STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
------------------------------------X SJR 4575
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: DH 210172-RO
DRO DOCKET NO.: AG 210024-R
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL
On August 9, 1989 the above-named petitioner-owner filed an Administrative
Appeal against an order issued on June 23, 1989 by the District Rent
Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York, concerning the
housing accommodations known as 8757 Bay 16th Street, Brooklyn, New York,
On October 5, 1989, the Commissioner issued an order and opinion
dismissing the administrative appeal as not having been timely filed
within thirty-five days after the issuance date of the District Rent
Subsequent thereto, the petitioner filed a petition in the Supreme Court
pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules requesting that
the order of the Commissioner be annulled.
On March 20, 1990, an order was signed by Justice Irving Aronin remitting
the proceeding to the Division for a determination of the owner's
administrative appeal, on the merits.
The administrative appeal is being determined pursuant to the provisions
of 9 NYCRR 2526.1.
The issue herein is whether the District Rent Administrator properly
determined the tenant's complaint of rent overcharges.
A review of the record indicates that on July 17, 1986, the tenant filed a
complaint of rent overcharge wherein the tenant stated that she moved into
the subject apartment on December 1, 1984 pursuant to a lease from
December 1, 1984 to November 30, 1985 at a monthly rent of $375.00; that
her current lease began on February 1, 1986 and will terminate on January
31, 1988 at a monthly rent of $399.38; that the owner did not provide her
with a copy of the apartment registration; that she does not know the
rental history of the apartment; and that she believes she is being
On July 30, 1986, the Division mailed a copy of the tenant's complaint to
the owner who responded on November 14, 1986 by stating, in toto, that in
DOCKET NUMBER: DH 210172-RO
the Summer of 1983, the subject apartment was completely renovated; that
new walls, new ceilings, new doors, new windows, and a new fire-proof
front door were installed at a cost of $8,900.00.
On December 22, 1987, the Division mailed a notice to the owner stating
that the record fails to reveal that the subject apartment was properly
registered and requesting that the owner submit a copy of the 1984
apartment registration with proof of service on the tenant. On or about
said date, the Division also mailed a notice to the owner requesting
copies of cancelled checks and bills showing the costs and dates of the
claimed improvements to the apartment.
The record does not contain any response from the owner to said notices
and on March 18, 1988, the Division sent notices to the owner, again
requesting a copy of the 1984 apartment registration with proof of service
on the tenant and copies of cancelled checks and bills for the claimed
improvements, as well as a copy of the current lease.
The record does not contain any response from the owner to this second set
of notices and on March 21, 1989, the Division mailed a notice to the
owner requesting a copy of the 1984 apartment registration with proof of
service, and a notice to the tenant asking for copies of all leases from
February 1, 1988 to date.
The tenant responded by submitting a copy of the lease from April 1, 1988
through March 31, 1989 at a monthly rent of $411.36.
On April 11, 1989, the Division mailed a notice to the owner requesting a
copy of the lease in effect prior to the subject tenant's occupancy. No
response was received and on May 22, 1989, the Division mailed a final
notice to the owner advising the owner of the overcharge calculation and
that treble damages will be imposed. The owner was afforded a final
opportunity to respond.
No response was received and on June 23, 1989, the District Rent
Administrator issued the order appealed herein. The District Rent
Administrator's order determined that the tenant had been overcharged a
total, including treble damages, of $4,147.68 during the period from
December 1, 1984 through March 31, 1989 and established the lawful
stabilization rent at $383.72 per month under the lease from April 1, 1988
through March 31, 1989.
On appeal, the petitioner-owner alleges, in substance, that the subject
apartment was renovated before the subject tenant took occupancy; and that
new ceilings, new walls, new windows, new doors, and a refrigerator were
installed at a total cost of $10,918.00. The owner did not submit any
documentary evidence, such as cancelled checks and bills, to substantiate
this claim. The owner submitted a copy of the 1985 apartment
After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record the
Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal should be
DOCKET NUMBER: DH 210172-RO
The District Rent Administrator properly determined the tenant's complaint
of rent overcharge on the basis of the owner's failure to respond to any
of the Division's numerous requests for additional evidence and/or
information. The record reveals that all such notices were mailed to the
owner at her correct address and none were returned by the United States
Post Office as undeliverable as addressed. It must therefore be presumed
that the notices were duly delivered in the normal course of business.
On appeal, the only stated objection to the District Rent Administrator's
order is that it does not provide for certain claimed improvements to the
subject apartment. The owner made this same claim in answer to the
tenant's complaint but then failed to respond to the District Rent
Administrator's requests for documentary evidence substantiating such
claim. Even on appeal, the owner has failed to submit any evidence in
support of her claim.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Stabilization Law
and Code, it is
ORDERED, that this administrative appeal be, and the same hereby is,
denied and that the order of the District Rent Administrator be, and the
same hereby is, affirmed.