DOCKET NUMBERS: CH 220059-RT & CI 210264-RO (Refile of CH 210051-RO)
                                 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 NOS.: CH 220059-T &
                                         :  CI 210264-RO (Refile of
     JAMES MANN (Tenant)                    CH 210051-RO)
     ASHER HIESIGER(owner)
                           PETITIONER    :  DRO DOCKET NO.:K 3104233-RT
     ------------------------------------X                 CDR 33696

       ORDER AND OPINION DENYING OWNER'S PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
     AND GRANTING TENANT'S PETITION FOR MODIFYING ORDER OF RENT ADMINISTRATOR


     The  abovenamed  petitioners,  tenant  owner,  filed  and  refiled  timely
     petitions for Administrative Review against an order issued  on  July  12,
     1988 by the Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known 
     as 862 Union Street, Apartment 4F, Brooklyn.
                                                   
     The tenant filed a complaint of overcharge and a fair market  rent  appeal
     on March 31, 1984.  A complete rental history was submitted in the  course
     of the proceeding.

     The herein appealed order of the Rent Administrator, after finding that  a
     fair market rent  appeal  was  not  warranted,  established  the  tenant's
     initial regulated rent at $%303.95 as of  July  1,  1980;  updated  it  to
     $405.92 as of July  1,  1986  and  directed  a  refund  of  $11,740.02  in
     overcharges including interest on overcharges after April 1, 1984.

     The order was based on the abovenoted rental history  and,  in  substance,
     reflected findings that the lease rents of the complainant tenant,  and  a
     prior tenant, were in excess of guideline adjustments over prior rents.

     In his petition the tenant urges that treble damages  were  warranted  and
     that the owner failed to show lack  of  willfulness  in  overcharging  the
     immediately prior tenant.

     In his petition the owner alleges that the prior owner had charged 2 prior 
     tenants rents considerably lower than what would have  been  permitted  by
     the guidelines and urges that, as a new owner, he should be  permitted  to
     recalculate those rents and charge subsequent tenants  accordingly  citing
     Section 2521.2(b) of the current  Code.   He  further  urges  that  he  is
     somehow being held responsible for overcharges "caused by "the prior owner 
     in violation of Section 2526..19f)(1) of the current Code.

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













     DOCKET NUMBERS: CH 220059-RT & CI 210264-RO (Refile of CH 210051-RO)

     With respect to owner's petition, he acknowledges that it  has  long  been
     the position of this agency, which has been upheld by the Courts, that 
     guidelines are to be computed on prior rents actually  charged  not  rents
     that could have been charged.  In this respect the  owner  is  in  privity
     with his predecessors and has no greater rights.  Section 2521.2(b) of the 
     current Codes does not apply to the instant type of  tenancy  nor  to  one
     that commenced prior to March 30, 1984.

     The owner's attempt to blame his problems on the prior owner  by  invoking
     Section 2526.1(f)(1) of the Current Code  is  too  ingenious  for  serious
     comment.

     With respect to the  tenant's  petition,  the  owner  has  not,  in  fact,
     demonstrated that the overcharges  were  not  willful.   The  Commissioner
     notes that, even were  the  owner  given  the  benefit  of  his  arguments
     abovenoted respecting recalculating prior rents, there  would  still  have
     been overcharges as to this tenant and the owner did not reduce  the  rent
     or make refunds prior to the Administrator's order.

     The Commissioner finds, therefore, that treble damages were warranted  for
     overcharges after April 1, 1984 and the Administrator's  order  should  be
     modified accordingly infra.

     Pages 3 of the Rent calculation Chart of the Administrator's order  should
     be modified to show overcharges for the period of April 1,  1984  to  June
     30, 1986 as $10,596.45  [$501.60  (rent  charged)  minus  $381.15  (lawful
     stabilized rent) times 27 months times 3] and for the period  of  July  1,
     1986 to May 31, 1988 as $8,851.32 [$534.20 (rent  charged)  minus  $405.92
     (lawful rent) times 23 months times 3].

     The caption of page 1 of said chart should also  be  modified  to  show  a
     total overcharge of $24,440.70 (including $128.28 excess security) through 
     May 31, 1988.

     Because this determination concerns lawful  rents  only  through  May  31,
     1988, the owner is cautioned to adjust subsequent rents to  an  amount  no
     greater than that determined by this order plus any lawful increases,  and
     to register any adjusted rents with this order and opinion being given  as
     the explanation for the adjustment.

     This order may upon the expiration of the period in which  the  owner  may
     institute a proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the  Civil  Practice  Law
     and Rules, be filed and enforced as a judgment or not in excess of  twenty
     percent per month of  the  overcharge  may  be  offset  against  any  rent
     thereafter due the owner.

     THEREFORE, pursuant to the Rent Stabilization law and Code, it is










     ORDERED, that petition CI 210264-RO be, and the same  hereby  is,  denied;






     DOCKET NUMBERS: CH 220059-RT & CI 210264-RO (Refile of CH 210051-RO)
     and that petition CH 220059-RT be, and the same  hereby  is  granted;  and
     that the order of the Rent Administrator  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is,
     modified as above set forth and, as so modified, affirmed.

     ISSUED:



                                                                              
                                                     ELLIOT SANDER
                                                   Deputy Commissioner
                        



            





    

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