BH 2101570 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.:  BH-2101570-RO

                      LENOX ASSOC.,
                                                  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
                                                  DOCKET NO.: K-3105826-R
                                                  (CDR, 30, 888)              
                                 PETITIONER
          ----------------------------------X     TENANT:  NANCY SNOWDEN        


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


          On August 20, 1987,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          July 16, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New 
          York, New York, concerning the housing  accommodations  known  as
          222 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, New York, New York,  Apartment  No.  5W
          wherein the Rent Administrator  determined  that  the  owner  had
          overcharged the tenant.

          The issue in this appeal  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 issues raised by the administrative appeal.

          This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing  in  March
          29, 1987 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.

          In  answer  to  the  tenant's  complaint,  the  owner  stated  in
          substance that it received the  leases  from  a  foreclosure  and
          submitted a rental history from April 1, 1980.

          In Order Number K-3105826-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
          $4,307.42 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
          submitted all the rent records it had.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be
          granted.

          Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code  requires  that






          BH 2101570 RO
          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, 
          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,






          BH 2101570 RO
          limiting the requirement for rent records to April 1,  1980.   An
          examination of the rent records from 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  District  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  twelve  equal  monthly
          installments beginning with the first  rent  payment  date  after
          issuance of this order and opinion.   Should  the  tenant  vacate
          after the issuance of this order or have already vacated, said 
          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 District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, revoked, and it  is  found  that  no  rent  overcharge
          occurred.



          ISSUED:

                                                  ------------------------
                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Acting Deputy Commissioner
           
             
                                             
    

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