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.: CK410035RT
Keith Haggard DRO DOCKET NO.: 052718
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
AND REMANDING PROCEEDING
On November 4, 1988, the above-named tenant filed a Petition for
Administrative Review against an order issued on September 30, 1988, by
a Rent Administrator, concerning housing accommodations known as
Apartment 3A at 717 East 5th Street in New York City, wherein the Rent
Administrator dismissed the tenant's Objection to Apartment
When the tenant filed that Objection in November of 1984, he filled in
the heading thereof but not the balance of the form, thus stating no
basis for the Objection. In August of 1988 the tenant's representative
stated to the Administrator that the tenant was "requesting the
complaint be continued for processing for a . . . determination of the
legal rent that should have been charged and for a computation of the
excess rent paid," adding that the tenant (who had moved to Miami) would
be visiting New York during the first week of September, when he would
give the representative "written authorization for the continuance of
the processing of the Fair Market/Rent overcharge complaint docket," and
that the tenant was the first rent stabilized tenant and was entitled to
file a fair market rent appeal.
The ensuing order, here appealed, dismissed the proceeding because the
tenant had "failed to specify the nature of the objection."
On October 21, 1989, the tenant's representative wrote seeking
revocation of that order, stating inter alia: that notice of the
aforementioned dismissal had been sent to the tenant's former address,
to be received by the representative almost two weeks after it had been
issued; that the tenant had not made his planned trip to New York,
necessitating the mailing of his authorization to the representative and
her consequent receipt thereof after the date of the Administrator's
dismissal order; and that the tenant had informed the representative
"that he had never received any request for additional information . .
. to give him an opportunity to state the nature of his complaint."
Attached to that letter was a copy of the tenant's authorization of
representation, dated September 8, 1988.
In a response to the tenant's representative dated April 10, 1989, the
Administrator denied her request to reopen this proceeding, stating that
the aforementioned letter of August, 1988, had come too late to cure the
defective complaint filed four years earlier.
The petition now before the Commissioner states that it has been filed
to protect the tenant's rights in the absence (up to that point) of a
response by the Administrator to the representative's letter of August,
1988. It incorporates that letter by reference, requesting that the
petitioner be granted a fair-market-rent review.
The owner answers that in 1987, prior to the issuance of the Rent
Administrator's order, the tenant signed an agreement settling "all
claims between the parties, including his claim for rent overcharges for
which he has been withholding rent payments. . . . [T]he owner paid . .
. an agreed upon sum," and the case before this Division "was to have
been closed based thereon." No copy of said agreement was submitted by
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be granted
and the matter remanded to the Rent Administrator.
The matter was still before the Administrator when he was advised that
the subject Objection was to the rent that the owner had registered. At
that point further inquiry--or at least a delay to allow for
authorization of the tenant's representative--was called for, with full
processing to follow if her assertion regarding such representation
proved authentic. The proceeding will therefore be remanded for
processing of the now-amended Objection. If it is found that the tenant
was the first rent-stabilized tenant or was otherwise entitled to file
a fair market rent appeal, the objection should be processed as a fair
market rent appeal. Otherwise, it should be processed as a rent
Regarding the 1987 settlement alleged by the owner, the Commissioner
cannot determine from the record herein, the extent to which such an
agreement would affect the outcome of this proceeding (for example if a
refund was made to the tenant of any excess rent payments). That issue
can be addressed by the Administrator upon remand.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization
Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is granted, this
proceeding being hereby remanded to the Rent Administrator for further
processing in accordance with this order and opinion.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA