CF110182RT, CF110200RO


                                    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
            APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NO.CF110182RT
                                                :            CF110200RO
                 GREENBRIAR APARTMENTS CO.         DRO DOCKET NO.TC041458G
                 AND BEHZAD BEROOKHIM                                          

                                  PETITIONERS   : 
            ------------------------------------X                             
              ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE 
            REVIEW AND DENYING TENANT'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


                 On June 6, 1988, and June 23, 1988, respectively, the above- 
            named petitioner-tenant and owner filed Petitions for Administrative 
            Review against an order issued on May 2, 1988, by the Rent 
            Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, 
            concerning the housing accommodations known as  85-15 Main Street, 
            Briarwood, New York, Apartment No. 8F, wherein the Rent 
            Administrator determined that the owner had overcharged the tenant.

                 The Administrative Appeals are 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 
            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 appeals.  

                 This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing in 
            January, 1980 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant in which 
            the tenant stated in substance that he first moved to the subject 
            apartment in February, 1978, at a rental of $440.63 per month.

                 In answer to the tenant's complaint, the owner stated in 
            substance that it was appointed receiver of the subject premises in 
            March, 1978, and had not been given any rent records prior to its 
            appointment as receiver.

                 In Order Number TC041458G, the Rent Administrator determined 
            that, due to the owner's failure to submit a complete rental 
            history, the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $14,345   
            and directed the owner to refund such overcharge to the tenant as 





            well as to reduce the rent.







          CF110182RT, CF110200RO


                 In the owner's petition, the owner contends in substance that 
            it did not default as it submitted all the rent records it had and 
            that its petition should be considered as timely filed because it 
            was never served by the DHCR with a copy of the Rent Administrator's 
            order, but only received such order from the tenant's attorney in a 
            letter dated June 9, 1988.  In addition the owner points out that 
            the order was addressed to "Green Briar Associates" whereas the 
            owner's correct name is "Greenbriar Apts. Co." and that this mistake 
            could be the reason that the order never reached the owner.

                 In answer to the owner's petition, the tenant stated in 
            substance that the owner's petition should be dismissed as untimely 
            and that the mistake in listing the owner's name on the order was 
            clerical in nature and does not establish that the owner was not 
            served with the order.

                 In the tenant's petition, the tenant alleges in substance that 
            the overcharge determination should be updated through at least 
            August, 1986.

                 The Commissioner is of the opinion that the owner's petition 
            should be granted and that the tenant's petition should be denied.

                 At the outset, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the 
            owner's petition must be considered as timely filed.  Section 2527.3 
            of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in pertinent part that 
            except where an attorney or other authorized representative appears 
            for the owner, any order directed to the person named in the last 
            filed registration statement as the owner at the address given 
            therein shall constitute notice to the person who is then the owner.  

                 An examination of registration records for the subject premises 
            discloses that in the last filed registration statement prior to the 
            issuance of the Rent Administrator's order, the registered owner and 
            manager were both listed as "Greenbriar Apts Co" and not "Green 
            Briar Associates" as used in the Rent Administrator's order.  
            Accordingly it must be considered that the owner was not properly 
            notified of the Rent Administrator's order and therefore the owner's 
            petition must be considered as timely filed.
                 
                 Turning to the merits of the case, 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.



          CF110182RT, CF110200RO

                 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.  Therefore, the Rent Administrator's order 
            finding a rent overcharge must be revoked.  Further, since there is 
            no finding of rent overcharge, the tenant's petition to update the 
            rent overcharge over a greater period must be denied.







          CF110182RT, CF110200RO


                 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 the owner's petition for administrative review 
            be, and the same hereby is, granted, that the tenant's petition for 
            administrative review be, and the same hereby is, denied, that the 
            order of the Rent Administrator be, and the same hereby is, revoked, 
            and it is found that no rent overcharge occurred.

            ISSUED



                                                                          
                                            JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                            Deputy Commissioner





                       






























          CF110182RT, CF110200RO








    

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