Docket No. CB 710179-RO

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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. CB 710179-RO 

                                                  DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO. F-AL-7-1-0002-RV 
                                                  Tenant: Benjamin Alers
          Arthur T. Mott


              On February 16, 1988, the above-named owner filed a  petition
          for administrative review of an order issued on February 4,  1988
          by  the  District  Rent  Administrator,  concerning  the  housing
          accommodation  known  as  Apartment  4-A,  35  North  Long  Beach
          Avenue, Freeport, New York.

              The Commissioner has reviewed all  of  the  evidence  in  the
          record and has carefully considered that portion  of  the  record
          relevant to the issues raised by the  administrative appeal.

              This proceeding was commenced by the filing of a complaint by 
          the tenant, dated November 28, 1986, which alleged that the owner 
          failed to provide the subject tenant a signed copy of the renewal 

              The tenant  took  occupancy  pursuant  to  a  two-year  lease
          commencing on April 15, 1978 at a monthly rent of $375.00.

              On December 19, 1986, the rent agency mailed a notice to  the
          owner requesting that he submit to the Division  of  Housing  and
          Community Renewal (DHCR) a "copy of the  present  tenant's  lease
          and a copy of the lease immediately prior thereto."

              On December 24, 1986 the owner submitted to the rent agency a 
          copy of the then present lease commencing on April 1,  1986,  and
          expiring on March 31, 1988, at a  monthly  of  $539.96,  and  the
          prior lease commencing on April 1, 1983  and  expiring  on  March
          31, 1986 at a monthly rent of $507.00.

              On December 30, 1986, the tenant  responded  to  the  owner's
          answer stating that:

               On 12-30-86 the  landlord  had  a  copy  of  my  current
               lease delivered to my apartment.  The  lease  is  signed

          Docket No. CB 710179-RO
               by the landlord; however for  the  record  the  landlord
               added a new term and condition that I did not  agree  to
               nor was it discussed with me and it has  never  been  on
               any previous leases,  namely-'Tenant  is  subject  to  a
               $20.00 late charge for rent received after the  10th  of
               the month.'

              On February 20,  1987,  the  Administrator  issued  an  order
          determining that the owner did not offer  the  tenant  a  renewal
          lease "on an RTP-8 lease renewal form,"  and  altered  the  terms
          and  conditions  of  the   tenant's  prior  lease,  which  is  in
          violation of the Emergency Tenant  Protection  Act  (ETPA).   The
          Administrator found  that  the  owner  was  not  permitted  to  a
          guideline increase as the owner did not "offer the lease  to  the
          tenant  on  the  prescribed  notice  form."   The   Administrator
          directed  the  owner  to  refund  to  the   tenant   $329.60   in
          overcharges, and a $250.00 penalty for violating the requirements 
          of the State Tenant Protection Regulations (STPR)  pertaining  to
          lease renewals.

              On February 23, 1987, the rent agency received a letter  from
          the subject owner requesting that  the  Administrator  reconsider
          its determination, on the grounds that the owner did timely  send 
          to the subject tenant a signed "RTP-8" ("Owner's Notice To Tenant 
          For  Renewal  Of  Lease"),  and  that  it  did  not  submit   the
          aforementioned   RTP-8   to   the   Administrator   because   the
          Administrator only requested that the owner  submit  leases,  and
          did not request a lease "renewal".

              To the letter the owner attaches a copy of the "RTP-8"  form,
          which is dated November 18, 1985, and was signed by the tenant on 
          January 3, 1986.

              On March 3, 1987, the Administrator mailed to the parties  to
          this proceeding a "Notice of Commencement of Proceeding to Modify 
          or Revoke Order," to determine if the tenant received and  signed
          the RTP-8 form, and the effective date of the current lease.

              The subject tenant submited a response , dated March 6, 1987, 
          to the owner's aforementioned letter, which stated that:

               I received and signed R.T.P.-8.  Notice  of  Renewal  of
               Lease.  See enclosed  copy  letter  and  envelop  (Sic).
               Also note the entire form was blank and I wrote  in  all
               letters and numbers.  On the RTP the  landlord  sent  to
               you and which you sent to me is back dated  to  11/18/85
               and signed.  As you can see from my copy  Mr.  Mott  did
               not sign it and it has no date.

              To his response the tenant submitted the aforementioned RTP-8 
          form, in which the date, and the space for the owner's  signature
          is blank.

              The tenant also submitted the envelope  in  which  the  RTP-8
          form was mailed in, which is post marked December 3, 1985.

              On March 12, 1987, the subject owner submitted a response  to
          the rent agency which alleged that  the  RTP-8  form  was  timely
          mailed by certified mail.

          Docket No. CB 710179-RO

              To his response the owner attaches a "Receipt  For  Certified
          Mail" which is postmarked November 29, 1985, which shows that  an
          item which the owner alleged was the RTP-8 form,  was  mailed  to
          the subject tenant.

              In the  order  under  review  herein,  which  supersedes  the
          Administrator's   order,   dated   February,   20,   1987,    the
          Administrator determined that the  owner  did  timely  serve  the
          tenant a renewal lease, and therefore,  revoked  the  $329.60  in
          overcharges.  The Administrator further determined that the owner 
          altered the terms and conditions of the tenant's prior lease, and 
          assessed a $250.00 penalty against the owner.

              On February 12, 1988, the Administrator issued an order which 
          corrected a typographical error in the above-mentioned order.

              In this petition the owner asserts that the  $250.00  penalty
          that was imposed by the Administrator's order should be  revoked,
          in that the Administrator had determined that the  renewal  lease
          was served timely, and that the RTP-8 form that was signed by the 
          tenant states:

               The  signing  by  you  of  this   execution   of   lease
               understanding  shall  constitute  a  binding   agreement
               between us and will incorporate all other terms  of  the
               prior  lease  except  wherein   specifically   modified,
               changed, or amended herein.

              The owner does not attach an RTP-8 form to his petition,  but
          he does attach a letter to the tenant which contai s  the  above-
          mentioned quote  found  in  the  owner's  petition.   The  letter
          requests that the tenant decide whether he wishes  to  renew  his
          lease or not, and informs the tenant of the new rents, based upon 
          whether the tenant renews his lease for one year or two years.

              The tenant's answer to the owner's petition, dated March  29,
          1988, among other things, reiterates the allegations  which  were
          submitted  in  the  proceeding  that  was  in   front   of    the
          Administrator; that the lease was not renewed properly,  and  the
          $579.60 overcharge penalty that was noted in the  Administrator's
          original order was correct and should be reinstated.

              After  careful  consideration  the  Commissioner  is  of  the
          opinion that this petition should be denied.

              As the tenant did not file a petition of the  Administrator's
          order,  the  Commissioner  finds  that   the   portion   of   the
          Administrator's order pertaining to the timeliness of  the  owner
          serving the renewal lease, and the revocation of  the  overcharge
          penalty that was noted in the Administrator's original order,  is
          a final determination of the  rent  agency,  and  therefore,  are
          issues that  are  not  in  front  of  the  commissioner  in  this

              Pursuant to Section 2503.5 (a) of the STPR the offer to renew 
          a  lease  must  be  "on  the  same  conditions  as  the  expiring
          lease...."  As the lease that was in effect prior  to  the  lease
          that commenced on April 1, 1986 did not contain a clause  stating

          Docket No. CB 710179-RO
          that the tenant  would  be  subject  to  late  charges  for  rent
          received after the tenth of the  month,  the  Commissioner  finds
          that the Administrator's  order  correctly  determined  that  the
          owner did in fact alter the terms and conditions of the  tenant's
          prior lease.

              Section 2506.2 (b) of the STPR states:

               if the Division finds that any  landlord  has  knowingly
               engaged in acts prohibited by the  Act  and  Regulations
               or orders issued thereunder, it may assess the  landlord
               and order it to pay each tenant affected  by  such  acts
               the  reasonable  costs  and   attorney   fees   of   the
               proceeding plus a penalty not in excess of  $250.00  for
               each such act.

              As the owner "engaged" in an act that is "prohibited  by  the
          Act and Regulations," i.e., altering the terms and conditions  of
          the  tenant's  prior  lease,  the  Commissioner  finds  that  the
          Administrator's assessment of a $250.00 penalty against the owner 
          was proper.

              The  Commissioner  finds  that  the  letter  that  the  owner
          attaches to his petition, which the owner  asserts  is  a  "RTP-8
          form, is in fact  not  an  "RTP-8  form,  but  is  an  unlawfully
          prepared renewal lease.  Pursuant to Section 2503.5  (a)  of  the
          STPR, the "Notice of  renewal  of  lease"  must  be  "On  a  form
          prescribed by the Division."  Accordingly, the Commissioner finds 
          that the letter which is attached to the owner's petition  is  of
          no evidentiary value in this proceeding.

              Accordingly, the owner's petition is denied.

              THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions  of  the  Teannt
          Protection Regulations, it is 

              ORDERED, that this petition  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,
          denied, and that the Rent Administrator's order that  was  issued
          on February 4, 1988 and modified on February 12, 1988  be  ,  and
          the same hereby is, affirmed, and it is 

              FURTHER ORDERED, that the owner shall immediately  refund  to
          the tenant all amounts not yet  refunded  representing  penalties
          assessed by the Administrator; and it is

              FURTHER ORDERED, that if  the  owner  has  refunded  no  such
          amounts upon the expiration of the period  for  seeking  judicial
          review of this order pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice 
          Law and Rules, and the tenant has credited no such  amounts,  the
          tenant may recover the total penalty of $250.00 (or  so  much  of
          it as may still be owing) by deducting it from the  rent  due  to
          the owner at a rate not in excess of twenty percent of the amount 
          of the penalty for any one-month's rent.



          Docket No. CB 710179-RO
                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Acting 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