BI 410159 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 410159 RO

                                                  D.R.O DOCKET NO.: L 3113753 RT


                                       IN PART
                           MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

          On September 16, 1987 the above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition  for  Administrative  Review  of  an  order  issued   on
          September  9,  1987,  by  the  District  Rent  Administrator,  10
          Columbus  Circle,  New  York,  New   York,   concerning   housing
          accommodations known as Apartment 1F, 160 West 73rd  Street,  New
          York, New York, 10023 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 on March 31, 1984 by the 
          filing of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant with the  New
          York City Conciliation and Appeals Board, one of the  predecessor
          agencies to the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR). 
          The tenant's base date lease  commenced  September  5,  1967  and
          expired September 4, 1970 at  a  monthly  rent  of  $155.00.   By
          subsequent correspondence, the tenant listed  a  complete  rental
          history from the base date.

          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  submitted  a  rental

          BI 410159 RO
          history chart for the subject apartment from June 30, 1974.

          In Order Number  L-3113753-RT,  CDR  31,348,  the  District  Rent
          Administrator determined the lawful stabilized rent from the  May
          31, 1968 base date, determined that the owner  had  collected  an
          overcharge from the tenant  in  the  amount  of  $13,994.82,  and
          directed  the  refund  of  such  amount  to  the   tenant.    The
          Administrator further found that the owner has not registered the 
          rents and services of the subject building.

          In this petition, the  owner  contends  that  the  District  Rent
          Administrator's  Order  is  incorrect  and  should  be   modified
          because the owner has registered the rents and  services  of  the
          subject building and, pursuant to  the  Omnibus  Housing  Act  of
          1983 the base date for the subject apartment should be  April  1,
          1980, and that if such base date is used there is no overcharge.

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

          Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code  requires  that
          an owner retain complete records for each stabilized apartment in 
          effect from the appropriate base date  (even  if  such  date  was
          prior to April 1, 1980) 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,  establishes  a  4  year
          limitation on the  calculation  of  rent  overcharges.   This  is
          apparently what petitioner refers to when it contends  that  1980
          should be the base date.

          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).

          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),

          BI 410159 RO
          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.

          However, 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 First Department, complete rent records rather  than  records
          only from April 1, 1980 were properly required.   In  this  case,
          the complaining tenant was in occupancy on May 31, 1968  and  the
          tenant  provided  a  complete  rental  history  from  that  date.
          Therefore the Commissioner finds that the Administrator  properly
          calculated the lawful stabilized rent from the base date  of  May
          31, 1968.

          The Division's records disclose that the owner has registered the 
          rents and services  of  the  subject  building.   Therefore,  the
          Administrator's finding that the owner had not registered was  in
          error, and such finding is eliminated  from  the  Administrator's

          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 that the District Rent Administrator's order be,  and
          the same hereby is, modified in accordance with  this  order  and

                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  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