STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BK210011RO
                                              :  DRO DOCKET NO.K3103998R
               REMSEN APARTMENTS, INC.           TENANT: ALICE MILLER        

                                PETITIONER    : 

               On November 13, 1987, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on 
          October 9, 1987, by the Rent Administrator,  92-31 Union Hall 
          Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations 
          known as 100 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, New York, Apartment No. 1D, 
          wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had 
          overcharged the tenant. 

               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 was 

               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 
          March, 1984, of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.

               In Order Number CDR 31,584, the Rent Administrator determined 
          that the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $5,443.87     
          and directed the owner to refund such overcharge to the tenant as 
          well as to reduce the rent.

               In this petition, the owner contends in substance that no rent 
          overcharge had occurred.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be 
               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) and to produce such records to the 
          DHCR upon demand.

               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 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 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.

               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.  An examination 
          of the rent records from April 1, 1980 discloses that no rent 
          overcharge occurred in that the rent on April 1, 1980 was $395.00 
          and was increased by lawful guideline amounts including electrical 
          inclusion allowances thereafter up to $623.19 effective November 1, 
          1984  Therefore, the Rent Administrator's order finding a rent 
          overcharge must be revoked.

               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 immediately.

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the Appellate Division ruling in 
          JRD, it is

               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 occurred.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner




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