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

     APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. CB 810073-RT
                                            DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
       CAROL PERGOLA                        DOCKET NO. YBE-8-1-0060-R
                           PETITIONER    : 


     On  February  9,  1988,  the  above-named  tenant  filed  a  petition  for
     administrative review of  an  order  issued  on  January  28,  1988  by  a
     District Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known  as
     Apartment 3-B, located at 95 Waring Place, Yonkers, New York, wherein  the
     Administrator determined that the tenant had been overcharged.

     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 rent overcharge complaint 
     by the tenant, dated May 28, 1987.

     The tenant took occupancy pursuant to a one-year lease commencing on  June
     1, 1983 and expiring on May 31, 1984 at a monthly rent of $550.00.  

     The tenant paid $550.00 per month rent for one month,  but  the  rent  was
     reduced to $515.00 because the tenant did not utilize a parking space.

     On June 3, 1987 the District Rent Administrator mailed to the owner a copy 
     of the tenant's complaint, a notice requesting  an  answer  within  twenty
     days, directing the owner to submit to a copy of the complainant  tenant's
     lease and a copy  of  the  lease  immediately  prior  to  the  complainant
     tenant's initial lease, and a copy of the apartment registration  for  the
     subject apartment.  The owner failed to reply.

     On August 12, 1987 the District Rent Administrator sent another notice  to
     the owner, again directing the submission of evidence.  The owner did  not

     On September 18, 1987 the District Rent Administrator mailed to the  owner
     a "Notice of Pending Default," informing the owner that the agency records 
     indicated that the subject premises were not  registered,  and  requesting
     the owner to submit proof of registration, within twenty days.  The notice 
     warned the owner that if he failed to comply with D.H.C.R.'s  request  for
     leases, and proof of registration, that the lawful  legal  regulated  rent
     would be established by D.H.C.R's default procedure.


          DOCKET NUMBER: CB 810073-RT
     The owner, despite being given ample opportunity to respond, failed to  do

     In the order reviewed herein, the Administrator found that the  owner  was
     in default and established the rent at $515.00 per month  for  the  period
     from June 1, 1986 to May 31, 1988, based on the  April  1,  1984  rent  of
     $515.00, and computed  total  overcharges  in  the  amount  of  $1,141.80,
     including excess security and accrued interest from  April  1,  1984.   In
     addition, the Administrator found that the owner failed to file t e  1984-
     1987 apartment registrations.  Therefore, the  order  fixed  the  rent  at
     $515.00, until the owner served upon the tenant a copy  of  the  apartment
     registration, and offered the tenant a choice of one-  or  two-year  lease
     based on the legal regulated rent.

     In  this  petition  the  tenant  asserts  among  other  things  that   the
     Administrator failed to determine the initial legal regulated rent for the 
     date the tenant commenced occupancy, which was June 1, 1983.

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

     Section 2506.1(2) of the Tenant Protection Regulations states:

               A complaint pursuant  to  this  section  must  be  filed
               with  the  Division  within  four  years  of  the  first
               overcharge alleged, and no award of  the  amount  of  an
               overcharge  may  be  based  upon  an  overcharge  having
               occurred more than four years before  the  complaint  is

     Accordingly, the Administrator should have determined the legal  regulated
     rent from the date the tenant commenced occupancy, which is June 1,  1983,
     four years from the time the tenant filed the complaint.  

     The Commissioner finds that  the  owner  failed  to  answer  the  tenant's
     complaint, and  the  initial  legal  regulated  rent  will  be  determined
     pursuant to D.H.C.R's default procedure.  The rent, by using  the  default
     procedure, is established at the lowest of the following amounts:  1)  The
     lowest rent of an apartment containing the same number of  rooms;  2)  the
     current tenant's initial rent less any rent adjustment  for  the  tenant's
     initial lease, and 3) the prior tenant's last rent.   In  this  proceeding
     the lowest amount is the prior tenant's last rent.

     The tenant's petition states:

               When I moved in in June of 1983  I  asked  the  landlord
               what the  previous  tenant  was  paying  for  rent.   He
               said, "I do not  remember  somewhere  around  $300.00  +
               something dollars...."

     As the owner did not submit leases, and has  not  rebuttted  the  tenant's
     assertion that the prior tenant's rent was "$300.00 + something  dollars,"
     the Commissioner will draw the conclusion that the last rent paid  by  the
     prior tenant was $399.00, the highest amount consistent with  the  owner's
     admission.  Accordingly, the initial legal regulated rent for the subject

          DOCKET NUMBER: CB 810073-RT
     tenant will be established as $399.00.  Since the owner failed to file the 
     apartment registrations from 1984-1987, the rent shall remain  at  $399.00
     per month until the owner files with the agency and serves the tenant with 
     copies of all of the  required  apartment  registrations  and  offers  the
     tenant a choice of a  one-year  or  two-year  lease  based  on  the  legal
     regulated rent as established above.

     Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the initial legal regulated  rent
     is $399.00 and not $515.00 as previously determined by the  Administrator.
     The total rent overcharge is  $8,004.96,  including  excess  security  and
     accrued interest from April 1, 1984.

     THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974, 
     and the State Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

     ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted, and  that
     the Rent Administrator's order be, and the same  hereby  is,  modified  in
     accordance with this order and opinion; and it is

     FURTHER ORDERED, that the attached rent calculation chart be  incorporated
     in this order and made a part hereof, and it is

     FURTHER ORDERED, that rents after January 31, 1988 shall be based upon the 
     $399.00 monthly rent as indicated on the rent calculation chart, and it is

     FURTHER  ORDERED,  that  the  owner,  Marnia  Construction  Corp.,   shall
     immediately refund to the tenant all amounts not yet refunded representing 
     overcharges, penalties, and excess security deposit; and it is

     FURTHER ORDERED, that if the owner, Marnia  Construction  Corp.,  has  not
     refunded  to  the  tenant  all  amounts  not  yet  refunded   representing
     overcharges, penalties, and excess security deposit 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  not  credited
     any such amounts, the tenant may file and enforce a certified copy of this 
     order as a judgment  for  the  amount  of  $8,004.96,  as  against  Marnia
     Construction Corp.


                                             ELLIOT SANDER
                                           Deputy Commissioner


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