BL 210191 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.: BL 210191 RO
                                                           
               Jeffrey Betancourt,             DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR
                                               DOCKET NO.: K-3104382-RT
           
                                   PETITIONER  Tenant: Linda Mitchell
          -----------------------------------X

            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                         AND REVOKING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

          On December 17, 1987, the above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
          Petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          November  12,  1987,  by  the  District  Rent  Administrator,  10
          Columbus  Circle,  New  York,  New   York,   concerning   housing
          accommodations  known  as  Apartment  C-2,  134  Prospect  Place,
          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 issue raised by the administrative appeal.

          This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing of a  fair
          market rent appeal and a rent overcharge complaint by the  tenant
          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 July 1, 1982 and expiring June 30, 
          1983 at a monthly rent of $380.00.

          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.  The owner responded  to  the  complaint  and
          provided a rental history from April 1, 1980.

          In the order herein appealed, the District Rent Administrator set 
          the lawful stabilized rent at $386.48 as of July 1, 1987 based on 
          the owner's failure to provide a full rental history, and ordered 
          a refund of the overcharges in the amount of  $5738.26  including
          interest and excess security.







          BL 210191 RO
          In this petition, the  owner  contends  that  he  submitted  rent
          records for the subject apartment  from  April  1,  1980  to  the
          Administrator  which  showed  no  overcharge.   The  owner   also
          contends that the Administrator should have considered whether  a
          fair market rent appeal was appropriate for this case,  that  the
          owner  should  have  been  given   an   opportunity   to   submit
          comparability data, and that it was incumbent on  the  agency  to
          search its own rent control records for the rental history of the 
          apartment.

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

          Section 25 of the former 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.

          Division records indicate that a report  of  statutory  decontrol
          was filed for the subject apartment in 1972.   Therefore  a  fair
          market  rent  appeal  is  not  applicable  to  this  case.    The
          Commissioner finds that the Administrator correctly processed the 
          tenant's complaint as an overcharge proceeding and not as a  fair
          market rent appeal.  However, the Administrator's finding  of  an
          overcharge and the ordering of a refund  cannot  be  affirmed  on
          this administrative appeal.

          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
          subject 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 4  years  prior  to  the  most
          recent registration, and  concomitantly,  established  a  4  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 that 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 such tenants 
          of their right to have the lawful stabilized rent determined from 
          the June 30, 19784 base date and so as  not  to  deprive  tenants






          BL 210191 RO
          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).

          However, 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), 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.

          Since  the  issuance  of  the  decision  in  JRD,  the  Appellate
          Division, First Department, in the case of Lavanant v. DHCR,  148
          A.D.2d 1985, 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 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 owner submitted all required rent records from April 1, 1980. 
          Pursuant to the JRD decision, the default procedure  implementing
          Section 42  was  not  warranted.   Recalculation  of  the  lawful
          stabilized rent from April 1, 1980 indicates that the tenant  was
          not overcharged.

          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 is directed to pay off the  arrears  in
          24 equal monthly installments.  Should the  tenant  vacate  after
          the issuance  of  this  order,  said  arrears  shall  be  payable
          immediately.

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be and the same  hereby  is  granted,
          the District Rent Administrator's order be and the same hereby is 
          revoked  and  it  is  determined  that   the   tenant   was   not
          overcharged.

          ISSUED:

           






          BL 210191 RO
                                                       JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                       Deputy Commissioner






    

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