Docket Number: CB 410033-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.: CB 410033-RO
                                              
           BRADFORD N. SWETT & ASSOC.,         DRO DOCKET NOS.: U-3123893-RT 
                                                                CDR 32299
                                               TENANT:  CHITRA NARGOLKAR
                              PETITIONER     
        ------------------------------------X    
          
           ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

        On  February  8,  1988  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
        Petition for  Administrative  Review  against  an  order  issued  on
        January 13, 1988 by the District  Rent  Administrator,  10  Columbus
        Circle, New York, New York concerning housing  accommodations  known
        as Apartment 2F at 140 Claremont Avenue, New York, New York  wherein
        the District  Rent  Administrator  determined  that  the  owner  had
        overcharged the tenant.

        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  issue  in  this   appeal   is   whether   the   District   Rent
        Administrator's order was warranted.

        The applicable sections of the Law are Section 26-516  of  the  Rent
        Stabilization  Law,  Section   2526.1(a)   of   the   current   Rent
        Stabilization Code and Section 42A of the former Rent  Stabilization
        Code.

        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  which  she
        stated that she had commenced occupancy on September 1,  1981  at  a
        rent of $450.00 per month.
        The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and was  requested
        to submit rent records to prove the lawfulness  of  the  rent  being
        charged.  In answer to the complaint, the owner submitted  a  rental
        history only from June 1, 1979.  On November 23, 1987 the owner  was
        requested to submit R-42 and DC-2 forms showing that  that  was  the
        first stabilized lease, but the  owner  did  not  make  any  further
        submissions.






          Docket Number: CB 410033-RT


        In  an  order  issued  on  January  13,  1988  the   District   Rent
        Administrator  used  DHCR  default  procedures  to  set  the  lawful
        stabilization rents, determined that the tenant had been overcharged 
        in the amount of $8,819.47 as of January 31, 1988, 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 there was  no
        rent overcharge in that, as  claimed  in  the  owner's  answer,  the
        subject apartment was subject to rent control prior to June 1, 1979; 
        that the Administrator had the obligation to utilize his own records 
        to determine that the subject apartment was  previously  subject  to
        rent control; and that the  owner  should  not  have  been  held  in
        default when he was prevented from completing his answer  solely  by
        virtue of the DHCR's own delay in providing the owner with access to 
        rent control files as required under the Freedom of Information Law.

        In  answer,  the  tenant  asserts  in  substance  the  Administrator
        reviewed all relevant records before making a decision; that it  was
        the owner's responsibility to obtain a full rental history  when  it
        bought the subject premises; that the owner  has  not  produced  any
        information to warrant reversal of the  Administrator's  order;  and
        that the owner is  using  delaying  tactics  because  of  a  pending
        cooperative conversion.

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

        Section 42A of the former Rent Stabilization Code requires  than  an
        owner retain complete rent records for each stabilized apartment  in
        effect from June 30, 1974 to date and produce them to the DHCR  upon
        demand.  If the apartment was decontrolled from the Rent Control Law 
        after June 30, 1974 the owner must provide satisfactory  documentary
        evidence of the apartment's date of decontrol, and produce a  rental
        history from that date.

        In the present case, the owner was directed  to  submit  a  complete
        rental history.  Because the owner failed to substantiate his  claim
        that the leases from 1979 constituted a complete rental history,  it
        was proper for the Administrator to find the owner  in  default  and
        use established DHCR default procedures for setting the lawful rent. 
        While the owner in his February, 1988 petition requested a remand so 
        that rent control records could be considered he has still not, more 
        than 3 1/2 years after filing his petition, submitted  any  evidence
        from DHCR files or otherwise that decontrol occurred in 1979.   This
        is understandable, since DHCR records contain a July 13, 1961  order
        decontrolling the subject apartment and 9 other  apartments  at  140
        Claremont  Avenue  effective  September  16,   1960   because   they
        constituted additional housing accommodations created by substantial 
        alterations or  remodeling.   The  Commissioner  notes  that  Morjac
        Associates is named as the owner on the decontrol order, and that it 
        was Mor-Jac Associates  from  whom  the  current  owner  bought  the
        property on January 13, 1984.

        Although the Administrator's order  indicated  that  the  owner  was
        responsible for those overcharges which it collected prior to  April
        1, 1984 as well as all overcharges on and after that date, the order 






          Docket Number: CB 410033-RT

        did not specify an amount.  The overcharge attributable to the owner 
        from January 13, 1984 to January 31, 1988  is  $5,936.07,  including
        excess security of $117.15.

        This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the owner 
        may institute a proceeding pursuant to Article seventy-eight of  the
        civil practice law and rules, be filed and enforced by the tenant in 
        the same manner as a judgment or not in  excess  of  twenty  percent
        thereof per month may be offset against any rent thereafter due  the
        owner.

        Because of the possibility that the rents charged were  not  reduced
        after the Administrator's order, the owner is  cautioned  to  adjust
        the rent, in leases after those considered by the Administrator,  to
        amounts no greater than that determined by the Administrator's order 
        plus any lawful increases, and to register any adjusted  rents  with
        the  Administrator's  order  being  given  as  the  reason  for  the
        adjustment.

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

        ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,  denied  and
        that the District  Rent  Administrator's  order  be,  and  the  same
        hereby is, affirmed.   The  total  overcharge  is  $8,819.47  as  of
        January 31, 1988, including excess security of $117.15.  The  tenant
        may collect $5,936.07 of that from the owner.

        ISSUED:




                                                                      
                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy                  Commissioner
          
         
    

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