BL 410279-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

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BL 410279-RT
                                                 (refiling of BK 410111-RT)

                                              :  DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
                                                 DOCKET NOS. AH-410017-RP

                                                 OWNER: Tompkins Square 
                                                 Apts./John & Richard 
               Leslie Harris,                    Podpirka/JRC Management Co
                                                 PRIOR OWNER: 
                                                 Sanford Sirulnick/Ditmas
                                                 Management Corp./ DSS
                                                 Realty Co.
                                                 PRIOR OWNER: 
                                                 Harry Schwartz/Horizon
                                PETITIONER    :  Realty        

                         AND REVOKING ORDER NO. AH-410017-RP

          On December 31, 1987 the above-named petitioner-tenant  perfected
          the filing of a Petition for  Administrative  Review  against  an
          order  issued  on  October  22,  1987  by   the   District   Rent
          Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York  concerning
          the housing accommodations known as  140  East  7th  Street,  New
          York, New York,  Apartment  No.  1P  wherein  the  District  Rent
          Administrator determined that the owner had not  overcharged  the
          tenant.  The order incorrectly stated the apartment number to  be
          "1F" rather than "1P".

          The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was  filed  prior  to
          April 1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1(a)(4) and 2521.(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
          provision  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 issue herein is whether the Rent  Administrator's  order  was

          The applicable sections of the Law are Section 26-516 of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law, Section 42A of the former  Rent  Stabilization
          Code, and Sections 2526.1(a) and 2526.1(f) of  the  current  Rent

          BL 410279-RT
          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  in
          October, 1983 of a rent overcharge complaint (Docket No. 
          TC-077227-G) by the tenant, in which  she  stated  that  she  had
          commenced occupancy on August 1, 1983 at a rent  of  $275.00  per
          month.  She stated that the owner crossed out the  original  rent
          of $275.00 at the time of the signing of the lease and  wrote  in
          $375.00, which she did not initial, that she was charged  $200.00
          for window gates, and that the owner refused to  provide  a  full
          rental history.

          In  an  order  issued  on  September  3,  1985,  naming   Sanford
          Sirulnick, c/o DSS Management, as the current  owner,  and  Harry
          Schwartz,  c/o  Horizon  Realty   as   the   prior   owner,   the
          Administrator used DHCR default procedures to  set  the  tenant's
          initial  lawful  rent  at  $217.00  per  month  and  to  find  an
          overcharge of $4,275.37, including interest and excess  security,
          as of August 31, 1985.

          Sanford Sirulnick/DSS Realty filed a Petition for  Administrative
          Review (Docket No. ARL 05080-L)  against  the  order,  contending
          that a rent history from September 1,  1980  had  been  submitted
          earlier.  On September 29, 1986 an order was issued remanding the 
          proceeding to consider the owner's answer.

          The new proceeding was  assigned  Docket  No.  AH-410017-RP.   On
          October 22, 1987 the Administrator issued  an  order  finding  no
          overcharge, on the basis that  the  $280.00  rent  of  the  prior
          tenant on September 1, 1980 was the base rent,  that  the  tenant
          had filed a specific rent overcharge  complaint,  and  that  only
          permissible increases had been taken above that rent.  The  order
          named Sanford Sirulnick/Ditmas Management Corp. as the owner  and
          Harry Schwartz as the prior owner.

          The tenant's Petition for Administrative Review  (Docket  No.  BK
          410111-RT) against that order was rejected on procedural  grounds
          on December 14, 1987.  The tenant timely refiled the appeal  (now
          Docket No. BL 410279-RT),  which  is  herein  considered  on  the
          merits.  The DHCR mailed copies of  the  appeal  to  the  current
          owners, John & Richard Podpirka, c/o Tompkins Square  Apartments,
          as well as to Sirulnick/Ditmas and Schwartz.

          In her petition, the tenant contends in substance that the  owner
          did not furnish a rental history from the base date, that it  was
          correct to calculate a default rent in the first order, and  that
          in any case the lease of the prior tenant was probably forged.

          In answer, the owner asserts in substance  that  the  tenant  has
          been following the order in Docket No. TC-077227-G  in  paying  a
          reduced rent, even though the later order in Docket No.
          AH-410017-RP found that the rent being charged by the  owner  was
          lawful; that the tenant has not been following either  the  lease
          rent or a "so ordered" stipulation to pay $575.00 per  month  use

          BL 410279-RT
          and occupancy beginning April 1, 1991; and that  the  tenant  now
          owes arrears of nearly $13,000.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion  that  the  tenant's  petition
          should be granted and  that  Order  No.  AH-410017-RP  should  be

          Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code  requires  that
          an  owner  retain  complete  rent  records  for  each  stabilized
          apartment in effect from June 30, 1974 to date and  produce  them
          to the DHCR upon demand.  If the apartment was decontrolled  from
          the Rent Control Law after June 30, 1974 the owner  must  provide
          satisfactory documentary evidence  of  the  apartment's  date  of
          decontrol, and produce a rental history from that date.   In  the
          present case a rental history was submitted only from 
          September 1, 1980.  It would therefore have been proper  for  the
          Administrator to set a default rent in Docket  No.   TC-077227-G,
          even if his files had contained such rental history  (resubmitted
          on  appeal  of  that  order),  using  established  DHCR   default
          procedures upheld by the Courts (61  Jane  Street  Associates  v.
          CAB,  NYLJ,  May  8,  1984,  P.  11  col.  4  [Sup.  Ct.  N.Y.C.,
          Greenfield, J.], 108 A.D. 2d 636, 486 NYS2d 694, affirmed 65 NY2d 
          898, 493 NYS2d 455 [C.A., 1985]).  The order under appeal herein, 
          Docket No. AH-410017-RP, used the September 1, 1980 rent  of  the
          prior tenant as the "base rent," on the incorrect belief that the 
          tenant had filed a specific rent overcharge complaint.  Since the 
          tenant in fact filed a general  rent  overcharge  complaint,  the
          base date was June 30, 1974 in accordance with Section 42A.  
          Accordingly, the order appealed herein is hereby revoked and  the
          lawful stabilization rent of $217.00 established by  the  default
          procedure for the complainant in the earlier proceeding is hereby 
          reinstated.   In addition, interest on the overcharge amounts  is
          being brought up to October 31, 1987 (the end of the month of the 
          Administrator's  order   in   Docket   No.   AH-410017-RP),   and
          overcharges are being apportioned.

          On July 23, 1984 the tenant informed the DHCR that Harry Schwartz 
          had sold the subject premises to DSS Realty/Sanford Sirulnick  on
          the 1st of that  month.   The  current  owners,  Tompkins  Square
          apartments/John  and  Richard  Podpirka/JRC  Management   Company
          purchased it in July, 1987.  Section  2526.1(f)  of  the  current
          Rent  Stabilization  Code  provides  in   substance   that,   for
          overcharges collected  prior  to  April  1,  1984,  an  owner  is
          responsible only for his or her portion of the overcharges, while 
          for overcharges occurring on and after April 1,  1984  a  current
          owner is jointly and severally liable for  overcharges  collected
          by prior owners.  The  overcharge  prior  to  April  1,  1984  is
          $1,264.00 ($158.00 per month x 8 months from August  1,  1983  to
          March 31, 1984), which the tenant may  collect  only  from  Harry
          Schwartz/Horizon Realty.  The overcharge from April  1,  1984  to
          June 30, 1984 is $623.32 ($158.00 per month x 3 months = $474.00, 
          plus $149.32 interest on that amount to October 31, 1987),  which
          the tenant may collect from either  the  current  owner  or  from
          Harry Schwartz/Horizon Realty.  The overcharge from July 1,  1984
          to August 31, 1985 is $2,767.80 ($158.00 per month x 14 months  =
          $2,212.00, plus $555.80 interest on that amount  to  October  31,
          1987, which the tenant may collect from either the current  owner
          or Sanford Sirulnick/DSS Realty  Company/Ditmas  Realty  Company.
          No overcharges are calculated for periods after August 31,  1985,

          BL 410279-RT
          since materials in the record of this appeal proceeding  indicate
          that  the  tenant  began  paying  $217.00  per  month   beginning
          September, 1985.  Although the Administrator's  order  in  Docket
          No. AH-410017-RP included $2.00 per month for window guards,  and
          even though the owner's September 26, 1990 letter to  the  tenant
          indicated that $2.00 was being billed above  the  lease  rent  of
          $375.00 at least as of September, 1985, no such increase  in  the
          lawful rent is being allowed because there is no evidence in  the
          files of either Docket No. TC-077227-G or Docket No. AH-410017-RP 
          to justify it.  The prior owner's January 3, 1985 answer  in  No.
          TC-077227-G (submitted in No.  ARL  05080-L)  contained   both  a
          rental history form and a computerized rent roll showing  a  rent
          of $375.00 as of that date.

          The owner is cautioned to adjust the rent, in leases after  those
          considered in  this  order,  to  amounts  no  greater  than  that
          determined by this  order  plus  any  lawful  increases,  and  to
          register any adjusted rent, with this order being  given  as  the
          reason for the adjustment.  

          This order may, upon the expiration of the period  in  which  the
          owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Article  78  of  the
          Civil Practice Law and Rules, be filed and enforced by the tenant 
          in the same manner as a judgment  or  not  in  excess  of  twenty
          percent  per  month  thereof  may  be  offset  against  any  rent
          thereafter due the owner.

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

          ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is,  granted;
          that Order No. AH-410017-RP be, and the same hereby is,  revoked;
          and that the Rent Administrator's order in Docket No. TC-077227-G 
          be, and the same hereby is,  modified  in  accordance  with  this
          order   and   opinion.    The   total   overcharge    by    Harry
          Schwartz/Horizon Realty from August 1, 1983 to March 31, 1984  is
          $1,264.00.  The overcharge from April 1, 1984 to August 31,  1985
          is $3,391.12, all of  which  the  tenant  may  collect  from  the
          current owner, in addition to excess security  of  $158.00.   The
          lawful stabilization rent is $217.00 per month in the lease  from
          August 1, 1983 to July 31, 1986.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner


          BL 410279-RT


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