DE 110082-RO and FD 110135-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 SJR 5784 (Remit on consent)
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                             DOCKET NO. 
                                                DE 110082-RO (reopened)
                                                FD 110135-RO (reopened)

               Manchester Jackson Heights     : DISTRICT RENT OFFICE
               Associates, and                  DOCKET NO. Q-3119756-R
               Anthony S. Bottitta,                        CDR 23984
                                                
                                                TENANT:   R.    A.    Goris
                     
                                   PETITIONERS: 
          ------------------------------------X 

               ORDER AND OPINION REOPENING PROCEEDINGS ON APPEAL, AND
                           MODIFYING ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER

          On May 19, 1989 the petitioner-owner Manchester  Jackson  Heights
          Associates filed a Petition for Administrative Review (Docket No. 
          DE 110082-RO) against an order issued on October 2, 1986  by  the
          District  Rent  Administrator,  10  Columbus  Circle,  New  York,
          New  York  concerning  the  housing   accommodations   known   as
          Apartment 6J at 33-25 76th  Street,  Jackson  Heights,  New  York
          wherein the  District  Rent  Administrator  determined  that  the
          tenant had been  overcharged.   On  June  22,  1989  the  owner's
          petition was dismissed as untimely.

          On April 16, 1991 the former owners' attorney Anthony S. Bottitta 
          filed a Petition for Administrative Review (Docket No. FD 110135 
          RO) against the Administrator's  order.   On  May  2,  1991  this
          petition was dismissed as untimely.   Mr.  Bottitta  subsequently
          filed a petition in the Supreme Court pursuant to Article  78  of
          the Civil Practice Law and Rules challenging the dismissal.   The
          matter has been remitted on consent for further consideration.

          This proceeding was originally commenced by the filing in  March,
          1984 of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant,  in  which  he
          stated that he had commenced occupancy on February 1, 1981  at  a
          rent of $392.56 per month.  He gave the owner's name and  address
          as "Piki Associates, Anthony S. Bottitta, Esq. - Mahendra  &  Ved
          Kawatra, 6 Hilldale Lane, Port Washington, New York 11050."   The
          owner was sent a copy of the complaint at that address on 
          November 1, 1984 and was requested  to  submit  rent  records  to
          prove the lawfulness of the rent being charged.  On July 10, 1986 
          a Final Notice of Pending  Default  was  sent  to  that  address.
          Other than the  tenant's  initial  complaint,  the  file  of  the
          proceeding  before  the  Administrator  does  not   contain   any
          submissions from any parties.

          In an order issued on October 2, 1986 the Administrator used DHCR 
          default procedures to set the complainant's lawful  rent  and  to
          find an overcharge of $6,751.38, including treble damages, as  of






          DE 110082-RO and FD 110135-RO
          January 31, 1985.  The order was mailed to Anthony Bottitta  Esq.
          and Mahendra and Ved Kawatra, in Port Washington.

          In its petition, Manchester Jackson Heights  Associates  contends
          in substance that it was the owner of the subject  premises  when
          the Administrator's order was issued on October 2, 1986; that  it
          was never requested to provide a rental history;  that  it  never
          received a copy of the Administrator's order from the DHCR;  that
          the 35-day statute of limitations for filing an appeal  therefore
          does not apply; and that the proceeding should  be  reopened  and
          decided on the merits after proper notice.

          In his petition, Mr.  Bottitta  asserts  in  substance  that  his
          appeal should be accepted as timely as neither he nor  the  owner
          were ever informed of the overcharge proceeding or that an  order
          had been issued; that he himself was never an owner, but just the 
          attorney of a prior owner, Piki Associates; and  that  he  should
          not be responsible for overcharges.

          Upon being sent a copy of  relevant  materials,  Jackson  Heights
          Properties, Inc. submitted evidence that the subject building had 
          been acquired through judicial foreclosure of  the  interests  of
          Manchester  Jackson  Heights  Associates,  and  claimed  that   a
          stipulation for $6,751.38 had been agreed to  by  the  owner  and
          tenant on March 20, 1989.  Mr. Bottitta later submitted a copy of 
          a stipulation  in  a  civil  action  between  Manchester  Jackson
          Heights Associates and the tenant, giving the tenant  credit  for
          the $6,751.38 overcharge found by the Administrator.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that the dismissed proceedings 
          in Docket Nos. DE 110082-RO and FE 110135-RO should be  reopened,
          and that the Administrator's order should be modified.

          Mr.  Bottitta  is  correct  that  he  is  not  liable   for   any
          overcharges.  While he was named in the tenant's complaint, there 
          is no indication in the record that he is an "owner"  as  defined
          in the Rent StabilizAtion Code.  In any event  the  total  amount
          of the overcharge for which the Administrator held him liable was 
          refunded to the tenant prior to the time that Mr. Bottitta  filed
          his petition.  While the appeal  of  Manchester  Jackson  Heights
          Associates is reopened as timely since it  was  never  served  in
          the earlier proceeding,  its  petition  asked  only  that  it  be
          brought into the proceeding.  That was  done  by  serving  it  on
          September 19, 1991.  No reply was received, possibly  because  it
          had already  lost  the  building  in  1990  through  foreclosure.
          However, prior to  both  the  foreclosure  and  its  petition  it
          refunded the full overcharge to the tenant, so it  also  owes  no
          refund to the tenant as a result of the Administrator's order.

          The Commissioner notes that neither Mr. Bottitta  nor  Manchester
          Jackson Heights Associates  has  challenged  the  Administrator's
          order on the merits, and that therefore the lawful  stabilization
          rent of the subject apartment is not affected by this order.  The 
          owner is cautioned to adjust the  rent,  in  leases  after  those
          considered in the Administrator's order,  to amounts  no  greater
          than that determined by the Administrator's order plus any lawful 
          increases,  and  to  register  any  adjusted  rents,   with   the
          Administrator's  order  being  given  as  the  reason   for   the
          adjustment.  Because the complainant has vacated, a copy of  this






          DE 110082-RO and FD 110135-RO
          order is being sent to  the  current  tenant.   The  Commissioner
          notes that the subject apartment has not  been  registered  since
          1989, and that the rents registered up to that time indicate that 
          the rent was not reduced as directed by the Administrator.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  and
          Code, it is

          ORDERED, that the proceedings in Docket Nos. DE 110082-RO and 
          FD 110135-RO be, and the same hereby are, reopened and  that  the
          Administrator's order in Docket No. Q-3119756-R be, and the  same
          hereby is, modified in accordance with this  order  and  opinion.
          Neither Manchester Jackson  Heights  Associates  nor  Anthony  S.
          Bottitta owe any further money to the tenant as a result  of  the
          Administrator's order.  The lawful stabilization rent is  $321.46
          in the leas from February 1, 1984 to January 31, 1985.

          ISSUED:



                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                     




































          DE 110082-RO and FD 110135-RO

    

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