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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: BH 810369 RO 
                                              :      DRO     DOCKET     NO.:
                                                 NRTC 84-53-R
              SPENCER MANAGEMENT CORP./                 
              PETER KIKIS,                       Tenant: Joanne Russo
                                PETITIONER    :  


               On August 14, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on July 
          28, 1987, by the  Rent  Administrator,  99  Church  Street,  White
          Plains, New York, concerning the housing accommodations  known  as
          84 Cooper Drive, New Rochelle, New York, Apartment No. 2A, wherein 
          the Rent Administrator determined that there was an overcharge  of
          $5348.59, including interest and excess  security  and  ordered  a

               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.  

               The tenant (Joane Russo) commenced this proceeding  on  March
          14, 1984 by filing an overcharge complaint alleging that the prior 
          tenant had paid considerably less,  making  the  tenant's  initial
          rent an overcharge.  The tenant also alleged that  the  owner  had
          not stated the prior rent in the complaining tenant's lease.

               In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that the  tenant
          was then in arrears for four  months  rent  and  stated  that  the
          complaint would be answered when the tenant either pays  the  back
          rent or vacates the apartment. 

               On February 19, 1987, the tenant notified  the  Administrator
          that she had  vacated  the  premises  but  wished  to  pursue  her
          overcharge complaint.

               On March 6, 1987, a notice of pending default was sent to the 
          owner.  In a response dated November 13,  1987  the  owner  stated
          that the tenant's initial lease commenced at a time when the owner 
          was allowed to charge the highest comparable rent plus  guidelines

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BH 810369 RO
          increases on a vacancy lease.  The owner further  stated  that  it
          was submitting a copy of a prior comparable  lease  and  that  the
          complaining tenant's rent was based on market conditions, being 
          actually below the maximum allowable rent.   

               On April 30, 1987 the owner  submitted  a  comparable  lease,
          being a 1982-1984 lease at 59 Cooper Drive, New Rochelle, Apt. 1A, 
          at $595.00 per month.  Also submitted was a three month  extension
          of the 1984-1985 lease for  the  same  apartment  (which  was  not
          submitted) at $625.00 per month. 

               On June 8, 1987 the  owner  complied  with  a  June  8,  1987
          request for the lease of  the  tenant  immediately  prior  to  the
          complaining tenant, submitting a 1977-1980 lease for $360.00 and a 
          1980-1982 renewal thereof at $391.00 per month.

               In Order Number NRTC 84-53, the Rent Administrator determined 
          that the complaining tenant's $640.00 initial October 1, 1982 rent 
          constituted an overcharge since the Guidelines in  effect  at  the
          time the lease commenced allowed the legal registered  rent  of  a
          comparable apartment to be used as the continued rent only  if  it
          did not exceed 5%  above  the  prior  rent  plus  the  appropriate
          Guidelines increase.  Using the appropriate Guidelines increase of 
          6%, the Administrator found the lawful vacancy rent to be $435.18, 
          based on 5% more than the previous rent of $391.00.    

               In  this  petition,  the  owner  contends   that   the   Rent
          Administrator's Order is incorrect and should be modified  because
          the previous tenant vacated in August 1982 on which date the owner 
          was entitled to raise  the  rent  to  $640.00  using  the  highest
          comparable rent plus a Guidelines increase. 

               In answer to this petition,  the  tenant  contends  that  the
          order should be upheld because of the  excess  increase  she  paid
          over the rent of the prior tenant. 

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

               Assuming the previous tenant vacated in August of  1982,  the
          owner is correct that the Guidelines Order in effect on that  date
          allowed the base rent to be raised to the highest comparable  rent
          if the apartment was rented to a tenant not formerly from the same 
          building or complex.  However,  that  Guidelines  Order  could  be
          applied only to leases commencing  between  October  1,  1981  and
          September 30,  1982.  The  complaining  tenant's  lease  commenced
          October 1, 1982 and the Guidelines  Order  applicable  to  such  a
          lease put a maximum of 5% over the prior rent on the new base rent 
          for computing a vacancy  lease.   Accordingly,  the  Administrator
          properly limited the  increase  in  base  rent  to  5%  above  the
          previous rent.  Furthermore, the Commissioner notes that both 

          Guidelines  Orders  discussed  above  disallowed  the  use  of   a
          comparable rent for a base rent unless the vacancy lease  notified
          the tenant of the designation and location of the  apartment  used

          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NO.: BH 810369 RO
          to determine the comparable rent.  The owner did not  comply  with
          this requirement.     

               This order may, upon the expiration of the  period  in  which
          the owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Artic e  seventy-
          eight of the civil practice law and rules, be filed  and  enforced
          by the complaining tenant in the same manner as a judgment. 

               The record shows that the complaining tenant has vacated  the
          apartment.  A copy of this order will be  served  on  the  current

               THEREFORE,  in  accordance  with  the   provisions   of   the
          Emergency Tenant Protection Act and Regulations, 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.


                                          ELLIOT SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner


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