DK 710181 RT
                                  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



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          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL 
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO. DK 710181 RT

              
                     STEVEN KOSINER,              DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S 
                                                  DOCKET NO. DF 710172 R
                                                  SUBTENANT:  BARRY FEERST
                                                                             
                                 PETITIONER
          ----------------------------------X                                   


            ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW 
                                       IN PART


          On November 21,  1989  the  above-named  prime  tenant   filed  a
          petition for administrative review of an order issued on  October
          18, 1989 by the District Rent  Administrator  concerning  housing
          accommodations known as  Apartment  317,  630  Shore  Road,  Long
          Beach, New York wherein the Rent Administrator determined that an 
          overcharge had occurred.

          The Commissioner notes that this case inadvertently was  docketed
          as an "RT", which represents a tenant's petition.  It should have 
          been docketed as an "RO", which represents a landlord's petition.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in  the  record
          and  has  carefully  considered  that  portion  of   the   record
          concerning the issues raised in the petition for review.

          This proceeding was commenced on June 14, 1989 upon the filing of 
          a general complaint of rent overcharge  by  the  subtenant.   The
          subtenant stated, among other things, that he took  occupancy  of
          the subject apartment on April 15, 1987  with  a  written  lease.
          The subtenant submitted an informal signed agreement between  the
          parties documenting the rental paid for the sublease.

          The prime tenant answered that no written lease  existed  between
          the parties.  It was  alleged  that  the  subtenant  vacated  the
          subject apartment without the agreed-to written notice  and  that
          the prime tenant lost two months of rental income.

          In the order here under review the Administrator determined  that
          an overcharge of $3,654.18 including treble damages occurred over 
          the term of the subtenant's occupancy of  the  subject  apartment
          from April 1, 1987 to May 31, 1988.

          In his petition  for  administrative  review,  the  prime  tenant
          alleges that the subtenant's occupancy began April 15,  1987  and






          DK 710181 RT
          not April 1, 1987 as determined by the Administrator.  Second, he 
          alleges that the subtenant was responsible for the rent for June, 
          1988 but the subtenant vacated a month  earlier  without  notice.
          The prime tenant asserts the he should be granted a credit in the 
          Administrator's calculations for this one month because  he  lost
          rental income.  Third, the prime tenant asks that the  imposition
          of treble damages be reconsidered.  Finally, it is  alleged  that
          the subtenant was aware of the overcharge and agreed to the  rent
          anyway.  The prime tenant asserts that the subtenant "lured"  him
          into this agreement and that the subtenant (an attorney)  drafted
          and signed the informal agreement.

          After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of  the  opinion
          that this petition should be granted in part.

          First, the prime tenant's claim that the  subtenant  vacated  the
          premises  without  notice  and  in  violation  of   an   informal
          contractual agreement will not be considered by the Commissioner. 
          The Administrator correctly determined the  overcharges  for  the
          period of actual occupancy only.  However, this order  is  issued
          without prejudice to the  right  of  the  prime  tenant  to  seek
          damages based upon the subtenant's early vacatur,  if  warranted,
          in a court of competent jurisdiction.

          Second, the Commissioner is of the opinion that the Administrator 
          correctly assessed treble damages.  Section 2506.1(a)(1)  of  the
          Tenant Protection Regulations states that  if  it  is  determined
          that an overcharge has occurred the  Administrator  shall  assess
          treble damages.  The only  exception  to  this  rule  is  if  the
          landlord establishes that the overcharges  were  neither  willful
          nor the result of negligence.  The record is  totally  devoid  of
          any evidence showing a lack of wilfulness by the prime tenant.

          Third, the prime tenant asserts that he  was  "lured"  into  this
          rental agreement by  the  subtenant.   Administrative  review  is
          limited to facts or  evidence  before  a  Rent  Administrator  as
          raised in the petition for  review.   Because  the  prime  tenant
          presents this allegation for the first time  in  his  appeal,  it
          will not be considered.  The Commissioner notes that even if  the
          allegation were to be considered, it would be without merit.  The 
          fact that the  parties  to  the  informal  rental  agreement  had
          unequal expertise would not have been determinative of the  issue
          of overcharge or of treble damages.  The record would still  fail
          to sustain a finding of a lack of  wilfullness,  and  the  record
          would certainly not warrant a finding that the overcharge was not 
          attributable to the prime tenant's negligence.

          Finally, the prime tenant asserts that the subtenant's  occupancy
          began on April 15, 1987 and not April 1, 1987.   The  tenant,  in
          his original complaint acknowledged that  he  took  occupancy  on
          April  15,  1987.   The  Administrator  erred  in  the  order  by
          beginning the examination of the overcharge from April  1,  1987.
          Accordingly, the overcharges should have been $3,377.36  and  not
          $3,654.18.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act 
          and the Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted






          DK 710181 RT
          in part, and the Administrator's order be, and  the  same  hereby
          is, modified in accordance with this order and opinion; and it is

          FURTHER ORDERED, that the prime  tenant,  Steven  Kosiner,  shall
          immediately refund to the subtenant all amounts not yet  refunded
          representing overcharges and penalties; and it is

          FURTHER ORDERED, that if the prime tenant,  Steven  Kosiner,  has
          not refunded the stated  amounts,  upon  the  expiration  of  the
          period for seeking judicial review  of  this  order  pursuant  to
          Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, the subtenant who 
          has vacated the premises may file and enforce a certified copy of 
          this order as a judgment for the amount of $3,377.36, as  against
          Steven Kosiner.



          ISSUED:
                                                  ------------------------
                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  Deputy Commissioner
           
             
                                          

               
    

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