BH 410299 RT
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.: BH 410299 RT
A. ZUCKERMAN DRO DOCKET NO.: ZAI 410311 SH
HELMSLEY - SPEAR INC.
TENANT: MELANIE BACKER
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On August 18, 1987, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on July
16, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street,
Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as
The Commander Hotel, 240 West 73rd Street, New York, Apartment No.
713, wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had
only overcharged the tenant by the premature collection of the
Hotel Rent Guideline Board Order # 15 increase (Hereafter HRGBO).
The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the
provisions of Section 2521.1(b)(2)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 of a rent
overcharge complaint by the tenant of stabilized hotel unit # 713
on September 24, 1986. The owner was served with a copy of the
tenant's complaint and submitted a complete rental history as
required. The owner stated in substance that the unit was
decontrolled by the death of the rent controlled tenant prior to
April 1984 and initially rented to a prior tenant (Eckerson) on
April 16, 1984 at an initial rental of $750.00. The prior tenant
was evicted on December 31, 1984 and after some renovations, the
unit was rented to the complainant on March 15, 1985 at the same
initial rent of $750.00. The owner submitted a copy of the Initial
Apartment Registration (Form RR1) for the subject unit.
In Order Number ZAI 410311 SH, the Rent Administrator established
the Initial Legal Registered rent as $750.00 effective April 16,
1984, determined that the tenant had been overcharged only by the
owner's premature collection of the HRGBO # 15 increase in July
1985 rather than on the anniversary of the tenant's occupancy in
March 1986, and directed a refund to the tenant of $139.12
BH 410299 RT
including interest on overcharges collected on and after April 1,
In this petition, the tenant contends in substance that the Rent
Administrator's order failed to provide rental history prior to
April 1, 1984 as the tenant had requested in her complaint or to
deal with the increase to the rent of the prior tenant who did not
have sufficient time or knowledge to challenge the rent increase.
In answer to the tenant's petition, the owner stated in substance
that the Rent Administrator's order was warranted because the
tenant does not have standing to object to the initial legal
During the pendency of the appeal, the tenant vacated the subject
apartment and no forwarding address is on file.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
An examination of the record in this case discloses that the owner
and tenant both acknowledged that the unit had been occupied by the
same tenant for about 40 years before the occupancy on April 16,
1984 by the prior tenant (Eckerson). The rent of $750.00 charged
on April 16, 1984 was registered with the Division of Housing and
Community Renewal (DHCR) as the Initial Legal Registered Rent.
Hotel Rent Guideline Board Orders specifically state that Special
Guidelines relating to the adjustment of Initial Legal Regulated
Rents are inapplicable to hotel dwelling units.
The initial rent of $750.00 charged after decontrol and registered
with DHCR became the Initial Legal Registered Rent not subject to
challenge. Therefore, the Rent Administrator was constrained by
statute to using the Initial Legal Registered Rent as the basis for
subsequent rental calculations and could not consider any rental
history prior to April 1984. The Rent Administrator correctly
calculated the complainant's rent from the base date and determined
that the owner had collected an overcharge from the complainant
only for the period from July 1, 1985 through March 15, 1986 due to
the owner's collection of an increase under HRGBO #15 on July 1,
1985 rather than on the anniversary date of the tenant's occupancy
- March 15, 1986 - as specified in the language of the guidelines
Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order was warranted.
Because this determination concerns lawful rents only through
July 31, 1987, the owner is cautioned to adjust subsequent rents to
an amount no greater than that determined by the Rent
Administrator's order plus any lawful increases, and to register
any adjusted rents with this order and opinion being given as the
explanation for the adjustment.
This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the
owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the
Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed and enforced in the same
manner as a judgment.
BH 410299 RT
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is
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. A copy of this
order is being served on the current occupant of the subject
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner