BI 210215 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK   11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.:  BI 210215 RO

                      MDM ASSOCIATES,
                                                  DRO DOCKET NO.: K 310622 OR


                                       IN PART

          On September 24, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          August 19, 1987, by the District Rent Administrator, 10  Columbus
          Circle, New York, New  York,  concerning  housing  accommodations
          known as Apartment 6A at 3091 Brighton  Fifth  Street,  Brooklyn,
          New York wherein the District Rent Administrator determined  that
          the tenant had been overcharged.

          The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was  initiated  prior
          to April 1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1(a)(4)  and  2521.1(d)  of  the
          Rent Stabilization Code (effective May 1,  1987)  governing  rent
          overcharge  and  fair  market  rent  proceedings   provide   that
          determination of these matters be based  upon  the  law  or  code
          provisions in  effect  on  March  31,  1984.   Therefore,  unless
          otherwise  indicated,  reference  to   Sections   of   the   Rent
          Stabilization Code (Code) contained herein are  to  the  Code  in
          effect on April 30, 1987.

          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  of  an
          overcharge complaint form with the New York City Conciliation and 
          Appeals Board, one of the predecessor agencies to the  DHCR.  The
          tenant took occupancy pursuant to a lease  commencing  August  1,
          1978 and expiring July 31, 1980 at a monthly rent of $325.00.

          The owner was served  with  a  copy  of  the  complaint  and  was
          requested to submit rent records to prove the lawfulness  of  the
          rent being charged.

          In answer, the owner advised that the complainant tenant was  the
          first tenant to take  occupancy  after  vacancy  decontrol.   The

          BI 210215 RO
          owner submitted a copy of a Notice of 1978-79 Maximum  Base  Rent
          and Maximum Collectible Rent Computation (Form  N26S)  dated  May
          17, 1978 which listed the prior rent  controlled  tenant  as  the
          tenant as of that date.  The owner also submitted an invoice  for
          a new stove dated August 28, 1981 and written  consent  from  the
          tenant for an increase for this item dated August 19, 1981.

          In the order under appeal herein,  the  Administrator  determined
          the lawful stabilized rent using the default procedure  based  on
          the owner's failure to submit a complete  rent  history  for  the
          subject  apartment,  determined  that   the   tenant   had   been
          overcharged in the amount of $4,494.96 and directed the refund of 
          such  amount  to  the  tenant.   The  Administrator  included  an
          increase of 1/40th of the cost of the new stove.

          In  answer  to  this  petition,  the  owner  asserts   that   the
          Administrator  had  in  the  record   documentary   evidence   to
          substantiate the owner's assertion that the tenant was the  first
          stabilized tenant after vacancy decontrol; that  the  tenant  was
          not overcharged on subsequent leases; and that, inasmuch  as  the
          tenant filed an overcharge complaint and not a fair  market  rent
          appeal, the tenant's complaint should be  dismissed.   The  owner
          also asserts that it submitted to the  Administrator  an  invoice
          and written consent from the tenant for a new refrigerator, which 
          evidence was disregarded by the Administrator.  The owner submits 
          this evidence with its petition.

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

          Section 25A of the Code provides that a fair market  rent  appeal
          application may be filed by the tenant of an apartment which  was
          subject to rent stabilization or rent control prior  to  July  1,
          1971 and was vacated between January 1, 1974 and June  30,  1974,
          both dates inclusive, or of an apartment  which  was  subject  to
          rent control on June 30, 1974 and vacated thereafter.

          The evidence of record indicates that the tenant  was  the  first
          stabilized tenant in the subject apartment, but that  the  tenant
          was not advised of this status by rider to his lease  or  of  his
          right to challenge his initial rent by a notice of initial  legal
          regulated rent (DC-2 notice).  It is apparent that in filing  his
          complaint the tenant sought to determine the  lawfulness  of  his
          initial stabilized rent.  The tenant stated in his complaint that 
          to the best of his knowledge the previous tenant had lived in the 
          apartment for a long time and paid much less rent.  It is  within
          the discretion of the Division of Housing and  Community  Renewal
          (DHCR) to treat complaints or applications so as to  insure  that
          the complaints  or  allegations  raised  by  the  complainant  or
          applicant are addressed despite the use  of  an  incorrect  form.
          The  Commissioner  therefore  finds  the  proceeding  should   be
          remanded for processing as a fair market rent appeal.

          The record indicates that the owner did not  allege  installation
          of a new refrigerator or submit supporting  documentation  during
          the  proceeding   before   the   Administrator.    However,   the
          Commissioner finds that, inasmuch  as  the  proceeding  is  being
          remanded for processing de novo as a fair market rent appeal, the 
          documentation of this improvement submitted by the owner with its 

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          petition should be considered by the Administrator on remand.  

          THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  and
          Code, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be and the same hereby is granted  in
          part and the proceeding be and the same hereby is remanded to the 
          District Rent Administrator for further processing in  accordance
          with this order and opinion.  The automatic stay of  so  much  of
          the District Rent Administrator's order as directed a  refund  is
          hereby continued  until  a  new  order  is  issued  upon  remand.
          However, the Administrator's determination as to the rent is  not
          stayed and shall remain in effect,  except  for  any  adjustments
          pursuant to lease renewals, until the Administrator issues a  new
          Order upon remand.

                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  Deputy Commissioner

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