady verify that they were 
          the prior tenants.  With its answer the owner has enclosed mater 
          ials for six months from April 1 to September 1, 1981, consisting 
          of checking deposit receipts, adding machine tapes consisting  of
          between  9  and  64  items,  each  tape  including  an  entry  of
          "1,450.00" and totaling the amount on  the  deposit  receipt;  an
          internal deposit voucher for the  amount  on  the  tape  and  the
          deposit receipt; and rent bills to the Shady's for $1,450.00.  On 
          five of the adding machine tapes, $1,450.00 is the first  deposit
          listed, on the sixth tape it is the second item of 64.  The April 
          rent bills is on a form from "Algin Management Company", which is 
          crossed out.  All other bills have "Plaza Realty Investor "  pre-
          printed on them.  All deposit  receipts  are  for  "Plaza  Realty
          Investors No. 1."








          BG 410280-RT
          In response, the tenants contend  in  substance  that  the  Shady
          lease is a fabrication, as evidenced by the fact that the January 
          17, 1980 lease rider mentions the petitioners, who did  not  move
          in until nearly two years later.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this proceeding should be 
          remanded to the Rent Administrator.

          Section 2526.1(a)(3)(ii) of the Rent Stabilization Code  provides
          in pertinent part that 

                    "[a]s to complaints filed  within  ninety  days
                    of  the  initial  registration  of  a   housing
                    accommodation, the  legal  regulated  rent  for
                    purposes of  determining  an  overcharge  shall
                    be deemed to be the rent charged  and  paid  on
                    April 1, 1980 . . . "

          The tenants are therefore incorrect in asserting  that  a  rental
          history is required from  the  date  that  the  apartment  became
          subject to rent stabilization.  However, they have questioned the 
          validity of the documentation submitted to  prove  the  April  1,
          1980 base date rent.

          The January 17, 1980 lease rider, initialed "A S" by  two  people
          in the same handwriting used by Ali Shady and Afaf Shady on other 
          pages, is troubling since it also mentions the  petitioners,  who
          did not sign a lease until 20 months after the purported date  of
          that document.


          Further, the January, 1980 lease  rider  originally  referred  to
          "Algin Management Company," which was crossed out  before  "Plaza
          Realty Investors" was stamped above it.   The  April,  1981  rent
          bill submitted by the owner on appeal is  on  a  form  which  had
          "Algin Management Company" crossed out; beginning with  the  May,
          1981 rent bill Plaza Realty Investors  had  its  own  pre-printed
          name  on  the  rent  bills.   This  suggests  that  Plaza  Realty
          Investors had recently begun managing  the  subject  premises  in
          early 1981 and was using old forms until it could  get  new  ones
          printed.  However, the January, 1980 lease rider by Plaza  Realty
          was also on a form originally naming  Algin  Management  Company.
          This means either that Plaza Realty Investors assumed  management
          responsibility before January, 1980 and was still  using  up  old
          forms (at least rent bills) a year and a half later, or else that 
          the January, 1980 lease rider was  actually  composed  closer  to
          April, 1981.  In addition, the tenants have submitted  copies  of
          envelopes addressed to Betty  and  Carlton  Lee  at  the  subject
          premises and claim that other tenants  in  the  subject  premises
          have indicated that the Lees resided  in  the  subject  apartment
          immediately prior to occupancy by the tenants herein.  The  owner
          has submitted  some  documentary  evidence,  including  the  bank
          deposit materials and the statement from a  tenant  on  the  same
          floor, in support of  its  contention.   Upon  remand  additional
          evidence should be requested from both  parties  to  resolve  the
          matter.  A hearing may be held if necessary.









          BG 410280-RT
          THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  and
          Code, it is         

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          to the extent of remanding this proceeding to the  Rent  Adminis-
          trator for further processing in accordance with this  order  and
          opinion.


          ISSUED:



                                                                           
                                                ELLIOT SANDER
                                                Deputy Commissioner


                                          
    

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