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. BJ430318RO
: DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
VVGM Realty Associates, DOCKET NO. TC080254G
TENANT: Martha Hartsman
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On October 2, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a Petition
for Administrative Review against an order issued on August 31, 1987, by
the Rent Administrator, 10 Columbus Circle, New York, New York,
concerning the housing accommodations known as 365 West 50th Street,
New York, New York, Apartment No. 2E, a/k/a 3, wherein the Rent
Administrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged.
The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was filed 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 in December 1983
of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.
In answer to the complaint the owner submitted a rental history from the
date the subject apartment first became stabilized due to vacancy
decontrol - November 1, 1977 and stated that it was entitled to a rent
increase for a major capital improvement due to renovations it made
pursuant to the provision of Section J51-2.5(f) of the Administrative
Code - hereafter J51 program.
In Order Number CDR31,263, the Rent Administrator determined that the
tenants had been overcharged in the amount of $4,438.84 through November
14, 1987 and directed the owner to refund such overcharges to the
tenant. In such order no rent increase was granted for the renovation
work performed pursuant to the J51 program.
In this petition, the owner contends in substance that the Rent
Administrator incorrectly applied the relevant sections of the Rent
Stabilization Code, made errors in calculations and failed to allow
permissible increases for a new sink, refrigerator, M.C.I. (the owner
here was referring to the J51 program renovations), and fuel
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.
An examination of the record in this case discloses that the owner did
receive a rent increase for the new refrigerator of $11.64 effective
November 15, 1982 but that an allowance for a new sink was correctly
denied since the owner failed to establish the exact cost of the sink
and failed to establish that the sink was installed during a vacancy
period or that the tenant then in occupancy agreed to the installation.
Further the record establish that the owner did participate in the J51
program and received a tax abatement but that the renovation work done
was in other apartments or the public areas of the subject premises and
not in the subject apartment. Since the owner did not apply for a major
capital improvement rent increase from the DHCR for the work done in the
public areas, it was correct for the Rent Administrator to disallow any
rent increase for this work.
The records further show that the Rent Administrator properly held that
Section 20A(4) of the Rent Stabilization Code precluded the granting of
any rent increase until the expiration of the initial stabilization
Further the record does not show that the owner took any temporary fuel
surcharges to which it may have been entitled and in any event such
increases would not become part of the base rent and would not affect
the rent of the tenant herein who first moved to the subject apartment
on November 15, 1979. Therefore, the Rent Administrator's order was
The owner is directed to reflect the findings and determinations made in
the Rent Administrator's order on all future registration statements,
including those for the current year if not already filed, citing this
order as the basis for the change. Registration statements already on
file, however, should not be amended to reflect the findings and
determinations made in the Rent Administrator's order. The owner is
further directed to adjust subsequent rents to an amount no greater than
that determined by this order plus any lawful increases.
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 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 denied and the
Rent Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA