BI 110146 RO
STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: BI 110146 RO
Jean Celestin, Jr., DRO DOCKET NO.: TC 080437-G
TENANT: David Pinkhasov
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On September 11, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on June 10, 1987, by
the Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as
105-55 62nd Drive, Forest Hills, New York, Apartment No. 6H, wherein the
Rent Administrator determined that the owner had defaulted in its
obligation to provide a full rental history. The petition is accepted
as timely because the Rent Administrator's order was sent to the owner
at an incorrect address.
The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the provisions
of Section 2526.1 of the Rent Stabilization Code.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order finding the
owner in default was warranted.
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 December 28, 1983
of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.
Subsequent to the filing of the tenant's complaint, rent records dating
back to November 1, 1975 were submitted to the DHCR.
In Order Number TC-080437-G, the Rent Administrator determined that, due
to the owner's failure to submit a complete rental history, the lawful
stabilization rent was based on Section 42A default procedure, effecting
a rent overcharge of $7,479.23 including excess security and interest of
that portion of the overcharge occurring on and after April 1, 1984.
In this petition, the owner requests reversal of the Administrator's
order and contends in substance that, among other things, it should not
be held to have defaulted.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted.
Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code requires that an owner
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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) and to produce such records to the DHCR upon
Section 26-516 of the 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 to produce rent records for
more than four (4) years prior to the most recent registration, and
concomitantly, established a four year limitation on the calculation of
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 rights 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
the 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 Dept., 1989).
motion for leave to reargue or for leave to appeal to the Court of
Appeals denied ( App. Div. 2d Dept., 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 four 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 185, 544
N.Y.S.2d 331 (App. Div. 1st Dept. 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.
Given that 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
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requirement for rent records to April 1, 1980. Since, in the instant
case, the record contains a rental history going back to April 1, 1980,
the owner cannot be held to have defaulted.
Furthermore, for the period April 1, 1980 through August 31, 1986 used
in the Administrator's calculations, there is no evidence that the
tenant paid any excess in rents lawfully allowed under the applicable
Therefore, the Administrator's order finding a rent overcharge must be
If the owner has already complied with the Rent Administrator's order
and there are arrears due to the owner as a result of the instant
determination, the tenant is permitted to pay off the arrears in 24
equal monthly installments. Should the tenant vacate after the issuance
of this order or have already vacated, said arrears shall be payable
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Appellate Divisions ruling in JRD, it
ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and the same
hereby is, granted, that the order of the Rent Administrator be, and the
same hereby is, revoked, and it is found that no rent overcharge
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA