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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. CK410043RT

                    IGNATZ SIKOFAND,              DRO DOCKET NO. CB410045RP

                                   PETITIONER     OWNER: M.J. RAYNES, INC.


          On November 17, 1988, the above-named tenant filed a petition for 
          administrative review of an order issued on October 13, 1988 by a 
          Rent Administrator concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          150 West End Avenue, Apartment No. 28S, New York, New York, wherein 
          the Administrator determined that the owner had  overcharged  the

          The Commissioner notes that this proceeding was initiated prior to 
          April 1, 1984.  Sections 2526.1(a)(4) and 2521.1(d) of  the  Rent
          Stabilization Code (effective May 1,1987) governing rent overcharge 
          and fair market rent proceedings provide  that  determination  of
          these matters be based upon the law or code provisions in effect on 
          March 31, 1984.  Therefore, unless otherwise indicated, reference 
          to sections of the Rent Stabilization Code (Code) contained herein 
          are to the Code in effect on April 30, 1987.

          This proceeding was originally commenced  by  the  filing  of  an
          overcharge complaint on March 29, 1984 under Docket No. L3116751R. 
          In this complaint,  the  tenant  stated  that  the  prior  tenant
          requested assignment of his lease to the  complainant-tenant  and
          that the owner acknowledged receipt of  this  written  assignment
          request.  The owner did not accept this request for assignment and 
          required the complainant-tenant to enter into a new vacancy lease. 
          Further, the complainant requested a general rent review.

          In its answer to the complaint, the owner asserted,  among  other
          things, that it was under no obligation to accept the  assignment
          request; that the owner had thirty days to accept the  assignment
          request; and that the new vacancy lease was executed well  within
          the thirty day period, making the assignment request moot.  In the 
          alternative, the owner alleged that the right to protest the


          decision to reject an assignment  request  would  belong  to  the
          assignor (prior tenant) and not the assignee (complainant-tenant). 
          Further, the owner stated that it had detected a slight overcharge 
          while reviewing this case and had credited the tenant's account to 
          correct the overcharge.

          In the Administrator's order under Docket Number L3116751R issued 
          on September 19, 1986, the Administrator determined that the tenant 
          had been overcharged a total of $2,595.17 through July  31,  1986
          including excess security and  interest  on  post-April  1,  1984

          Both the tenant (Docket No. AJ410282RT) and the owner (Docket No. 
          AJ410416RO), filed petitions for  administrative  review  of  the
          Administrator's order of September 19, 1986.

          In those petitions both parties continued their arguments regarding 
          the owner's right to refuse to consent to an assignment.

          In addition, the tenant asserted that since an assignment  should
          have been accepted by the owner, no rent  increases  for  vacancy
          improvements  should  have  been  granted  without  his  consent.
          Finally, the tenant requested the assessment of treble damages on 
          the overcharge.

          The  owner's  petition  for  administrative  review  (Docket  No.
          AJ410416RO)  alleged  three   errors   in   the   Administrator's
          calculations including failure to include a  Guideline  #6C  1/2%
          stabilizer, failure to include a Guideline #8 3  1/2%  electrical
          inclusion allowance and failure to consider the credits that  the
          owner made when advised of the  complaint.   Further,  the  owner
          requested that the overcharges be allocated between a prior owner 
          and the petitioner-owner.

          The Commissioner consolidated these petitions and issued an order 
          on January 29, 1988.

          The Commissioner concluded in that ord r  that  the  complainant-
          tenant did not have standing to object to the owner's refusal  to
          consent to the assignment.

          Accordingly, the Commissioner also fou d  that  the  complainant-
          tenant's consent was not needed for vacancy improvements.


          However, the  remainder  of  the  issues  were  remanded  to  the
          Administrator for further processing.  Namely, the  Administrator
          would be required to correct  any  errors  in  the  calculations,
          allocate the overcharges, if appropriate, and reconsider the issue 
          of treble damages.

          The Administrator reopened this proceeding on March 31, 1988 under 
          Docket Number CB410045RP.  The notice sent to the parties to advise 
          them  that  the  proceeding  had  been   reopened   contained   a
          typographical error.  Namely, the notice stated that pursuant to a 
          remand order of September 19, 1986, instead of January 29,  1988,
          the case was being reopened.

          The record indicates that the owner participated in the remanded, 
          reopened proceeding while the tenant did  not.   The  tenant  has
          subsequently alleged that he was advised by the Administrator that 
          he would be sent a corrected notice.  Because he was waiting  for
          the corrected notice to be sent, he did not to participate in the 
          remanded proceeding.

          In the Administrator's order here under review, the Administrator 
          corrected calculation errors and assessed treble damages  on  the
          overcharges occurring post-April 1, 1984.  The lawful stabilization 
          rent for the subject apartment was established as $821.47 for the 
          lease period beginning August 1, 1985.  The total overcharges were 
          determined to be $758.96 including treble damages.  

          In his petition for administrative review, the tenant alleged that 
          the calculations were incorrect but pointed to no specific errors 
          made by the Administrator in these  calculations.   Further,  the
          tenant reasserted that the Commissioner's underlying determination 
          concerning the proposed assignment of the  lease  was  incorrect.
          Finally, the tenant asserted that he had been denied due process in 
          the Administrator's reprocessing of  this  case  because  of  the
          notification error.  The tenant  asserted  his  right  to  submit
          supplemental pleadings.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
          that this petition for administrative review should be denied.

          The Commissioner finds no errors in the Administrator's recomputed 
          overcharge calculations, and the tenant brings no specific item to 
          the   Commissioner's   special   attention.    Accordingly,   the
          Commissioner rejects this allegation.

          The Commissioner also finds that the prior ruling in AJ410282RT in 


          which the Commissioner found that the tenant had no  standing  to
          object to the manner that the owner refused  its  consent  to  an
          assignment was correct.  As was stated in the Commissioner's order 
          of January 29, 1988:

               With regard to the tenant's appeal, the right to object 
               to the owner's manner of rejecting the  prior  tenant's
               request to assign his lease was personal to the  tenant
               seeking  such  assignment.   The  evidence  of  record,
               particularly the fact that the owner and the complaining 
               tenant entered into a vacancy  lease  for  the  subject
               apartment very shortly after the assignment request was 
               made, indicates that the prior tenant chose to surrender 
               his lease, without penalty, and not contest the owner's 
               refusal of his request.  Under such circumstances,  the
               Commissioner is of the  opinion  that  the  complaining
               tenant lacks the standing to object to the manner  that
               the owner refused its consent to an assignment  of  the
               prior tenant's lease.

          Finally, the Commissioner finds that the due process rights of the 
          tenant were fully protected.  Since the tenant filed his petition 
          for administrative review on November 17, 1988, no subsequent  or
          supplemental submissions have been received from the tenant.   In
          fact, on January 27, 1992 and April  28,  1992  the  Commissioner
          further communicated  with  the  tenant,  through  his  attorney,
          granting him additional time to submit additional  statements  or
          information.  In the period of over five years from the date of the 
          filing of the petition for administrative review to the present no 
          supplemental submissions have been  received.   Accordingly,  the
          tenant's due process  rights have been fully protected.

          In accordance with Section 2526.1 (f) of the  Rent  Stabilization
          Code, the Commissioner is required to allocate overcharges between 
          the owners.

          The prior owner (Subzberger-Rolfe, Inc.) is individually liable for 
          those overcharges occurring prior to April 1, 1984 or $291.92.

          The prior owner and the current owner are jointly  and  severally
          liable for those overcharges occurring from April 1, 1984 through 
          April 15, 1985 (the date that  the  current  owner  acquired  the
          subject building) or $379.47.  This order is issued without 

          prejudice to any action the current owner may  have  against  the
          prior owner for overcharges reimbursed by the current owner which 
          were collected by the prior owner.


          The current owner is  individually  liable  for  the  overcharges
          occurring from April 15, 1985 through July 31, 1987 or $87.57. 

          The Commissioner has determined in this Order and Opinion that the 
          petitioner-owner is liable for overcharges of $467.04.  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.   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 Rent Stabilization Law and Code, 
          it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, denied, and 
          that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is, affirmed


                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  DEPUTY COMMISSIONER



TenantNet Home | TenantNet Forum | New York Tenant Information
DHCR Information | DHCR Decisions | Housing Court Decisions | New York Rent Laws
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Subscribe to our Mailing List!
Your Email      Full Name