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. CK410012RO
: DRO DOCKET NO.ZAD410124R
MICHAEL STOUT & FARHAD TENANT: MARY JO FRENCH
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On November 1, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
September 28, 1988, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall
Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations
known as 68 West 85 Street, New York, New York, Apartment No. 10,
wherein the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had
overcharged the tenant.
The Administrative Appeal is being determined pursuant to the
provisions of Section 2526.1 of the Rent Stabilization Code.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's order was
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 in April, 1986, by the
tenant's filing of a rent overcharge complaint in which the tenant
stated that she first moved to the subject apartment pursuant to a
one year lease commencing February 1, 1986 at a rental of $995.00
per month. The owner was served with a copy of the tenant's
complaint and afforded an opportunity to respond.
In response to the tenant's complaint, the owner stated in
substance that it had made improvements totalling $30,304.29 prior
to the occupancy of the tenant herein and when that is taken into
account, it is apparent that no rent overcharge occurred. In
support of such contention, the owner submitted a copy of a proposal
from the contractor Dourkon Company signed as accepted by one of the
owners listing a total cost of $23,500 for work done in the subject
apartment including scraping and painting; copies of a bill for the
installation of mirrors totalling $480.00; copies of bills for
$94.72 and $188.36 from Glantz Lighting Inc.; a copy of a bill of
$698.21 for a wrought iron railing; and a copy of an invoice for
marble tile, sink and saddle for a total cost of $5,342.00 from
Manhattan Marble Co.
The owner was asked to submit copies of cancelled checks for
its submission of improvements and to show a breakdown for the cost
of each item separately. In response, the owner submitted copies of
cancelled checks to Dourkon Company totalling $21,550.00. The owner
also submitted a breakdown of the Dourkon Company costs which
indicated that $1400 of the total cost of its contract was for
painting, plastering and scraping.
In Order Number ZAD410124, the Rent Administrator determined
that the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $3,082.12
including interest and excess security and directed the owner to
refund such overcharge to the tenant. In such determination, the
owner was given credit for substantiated improvement costs totalling
$20,150.00 (the total proved by the cancelled checks of $21,550.00
minus $1400.00 for the painting, plastering and scraping -
disallowed as not constituting new equipment or improvements.
In this petition, the owner alleges in substance that it should
have been credited with a rent increase for the other improvements
for which it submitted proof; that the existence of the other
improvements could have been verified by a DHCR inspection and that
it should have been allowed a rent increase for sales tax relating
to the improvements.
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
An examination of the record in this case discloses that the
owner received credit for all allowable substantiated improvements.
Other invoices submitted by the owner were not marked paid in full
and/or did not specify the subject apartment or as in the case of
the painting, plastering and scraping are not considered
improvements for which a rent increase is warranted. Further where
the improvement costs were substantiated by the cancelled checks,
there is no evidence that sales tax was excluded from the costs.
Accordingly, the Rent Administrator's order was warranted.
The owner is directed to reflect the findings and
determinations made in this order on all future registration
statements, including those for the current year if not already
filed, citing this order as the basis for the change. Registration
statements already on file, however, should not be amended to
reflect the findings and determinations made in this order. The
owner is further directed to adjust subsequent rents to an amount no
greater than that determined by this order plus any lawful
The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that
the owner collected overcharges of $3,082.12. This Order may, upon
expiration of the period for seeking review of this Order and
Opinion pursuant to Article Seventy-eight 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. Where the tenant credits the
overcharge, the tenant may add to the overcharge, or where the
tenant files this Order as a judgment, the County Clerk may add to
the overcharge, interest at the rate payable on a judgment pursuant
to section 5004 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules from the
issuance date of the Rent Administrator's Order to the issuance date
of the Commissioner's Order.
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, and, that the order of the Rent
Administrator be, and the same hereby is, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA