BL430314RT



                                  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

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. BL430314RT
                                                  refile of BK410100RT
          PENNEY M. FRIEDMAN                  :  DRO DOCKET NO.  ZAB510314R
                                                 OWNER: Lee Pokoik            
               
                                PETITIONER    : 


          ------------------------------------X                             
           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW IN 
          PART

               On December 31, 1987, the above-named petitioner-tenant timely 
          refiled a Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued 
          on September 30, 1987, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall 
          Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations 
          known as 160 East 91 Street,New York, New York, Apartment No. 7D, 
          wherein the Rent Administrator determined that there was no 
          overcharge and terminated the proceeding.  

               The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order 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 in      
          February 1986  of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.
          The tenant stated that she had taken occupancy of the subject 
          apartment on March 15, 1985 pursuant, at the owner's insistence,  to 
          a six months lease and that she believed she had been entitled to 
          either a one or two year lease.  

               In answer to the complaint, the owner stated that the tenant 
          had agreed to a six month assignment of the balance of the prior 
          tenant's lease with only a vacancy allowance and without a guideline 
          increase.  The tenant had renewed the lease when it expired.  With 
          its answer, the owner submitted copies of the tenant's leases.  

               In Order No. ZAB510314R, determining that the rent increase had 
          been properly applied and that there was no overcharge. the Rent 
          Administrator denied the tenant's application.  

               In her refiled appeal, the tenant contends that the Rent 
          Administrator erred in the following manner:  1) permitting the 
          owner to collect three vacancy increases totalling 22 1/2 percent 
          under guideline number 16 without determining if the owner had 







          BL430314RT

          previously obtained a vacany allowance under Guideline 15;  2)  
          allowing the owner to collect a total increase of 34 percent from 
          April 1, 1984 to March 15, 1985;  3)  permitting the owner to offer 
          only a six month lease.    

               In response to the tenant's appeal, the owner stated in 
          substance that the tenant's refiled appeal, which was due wihin 
          fifteen days of the rejection of the original appeal's filing, is 
          untimely and should be dismissed on that basis alone.  In the event 
          that the appeal is considered timely, the owner resubmits its answer 
          to the complaint as the basis for denial of the appeal.  

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that this appeal should be 
          granted in part.  

               With respect to timeliness, the Commissioner notes that the 
          refiled appeal was received by mail at the DHCR office on January 4, 
          1988, the first working day of 1988.  The last working day of 1987 
          was December 31st, the fifteenth day after the issuance date of the 
          rejection order.  Accordingly, the Commissioner deems December 31st 
          as the filing date and accepts the petition as timely filed.      
          Neither the former Rent Stabilization Code (see Section 23) nor
          the present Code (Section 2522.5(a)(1) provide for a six month lease 
          term under the instant circumstances.   Section 2522.5(a)(1) of the 
          Rent Stabilization Code provides for a lease term of either  one or 
          two years at the tenant's option.  The right to assign the balance 
          of the prior lease term belonged to the prior tenant and not the 
          owner.  There is no evidence in the record that an assignment was 
          made by the prior tenant.  Further, the record shows that the owner 
          submitted lease information showing that the prior tenant Dixon's 
          lease in effect from 4/1/84 to 3/31/85 was a renewal lease.  
          Therefore, the owner did not receive a vacancy allowance under 
          guidelines 15 and was entitled to receive one vacancy allowance 
          under guidelines 16.  The Rent Administrator incorrectly allowed two 
          vacancy allowances under guidelines 16.   Accordingly, the 
          Commissioner has reformed the tenant's leases to conform to the Code 
          and pertinent legal principles, commencing with the tenant's initial 
          lease which should have provided a one year lease term, beginning 
          March 15, 1985 and terminating March 14, 1986, as follows:          
                                                        

          LEASE TERM   RENT CHARGED   DATE OF    LAWFUL STAB-  EXPLANATION    
                                       INCREASE   ILIZED RENT
          3/15/85-3/14/86 $745.65    3/15/85    $742.71       Guideline 16:   
                                                              4/1/84 base 
                          $775.48     10/1/85    $742.71      rent $654.37
                                                              + 13 1/2%       
                                                              (6% + 7 1/2%)   
                                                               for a one year
                                                               vacancy lease

          3/15/86-3/14/87  $775.48    3/15/86    $772.42       Guideline 17:
                                                               9/30/85 rent
                                                               $742.71 + 4%
                                                               for a one year
                                                               renewal lease
                         
                                 


          BL430314RT

                           $822.01   10/1/86      $772.42

          3/15/87-         $822.01    3/15/87     $818.77      Guideline 18: 
                                                               9/30/86 rent  
                                                               $772.42 + 6%  
                                                               for a one year 
                                                               renewal lease


                                                              
          OVERCHARGE CALCULATION  

           3/15/85 - 9/30/85        $2.94 x 6.5 mos. = $ 19.11       
          10/1/85  - 3/14/86       $32.77 x 5.5 mos. = $180.24       
           3/15/86 - 9/30/86       $ 3.06 x 6.5 mos. = $ 19.89  
          10/1/86 -  3/14/87       $49.59 x 5.5 mos. = $272.75
          3/15/87 -                $ 3.24 x 6.5 mos. = $ 21.06                
                         OVERCHARGE through 9/30/87  = $513.05  
                         TREBLE DAMAGES               $1026.10  
                         TOTAL OVERCHARGE             $1539.15
               

               
               The Commissioner finds that treble damages are appropriate 
          where, as here, an owner has not complied with the lease 
          requirements provided by the Code.  

               Review of DHCR registration records reveals that the subject 
          bnuilding has been converted to cooperative status and that the 
          subject apartment has not been registered as rent stabilized since 
          1987.  The record further discloses that the complainant no longer 
          resides in the subject accommodations.                 
               
               The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that 
          the owner collected overcharges of $1539.15.  This Order may, upon 
          expiration of the period for seeking review of this Order and 
          Opinion pursuant to Article Seventy-eight of the Civil Practice Law 
          and Rules, be filed and enforced as a judgment.  Where the tenant 
          files this Order as a judgment, the County Clerk may add to the 
          overcharge, interest at the rate payable on a judgment pursuant to 
          section 5004 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules from the issuance 
          date of th Rent Administrator's order to the issuance date of the 
          Commissioner's Order.

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





               ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and 
          the same hereby is, granted in part, and, that the order of the Rent 
          Administrator be, and the same hereby is, modified in accordance 
          with this order and opinion.

          ISSUED







          BL430314RT




                                                                        
                                          LULA M. ANDERSON
                                          Deputy Commissioner




                     































    

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