Docket Number: BA-210042-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                           OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                    GERTZ PLAZA
                              92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BA 210042-RO 
             S. R. DEMETIRIOUS,
                                               DRO  DOCKET  NO.:   Q   18311
                              PETITIONER    : 

        On January  15,  1987,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
        Petition for  Administrative  Review  against  an  order  issued  on
        December 12, 1986 by the District Rent Administrator, 2 World  Trade
        Center, New York, New York, concerning housing accommodations  known
        as 610 6th Street, Apartment 3B, Brooklyn,  New  York,  wherein  the
        Administrator determined the tenant had been overcharged and awarded 
        tenant $3,538.79 in overcharges.  

        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 petition for administrative review.

        This proceeding was commenced on July  27,  1984  when  the  tenants
        filed objection to the initial registration in which  they  asserted
        that the registered rent of $470.00 is an overcharge.

        In answer to the complaint, the owner submitted leases  dating  from
        September 1, 1979 and stated that the rents charged in  all  vacancy
        and renewal leases were carefully calculated  per  their  respective
        Guideline allowances.

        In an order dated December 12, 1986, the District Rent Administrator 
        established the lawful stabilized rent, determined that  the  tenant
        had been overcharged and directed the owner to refund overcharges of 
        $3,538.79 including interest on overcharges collected  on  or  after
        April 1, 1984.

        In its petition the owner contends that the  tenants'  objection  to
        the rent registration was not timely filed, that the  District  Rent
        Administrator erroneously listed the lease terms thus  applying  the
        wrong Guidelines increases, and that the order of the District  Rent
        Administrator imposes interest, but  in  error  uses  treble  damage
        language, and  that  the  Adminstrator  failed  to  include  certain
        allowable increases for improvements to the apartment.  The owner 

          Docket Number: BA-210042-RO

        asserts that the registration for the subject apartment was prepared 
        March, 1984 and states that it is in the process of obtaining  proof
        of service from the Rent Stabilization Association.  No  such  proof
        has been submitted.  

        The tenants respond stating in pertinent part, that their  objection
        to the rent registration was timely filed, and that the owner is not 
        entitled to a rent increase for renovations which the  tenants  paid
        for and installed themselves.  The tenants  assert  that  they  have
        been overcharged rent.

        The Commissioner is of the opinion  that  this  petition  should  be

        Section 2526.1(a)(3)(ii) of the Rent Stabilization Code provides  in
        pertinent part, that for objections filed  within  90  days  of  the
        initial  registration  of  the  housing  accommodations,  the  legal
        regulated rent is the rent charged and paid on April 1, 1980.  Since 
        the owner herein has not submitted any evidence  to  establish  when
        the registration was served on the tenant, the  objection  filed  on
        July 27, 1984 is deemed to have been filed within 90 days.

        As for the lease terms  that  the  owner  asserts  were  incorrectly
        stated  by  the  Administrator,  the  Commissioner  notes  that  the
        Administrator's  Rent  Calculation  Chart  shows  a  lease  term  of
        November 1, 1980 to October 30, 1981 for the one year renewal  lease
        of tenant- Dixon.  Since the  subsequent  renewal  for  this  tenant
        would have commenced on November 1, 1981 and the  vacancy  lease  of
        tenant- Poon commenced on June 1, 1982, the Administrator noted that 
        both leases commenced within Guideline No. 13 and only one  increase
        per guideline is permitted.  The owner now contends in the  petition
        that the first renewal for tenant- Dixon was for ten months,  ending
        August 31, 1981 and the next renewal which the owner asserts was not 
        submitted because it was never returned  by  the  tenant,  commenced
        September 1, 1981 in Guideline No. 12a.

        The Commissioner finds that no adjustment in the lease terms or  the
        overcharges computed by the Administrator is warranted.   A  careful
        examination of the November 1, 1980 lease  reveals  that  the  words
        "ten months" appear to be a modification of  the  original.   A  ten
        month term for a  renewal  lease  is  unusual  and  is  particularly
        suspect when the next renewal lease is conveniently not available.

        No adjustment is warranted for alleged improvements to the floor and 
        ceiling  either.   Pursuant  to   Section   2529.6   of   the   Rent
        Stabilization Code, the scope of review in administrative appeals is 
        limited to facts or evidence before the Administrator unless  it  is
        established that certain facts or evidence could not reasonably have 
        been offered or included in the proceeding prior to the issuance  of
        the order being appealed.  In the instant case, the  owner  did  not
        submit any receipts regarding improvements to the ceiling and  floor


          Docket Number: BA-210042-RO

        when it submitted a rental  history  in  response  to  the  tenant's
        complaint.  The owner's explanation that these  documents  were  not
        submitted before because it  assumed  that  the  tenant's  objection
        would be dismissed as untimely is not credible since the  owner  did
        submit an answer and leases to substantiate the rents charged.  
        Also, the tenants dispute that the alleged  improvements  were  made
        and the receipts submitted with the petition are not conclusive  and
        would not have justified a rent increase even if  submitted  to  the

        The Administrator's order  states  that  treble  damages  are  being
        assessed because the owner did not submit evidence to establish that 
        the overcharge was not willful.  However, since the Rent Calculation 
        Chart indicates that interest, and not treble damages, was added  to
        overcharges collected after April  1,  1984,  that  portion  of  the
        Administrator's order assessing treble damages should be deleted.

        THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law  and  Code,
        it is

        ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,  denied  and
        the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby  is,
        modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.


                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


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