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.:
KENNETH S. LEIKIND
and DISTRICT RENT
MOHAMED S. ALY, ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
ORDER AND OPINION PERMITTING WITHDRAWAL OF COMPLAINT NUNC PRO
AND TERMINATING PROCEEDING
The above-named petitioner-tenants filed a Petition for Adminis-
trative Review against an order issued on July 23, 1987 by the
Rent Administrator at 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York,
concerning housing accommodations known as Apartment 5-J at 25-50
30th Road, Queens, New York, wherein the Administrator estab-
lished the stabilized rent and directed the owner to refund
$1,289.08 including treble damages from April 1, 1984.
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record
and has carefully considered that portion of the evidence rele-
vant to the issues raised in the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was originally commenced on November 2, 1984, by
the filing of an objection to the initial legal registered rent.
In the objection, the tenants alleged that they took occupancy of
the subject apartment on July 15, 1984 under a one-year lease
providing for a monthly rent of $546.00; that they never received
a registration statement; and that the rent in their lease is an
overcharge or not the legal rent.
The owners, Bill Kartsonis and Irene Ladas, submitted a rental
history from the base date; including copies of documents which
they claimed proved that $6,560.00 had been expended to improve
the apartment. The owners asserted that they had been entitled
to increase the initial legal registered rent by 1/40th of said
costs. The owners also argued that the petitioner-tenants were
not entitled to object to the initial registration statement
because a copy of it had been sent to the prior tenant Jose Luis
Loa, by mailing the same to said prior tenant on June 29, 1984,
on which date Jose Luis Loa was the tenant in occupancy.
In the appealed order the Administrator stated that the tenant in
possession on April 1, 1984, and not a tenant who took occupancy
thereafter, was entitled to receive a copy of the 1984 registra-
tion statement. The Administrator then stated that since the
1984 apartment registration had been mailed to the prior tenant,
the petitioner-tenants' "claim concerning the apartment
registra-tion is dismissed". The Administrator calculated the
stabilized rent under the tenants' vacancy lease using the method
authorized in subsection 2521.1(b) of the Code effective May 1,
1987, which subsection reads, in pertinent part, as follows:
(b)For those housing accommodations for which the
tenant files a timely challenge in accordance with
section 2526.1()(3) (ii) of this Title (Overcharge
Penalties) to the initial legal registered rent,
such rent shall be determined by the DHCR as fol-
(1)for housing accommodations other than in
hotels, the rent charged and paid on April 1,
1980, plus the lawful increases charged and
paid up to March 31, 1984;
Using this procedure, the Administrator determined that the base
rent for calculating the stabilized rent under the tenants'
vacancy lease was not the rent set forth in the initial
registra-tion statement, $515.00, but the stabilized rent the
prior tenant should have been charged ($304.95 [as opposed to the
$305.45 reserved in the prior tenant's last renewal lease] plus
1/40th of the cost ($6,560.00/40 = $164.00) of the improvements
the owner claimed to have made before the tenants took occupancy.
In their Petition, the tenants allege, in substance, the fol-
1.The work claimed to have been done at the apart-
ment was ordinary maintenance and repair work, not
the installation of new equipment or improvements.
The owner should not, therefore, have been permit-
ted an increase in the rent based on said work.
2.The order below should have determined the over-
charges, and assessed treble damages on the same,
up to the time the order was issued: July 23,
1987. The tenants attach to their petition a copy
of their August 1, 1985 through July 31, 1986
lease and their August 1, 1986 through July 31,
In their answer opposing the Petition, the owners assert that the
tenants raise no new issues of law or fact, and that all such
is-sues raised below were properly determined by the
Administrator. The owner's further argue that the tenants were
barred from asserting an overcharge complaint because they filed
their objec-tions to the initial registered rent on November 2,
1984, which was more than ninety days after the initial
registration state-ment was served on the prior tenant (on June
29, 1984) and more than ninety days after they took occupancy (on
July 15, 1984).
The questions of fact raised herein were referred for an oral
hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. At that hearing, the
parties reached a settlement of their dispute. That settlement
was memorialized in a written stipulation. The terms of that
stipulation are, in substance, as follows:
1.Under the terms and conditions set forth in the
stipulation, the tenants withdrew their complaint
and PAR with prejudice;
2.The owners will pay the tenants $20,000.00 on or
before September 15, 1991.
3.The parties will exchange releases.
4.The parties will execute a new lease, effective
August 1, 1991 to July 31, 1992 at a monthly
rental of $511.00, which all parties agree is the
legal regulated rent and will be the registered
The Commissioner is of the opinion that the tenant should be
permitted to withdraw the complaint herein, and that this
proceeding should be terminated.
The Commissioner notes that the issues herein involve questions
of fact, and both parties have clearly indicated their desire to
resolve this matter. The Commissioner also notes that the ten-
ants have had the assistance of a community group, Woodside on
the Move, in dealing with these proceedings.
The Commissioner finds, based on all of the aforegoing, that the
tenant's complaint should be permitted to be withdrawn (nunc pro
tunc) ["now for then"] pursuant to Code Section 2520.13; that the
negotiated settlement entered into between the parties should be
approved by the DHCR nunc pro tunc, and that this proceeding
should be terminated.
THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization Law and Code it is
ORDERED, that the complaint below be, and the same hereby is,
deemed withdrawn; that the Administrator's order below be, and
the same hereby is, revoked; that the settlement agreement be,
and the same hereby is, approve; that the Petition herein be, and
the same hereby is, deemed withdrawn; and that this proceeding
be, and the same hereby is, terminated.