Adm. Review Docket No.: BJ 910220 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

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          IN  THE  MATTER  OF  THE  ADMINISTRATIVE   ADMINISTRATIVE  REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                            DOCKET NO.: BJ 910220 RT
                                                                           
            DAVID L. VINCI and JEFFREY
                 SCHWARTZBERG   
                                               DRO DOCKET NO.: WH 86-S-5-R
                                             
                                                  TENANT: SUSAN PINTO  
                                PETITIONERS
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            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW




          The above-named petitioners-prior-owners timely filed  a  Petition
          for Administrative Review against an order issued on September  1,
          1987, by the Rent Administrator at 99 Church Street, White PLains, 
          New York, concerning housing  accommodations  known  as  apartment
          number 3R at 480 Halstead Terrace, Harrison, New York, wherein the 
          Administrator established the stabilized  rent  and  directed  the
          owners to refund  $1,944.00,  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 evidence relevant 
          to the issues raised in the administrative appeal.



          The issue in this appeal  is  whether  cooperative  apartments  in
          Harrison New York are subject to regulation  under  the  Emergency
          Tenant Protection Act of 1974, as amended, (ETPA) and  the  Tenant
          Protection Regulations (TPR) issued  thereunder  and  whether  the
          petitioners were properly served with the complaint herein.  



          This proceeding was originally commenced on March 3, 1986, by  the
          tenant's filing of a complaint  of  rent  overcharge.  The  tenant
          alleged that she had taken occupancy on March  15,  1985  under  a
          lease whose term commenced on that date and  expired  on  December
          31, 1985. The  tenant  also  alleged  that  she  had  vacated  the
          apartment on December 31, 1985.  









          Adm. Review Docket No.: BJ 910220 RT
          On March 26, 1986, the Administrator mailed the tenant's complaint
          to the petitioners, addressed to  them  at  266  Ravincrest  (sic)
          Road, Yorktown Heights, New York. 



          The Administrator received no answer to the complaint.



          Thereupon, the Administrator calculated the legal  regulated  rent
          for the tenant's lease at $492.26, based  on  the  Administrator's
          reading of the Division's rent registration records. Based on that 
          calculation the Administrator  found  that  the  tenant  had  been
          overcharged under her lease and was due the refund noted above.



          On appeal the petitioners-prior-owners allege the following: 1. in 
          1985, they purchased the shares allocated  to  the  subject  co-op
          apartment from the prior tenant, who had purchased them under  the
          initial offering; 2. they, the petitioners, purchased the  subject
          apartment for investment  purposes  and  subsequently  rented  the
          apartment to the complainant, after being assured by  the  realtor
          which had helped them  purchase  the  apartment  that  they  could
          charge a rent even greater than that which  they  did  charge  the
          tenant;  3.  the  petitioners  did  not  receive  notice  of   the
          complaint prior to receipt of the Administrator's  order;  4.  the
          petitioners sold the apartment in April of  1986;  5.  the  tenant
          had been pleased with the term of her lease and the amount of  the
          rent; 6. the owners had no intention of  doing  something  illegal
          and to require them to refund almost $2,000. to the tenant  is  an
          unjust windfall to the tenant.



          Although afforded the opportunity to do so,  the  tenant  has  not
          filed an answer to the petition.



          The Commissioner is of the opinion that  the  petition  should  be
          denied.



          The Commissioner finds that the subject apartment  is  subject  to
          rent regulation under the ETPA and the TPR. The Commissioner  also
          finds that despite a typographical  error  resulting  in  a  minor
          misspelling  of  Ravencrest,  the  petitioners-prior-owners   were
          properly served with the complaint when it was mailed to  them  at
          the only address they had provided (that  which  appeared  in  the
          tenant's lease). The Commissioner also finds that it is irrelevant 
          as to whether the tenant expressed satisfaction with the terms of 
          her lease. A tenant may not be held to have  waived  any  benefits
          afforded under the ETPA or the TPR by such  expressions.  Further,
          the Commissioner finds that the owners' ignorance of  the  law  is
          irrelevant. They undertook to participate in the residential  real
          estate industry. As such, it was their  responsibility  to  inform






          Adm. Review Docket No.: BJ 910220 RT
          themselves as to the laws and regulations governing  the  industry
          in which they had chosen to conduct business.



          The Commissioner therefore  finds  that  the  petition  should  be
          denied and the Administrator's order should be affirmed. 


          THEREFORE,  pursuant  to  all  of  the  applicable  statutes   and
          regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is denied  and
          that the Administrator's order should be and the  same  hereby  is
          affirmed.

          ISSUED:


                                                                  
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner
    

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