BJ 130250-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.:   
                                                  BJ 130250-RO          
                 JANET SPAFFORD,                  RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                 GRENADIER                  REALTY                   CORP.,
                                                  DOCKET NO.:
                                  PETITIONER      Q-3119921-R 
          ----------------------------------x


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW  
                                          

          On October 1, 1987 the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Peti 
          tion for Administrative Review against an order issued on  August
          31, 1987 by the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, 
          New York, concerning housing accommodations known as Apartment  2
          at 74-40 260th Street, Glen Oaks, New York, wherein the Re t  Ad-
          ministrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged.

          The applicable sections of law are Section  26-516  of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Law and Section 2526.1(a) of the Rent Stabilization 
          Code.  

          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 with the New York Ci y  Conci-
          liation and Appeals Board, one of the predecessor agencies to the 
          Division of Housing and Community  Renewal  (DHCR).   The  tenant
          took occupancy pursuant to a lease commencing January 1, 1980 and 
          expiring December 31, 1980 at a monthly rent of $345.36.

          The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and in response 
          submitted a rent history from December 1, 1976.

          In Order Number CDR 31,270,  the  Rent  Administrator  determined
          that, due to the owner's failure to submit a complete rental his 
          tory, the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of  $4,915.33
          and directed the owner to refund such overcharge to the tenant as 
          well as to reduce the rent.


          In its petition, the petitioner contends that it submitted a full 
          rental history to the Administrator and  that  the  Administrator
          failed to  consider  the  leases  from  December  1,  1976.   The
          petitioner also states that DiConza, Larocca &  Dicunto  are  the
          owners of the subject premises, and Grenadier Realty Corp. is the 
          managing agent.







          BJ 130250-RO 

          In answer, the tenant asserts that the petition should be  denied
          based on the owner's failure to submit the required rent records.
          The tenant asserts that based on a comparison of the  1978  lease
          with the 1976 lease for the  prior  tenant,  the  prior  tenant's
          signature on the 1978 lease was printed, not signed, and that the 
          tenant believes that the  prior  tenant  never  signed  the  1978
          lease, but vacated the apartment.  The  tenant  stated  that  she
          would submit information to substantiate these  allegations,  but
          the tenant failed to do so.

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

          Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code  requires  that
          an owner retain complete records for each stabilized apartment in 
          effect from June 30, 1974 (or the date the apartment became  sub-
          ject 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 four years prior to  the  most
          recent registration, and concomitantly, established a  four  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  four  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. Mgmt. 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,  col.4).,
          motion for leave to reargue denied (Court of  Appeals,  N.Y.L.J.,







          BJ 130250-RO 
          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  pro-
          duce more than four years of rent records.

          Since  the  issuance  of  the  decision  in  JRD,  the  Appellate
          Division, First Department, in the case of Lavanat v.  DHCR,  148
          A.D.2d 185, 544 N.Y.S.2d 331 (App. Div.  1st  Dept'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,
          limiting the requirement for rent records to April 1, 1980.   The
          Commissioner finds that the fact that the pri r  tenant's  signa-
          ture on the 1978 lease is printed  does  not  render  that  lease
          invalid and that the tenant has failed to submit any evidence  to
          substantiate her assertion that the prior tenant had vacated  the
          apartment and did not sign the 1978 lease.  Accordingly, the Com 
          missioner has examined the rent records for the subject apartment 
          from December 1, 1976 and has determined that no rent  overcharge
          occurred.  The tenant's rent on April 1, 1980 was $354.36. It was 
          then increased by lawful guidelines amounts through the  tenant's
          January 1, 1986 lease.  Therefore, the Rent Administrator's order 
          determining that the tenant had been overcharged must be revoked.

          If the owner has already complied with the Administrator's  order
          and there are arrears due to the owner as a result of the instant 
          determination, the tenant may pay off the arrears in twenty  four
          equal monthly installments.  Should the tenant vacate  after  the
          issuance of this order, said arrears  shall  be  payable  immedi-
          ately.


          The Commissioner notes that for purposes of this proceedings  the
          managing agent Grenadier Realty Corp. is properly  named  as  the
          owner since Section 2520.6(i) of the Rent Stabilization Co e  in-
          cludes a managing agent in the definition of an owner.


          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Appellate  Division  ruling  in
          JRD, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is  granted,
          and the order of the Rent Administrator be, and the  same  hereby
          is, revoked and it is found that no rent overcharge occurred.


          ISSUED:










          BJ 130250-RO 
                                                                           
                                                ELLIOT SANDER
                                                Deputy Commissioner


                                          
    

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