BG 610205 RO

                                  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 610205 RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO. B-3101662-R
               RALPH LANGSAM                     TENANT: EVELYN ROBINSON

                                PETITIONER    : 
          ------------------------------------X 

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On July 16, 1987, the above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 
          18, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, 
          New York, concerning the  housing  accommodations  known  as  1504
          Sheridan Avenue, Bronx, New York, Apartment No.  4N,  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 warranted.

               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 by the tenant.

               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.   In  an  answer  to  the
          complaint filed on September 26, 1984, the owner submitted  copies
          of leases from August 1, 1976, but stated that the base  date  was
          June 30, 1974 and that a prior tenant was paying $200.00 per month 
          in rent on JUne 30, 1974.   ON  April  10,  1986,  the  owner  was
          directed to submit copies of al leases from June 30, 1974.   IN  a
          response dated April 16,  1986,  the  owner  stated  that  it  was
          enclosing a rent register  showing  the  prior  tenant  was  being
          charged $200.00 per month on the base date, but did  not  actually
          submit a copy of the rent register.  On March 18, 1987, the  owner
          was served with a Final Notice of Pending Default directing it  to
          submit  a  complete  rental  history.  No  further  response   was
          submitted.

               In Order Number CDR 30,661, the Rent Administrator determined 








          BG 610205 RO


          that, due to the owner's  failure  to  submit  a  complete  rental
          history, the  rent  would  be  established  at  $224.67  effective
          October 1, 1977, that the  tenant  had  been  overcharged  in  the
          amount  of  $4490.16,  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 it did 
          submit a complete rental history, that in any  event  it  was  not
          required to submit a rental history prior to April  1,  1980,  and
          that the establishment of the rent at $224.67 was in error as  all
          other tenants in the same  line  as  the  subject  apartment  were
          paying a higher rental than $224.67.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should
          be denied.
               
               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)  and  to  produce
          such records to the DHCR upon demand.

               Section 26-516 of the 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  to
          produce rent records for more than four (4)  years  prior  to  the
          most recent registration, and concomitantly,  established  a  four
          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  rights  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  four
          years prior to  April  1,  1984  of  the  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.






          BG 610205 RO
          Mgmt. v. Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610. 539 N.Y.S. 2d 667 (App. Div.  2d
          Dept., 1989). motion for leave to reargue or for leave  to  appeal
          to the Court of Appeals denied ( App.  Div.  2d  Dept.,  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 four 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  Dept.  1989),  has
          issued a decision in direct conflict with the holding in JRD.  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  First  Department,  the  DHCR  is  following  the
          Lavanant  decision  in   determining   the   tenant's   overcharge
          complaint, and the owner is required to submit  a  rental  history
          from June 30, 1974.  An examination of the records discloses  that
          despite being given several opportunities to do so, the owner  has
          not submitted a rental history from June 30, 1974, but  only  from
          August 1, 1976 although conceding that the base rent date was June 
          30, 1974.  In addition the Rent Administrator  using  the  Section
          42A default  procedure  correctly  established  an  initial  legal
          stabilization rent of $224.67 - the complaining  tenant's  vacancy
          rent  minus   vacancy  and   guideline   allowances.    The   Rent
          Administrator properly did not use the lowest stabilized  rent  in
          the same size apartment as urged by the owner on appeal since such 
          rent would have been higher than  $224.67,  and  the  42A  default
          procedure requires that the lowest amount found by  these  methods
          plus one other method not relevant herein be  used.   Accordingly,
          the Rent Administrator's order was warranted.
















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







          BG 610205 RO
               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.

          ISSUED



                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                                                    
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