STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO. CB110205RT
Marie Ross : DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
DOCKET NO. 58133
OWNER: John Maltezakis
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On February 29, 1988, the above-named tenant filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on January 25, 1988, by a
Rent Administrator, concerning the housing accommodations known as
Apartment 9 at 37-11 30th Avenue in Astoria, Queens, wherein the
Administrator dismissed the tenant's complaint of overcharge.
The underlying proceeding was commenced in August, 1985, as a Tenant's
Objection to Rent Services Registration. The form on which it was
submitted allowed the complainant to check off those items that she
found applicable; the tenant thereby indicated: that her rent was an
overcharge, adding: "Because of item #11"; and under item 11, that the
number of rooms (4 "and bath") listed by the owner in the apartment-
registration statement was incorrect, the apartment in fact containing
3« (the half representing the bathroom).
Due to the owner's failure to submit a floor plan, the Administrator
determined in the ensuing order (here appealed) that the apartment
contained three rooms (as this Division does not recognize half rooms).
The order goes on to state that because the tenant filed her objection
to the registration statement more than 90 days after receiving her copy
of same, that objection was untimely as to rent, so that "the overcharge
part of the objection is dismissed."
The tenant's petition against that order reads in its entirety as
I do not believe it is fair that the overcharge
be dismissed on a technicality as I initially
contacted DHCR by phone July 1984 and was not
apprised of the fact that the bathroom was to
be omitted in room count. The landlord told me
that for purposes of registration the bathroom
was included therefore I did not file an objection
1984 until a lawyer informed me August 7, 1985
that bathrooms were not counted.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be denied.
The Commissioner understands the petition to state that the reason the
tenant failed to object within 90 days is that she had been misinformed-
-once by this Division over the telephone and once by her landlord--
concerning the rules of room-counting for registration purposes; the
implication is that the Commissioner should therefore excuse that
tardiness and process the overcharge aspect of her Objection.
Unfortunately the rule governing the Administrator's decision--that the
rent stated in the 1984 registration statement becomes unchallengeable
if not objected to within 90 days after service of same upon the tenant-
-is codified in the Rent Stabilization Code and not subject to the
Commissioner's discretion. (Moreover (a) the Commissioner would not at
any rate accept a filing that, as here, is almost a year past the
deadline, based on the mere allegations that an unspecified agency
employee (over the telephone) and the owner, had given the tenant
inaccurate advice, and (b) the question of overcharge is not related to
that of room count, so that there would have been no justification for
the tenant's delay even if those persons did in fact tell the tenant
that "the bathroom was included".
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition for administrative review be, and the same
hereby is, denied.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA