BH 110238 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK   11433

                                    APPEAL OF                               
               DOCKET NO.:  BH 110238 RO

                                                  DRO DOCKET NO.: Q 3120896 R

                                                  TENANT:  GROVER MONROE, JR.


          On August 11, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on 
          July 7, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, Joseph Cordero, 
          concerning the housing accommodations known as, 64-34 224th 
          Street, Bayside, New York, Apartment 208B wherein the Rent 
          Administrator determined that the owner had overcharged the 

          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 

          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 
          29, 1984 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.

          In answer to the tenant's complaint, the owner stated in 
          substance that prior records were unavailable and submitted a 
          rental history from April 1, 1980.

          In Order Number Q 3120896 R, the Rent Administrator determined 
          that, due to the owner's failure to submit a complete rental 
          history, the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of 

          BH 110238 RO

          $4,415.27 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 not 
          default as it submitted all the rent records it had; by statute 
          it should not be required to submit rent records prior to April 
          1, 1980.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be 

          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) to date and to produce 
          such records to the DHCR upon demand.

          Section 26-516 of 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 
          produce rent records for more than 4 years prior to the most 
          recent registration, and concomitantly, established a 4 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 right 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 4 years prior to April 
          1, 1984 of their 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. Mgt. v. 
          Eimicke, 148 A.D.2d 610, 539 N.Y.S.2d 667 (App. Div. 2d Dep't 
          1989), motion for leave to reargue or for leave to appeal to the 
          Court of Appeals denied (App. Div. 2d Dep't, 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, 

          BH 110238 RO

          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 4 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 Dep't 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 Second Department, the DHCR is constrained to follow the JRD 
          decision in determining the tenant's overcharge complaint, 
          limiting the requirement for rent records to April 1, 1980 
          discloses that no rent overcharge occurred. Therefore, the Rent 
          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 shall be 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 Appellate Division ruling in 
          JRD, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted 
          and that the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby 
          is, revoked, and it is found that no rent overcharge occurred.

          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
          Deputy Commissioner


TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name