ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BK 910232 RO and CB 910194 RT


                                  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 NOS.: BK 910232 RO
                                                          and CB 910194 RT
          DENNIS LINK, PETITIONER-OWNER       :  D.R.O. DOCKET NO.: 052866
          JILL BLEEMER AND SETH WEITZMAN,
                       PETITIONER-TENANTS     :
          ------------------------------------X 



              ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITIONER-OWNER'S PETITION FOR     
              ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW, GRANTING PETITIONER-TENANTS' PETITION
              FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN PART, AND MODIFYING            
              ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

               The  above-named  petitioner-owner  and   the   above   named
          petitioner-tenants  timely  filed  Petitions  for   Administrative
          Review against an order issued on October 19, 1987,  by  the  Rent
          Administrator  at  10  Columbus  Circle,  New  York,   New   York,
          concerning housing accommodations known as Apartment No. 3B at  37
          Hamilton pLace, Tarrytown, New  York,  wherein  the  Administrator
          established the stabilized rent and directed the owner  to  refund
          $10,988.35, including interest from April 1, 1984. 

               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 in the administrative appeal.  

               This proceeding was originally commenced on November 1, 1984, 
          by the filing of an  objection  to  the  initial  registered  rent
          wherein  the  tenants  alleged  that  said  rent  constituted   an
          overcharge and that they did not have a written lease. 

               After being sent several notices to submit a  rental  history
          from April 1, 1980, the owner responded, in a letter dated May 20, 
          1987, as follows:










                    1. The owner enclosed a copy of the tenants' lease
                    for the term commencing June 1, 1986 to May 31, 1987






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BK 910232 RO and CB 910194 RT
                    which provided for a monthly rental of $575.00 and 
                    the lease renewal form relating to a June 1, 1987 to
                    May 31, 1988 term at a monthly rental of $592.25.  The 
                    owner stated that it had no prior leases for the subject 
                    apartment.
                    
                    2.  The tenants had resided in the subject apartment
                    since January, 1983 and had not had a rent increase  for
                    over four years although the following improvements  had
                    been made by the  owner  after  the  tenants  had  taken
                    occupancy:
                    
                         a) nine thermal, replacement windows (approximately
                         $225.00 each);
                         b) new electric service and circuit breakers 
                         (approximately $1,200.00); and 
                         c) the complete repainting of the apartment 
                         (approximately $700.00)

                    3.  The rent roll for the building on January 1, 1983 as 
          to apartments of similar size to  the  subject  apartment  was  as
          follows:

                    "Apt       Rent (1/1/83)       Comments  

                     MB           $ 250.00              
                     MD             300.00         slightly larger
                     1B             172.90         rent controlled 
                     2B             540.00
                     4B             350.00
                     5B             350.00
                     5C             475.00         slightly larger"

               In the appealed order, the Administrator employed  a  default
          procedure to establish the stabilized rent  as  indicated  on  the
          chart annexed thereto and made a part thereof.

               In its Petition, the owner contends  that  the  Administrator
          erred on the rent calculation  chart  attached  to  the  order  by
          failing to acknowledge:

                    1) that the prior tenant paid $375.00 a month rent;
                    2) $3,925.00 had been spent for improvements to the
                       apartment; and 
                    3) the owner was entitled to a 9% Guideline increase 
                       and a 5% vacancy increase over the prior tenant's   
                       rent upon the renting of the apartment to the 
                       complaining tenants.*  
                  
          * The owner also alleged that it had purchased the building  in  a
          foreclosure  sale.   However,  this  allegation  was  subsequently
          withdrawn.


               In their answer to the owner's Petition, the tenants  assert,
          in substance, the following:  1) the alleged prior  tenant's  rent
          is irrelevant in a challenge to the initial legal regulated  rent,
          in the absence of a rental history that  goes  back  to  April  1,
          1980; 2) the alleged improvements were not  substantiated  by  the






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BK 910232 RO and CB 910194 RT
          owner and the tenant did  not  agree  to  their  installation;  3)
          absent a written lease being offered by the owner, the  owner  was
          not entitled to a rent increase from the tenants. 

               In their Petition, the tenants contend that the Administrator 
          erred in the rent calculation  chart  attached  to  the  order  by
          failing to acknowledge: 

               1. The tenants took occupancy on January 1, 1983 (not  August
          1, 1983 as  the  chart  indicates)  and,  therefore,  a)  tenant's
          initial stabilized rent should have been calculated based  on  the
          lowest  rent  paid  in  January  1983,  not  August  and  b)   the
          overcharges should be calculated as collected  as  of  January  1,
          1983 on;  

               2. The chart incorrectly indicates that the rent charged  and
          paid after May 31, 1987 was only $575.00 whereas  as  of  June  1,
          1987, the tenants were charged, and paid,  $592.25.   The  tenants
          attached copies of cancelled  checks  representing  rent  payments
          through November 30, 1987.  

               3. The order below incorrectly names  the  tenant(s)  as  "S.
          Weiteman" whereas it should have recited the  complaining  tenants
          names as set forth in  the  complaint:   Seth  Weitzman  and  Jill
          Bleemer.  

               The owner's answer to the tenants' Petition does not directly 
          respond to the issues raised in that Petition.   It  merely  notes
          that the owner has filed a Petition also.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's  Petition
          should be denied and the tenants' Petition should  be  granted  in
          part.

               The Commissioner finds that in  accordance  with  the  Tenant
          Protection Regulations  (TPR)  Section  2506.1(a)(3)(ii),  in  the
          absence  of  records  showing  the  rent  paid  for  the   subject
          accommodation on the date four years prior  to  the  date  of  the
          initial  registration,  the  Administrator  employed   a   Partial
          Compliance rent computation  formula  to  determine  the  tenant's
          initial legal regulated rent.  The Commissioner  also  finds  that
          this procedure was properly applied to determine  that  rent,  but
          the   Administrator   inadvertently   calculated   the   resultant
          overcharges as if the tenants had taken  occupancy  on  August  1,
          1983 instead of the date when in fact they  had  taken  occupancy,
          January 1, 1983.  The  Commissioner  notes  that,  in  its  answer
          below, the owner indicated that the tenants had taken occupancy on 
          January 1, 1983. 



               The Commissioner finds that the calculation of  the  tenants'
          initial regulated  rent,  using  the  Partial  Compliance  default
          procedure, was proper as set forth in the order below.

               The Commissioner notes that the use of the  foregoing  method
          precludes any  claim  the  owner  may  otherwise  have  had  to  a
          Guidelines increase over the alleged rental of the prior tenant.







          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BK 910232 RO and CB 910194 RT
               The Commissioner finds that the tenants  are  in  error  when
          they contend that the Administrator should have  used  the  lowest
          stabilized rent paid for an apartment in  the  same  line  as  the
          subject apartment as of January 1, 1983 to calculate the  tenants'
          initial rent under the default procedure.  The Commissioner  finds
          that for apartments which were subject  to  the  Emergency  Tenant
          Protection Act of 1974 (ETPA on  or  before  April  1,  1984,  the
          subject default procedure required the use of the lowest  rent  in
          the line as set forth in the  1984  registration  statement  filed
          with respect to the subject building (or complex) and the  housing
          accommodations therein.  The Commissioner finds that that was  the
          procedure followed by the Administrator herein.  

               The Commissioner also finds that the  owner  indicated  below
          that the alleged improvements  to  the  apartment  were  installed
          after the tenants had taken occupancy and, therefore,  absent  the
          tenants' agreement to pay a rent increase for  such  improvements,
          the owner was not entitled to such an increase [accord: CI  910205
          RO].  No evidence of any such agreement has been submitted by  the
          owner either below or on appeal.  Moreover, no  substantiation  of
          the cost of the alleged improvements has been submitted.   Lastly,
          painting is not the type of "improvement" that  would  entitle  an
          owner to a rent increase. Therefore, the Commissioner  finds  that
          the cost of said improvements was, properly, not factored into the 
          calculation of the tenants' stabilized rent.     

               The Commissioner also  finds  that  the  calculation  of  the
          overcharges should be calculated up  to  the  date  of  the  order
          below, that is through and including the rent due  on  October  1,
          1987.

               The Commissioner also finds that there is  no  question,  but
          that the complainants herein are Seth Weitzman  and  Jill  Bleemer
          and not S. Weiteman as set forth in the order below.

               The  Commissioner  notes  that  the   parties   hereto   have
          confirmed, in post - Petition  correspondence,  that  the  tenants
          purchased the subject apartment  as  a  cooperative  apartment  on
          April 8, 1988.

               Based on the  foregoing,  the  Commissioner  finds  that  the
          Administrator's order should be amended to reflect the fact that 
          the tenants herein are Jill Bleemer and Seth Weitzman and that the 
          refund due them is as follows:




          Total     Overcharge     found     by      the      Administrator:
                                                          $10,988.35
          Excess Security found by the Administrator:   -     204.00
          Net Overcharge found by Administrator:
                          (including interest)            $10,784.35
          Additions
          Overcharge from 1/1/83 - 7/31/83                     
          $225.00 x 7 months =                              1,575.00  
          Overcharge from 6/1/87 - 10/18/87  
          (9/30/85 stabilized rent of $371.00           
          plus 3% Guidelines Increase      






          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BK 910232 RO and CB 910194 RT
          for one year renewal [6/1/87-      
          5/31/87] = $382.13)            
           $592.25 (Rent Charged)       
          - 382.13
          ($210.12 x 5 months) + (interest) =               1,066.48
          New excess security figure:                         210.12
          Total Overcharge to be refunded to the tenants: $13,635.95
           
              The Administrator's  order,  as  amended  by  this  order  and
          opinion, may, upon the expiration of the period in which the owner 
          may institute a proceeding pursuant to  Article  Seventy-eight  of
          the Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed  and  enforced  by  the
          tenants in the same manner as a judgment.

               THEREFORE, pursuant to the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 
          1974, and the Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

               ORDERED, that the Petition  f  the  above  named  petitioner-
          tenants be, and the same hereby is,  granted  in  part;  that  the
          Petition of the above named  petitioner-owner  be,  and  the  same
          hereby is, denied; and that the Administrator's order be, and  the
          same hereby is, amended in accordance with this order and opinion.

          ISSUED:







                                                                        
                                          ELLIOT                      SANDER
                                          Deputy Commissioner



                                          



























          ADM. REVIEW DOCKET NOS. BK 910232 RO and CB 910194 RT









    

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