DK 810268-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
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE     ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.
                                        DK 810268-RO
       STREG, INC.                      DISTRICT RENT
                                        ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
NO.
                        PETITIONER      WG 86-S-3-R
----------------------------------x     TENANT: MAUREEN KURZIG


  ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                             IN PART
                                
                                
On  November 16, 1989, the above-named landlord filed a  petition
for  administrative review of an order issued on November 2, 1989
by  a District Administrator concerning the housing accommodation
known  as  90 Pinewood Road, Apartment 1-C, Hartsdale, New  York,
wherein  the  Administrator determined  that  an  overcharge  had
occurred.

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

This  proceeding  was commenced on December  19,  1985  upon  the
filing  of  a  complaint of rent overcharge by the  tenant.   The
ten-ant stated therein that her lease had expired on October  31,
1985,  and that the landlord assessed a guideline increase for  a
two-year renewal lease.  The tenant alleged that the landlord was
ineligible  for  a guideline increase because of  the  landlord's
failure  to  timely  file an Operating and  Maintenance  Expenses
Schedule (Schedule).

On  January  24,  1986,  the Division of  Housing  and  Community
Renewal  (DHCR)  received the landlord's  answer.   The  landlord
asserted that no overcharge occurred.  It submitted a copy of the
tenant's  current lease and prior lease, a copy of the  Apartment
Registration Form for the subject apartment, and a copy of a DHCR
order granting a Major Capital improvement (MCI) rent increase.
The  landlord  stated that all rent increases were within  appro-
priate guidelines.

In the order here under review, the Administrator determined that
the  landlord was not entitled to the guideline increase assessed
on the tenant's two-year renewal lease beginning November 1, 1985
because  of  its  failure  to timely  file  a  Schedule  for  the
1985-1986  guideline period.  The Administrator  established  the
lawful  stabilization  rent of $450.38 as  of  November  1,  1985
through  October  31,  1987  and directed  the  owner  to  refund
$1,161.98  in overcharges including interest through October  31,
1987.

In  its petition for administrative review the owner alleges that
the  tenant vacated the apartment in July 1987, and that the sub-
ject  apartment  was  sponsor-owned and subsequently  sold.   The
landlord  further  alleges that the original  complaint  and  the
Administrator's order related to its failure to file  a  Schedule
for  1984.   It claims that its failure to file was  due  to  the
death  of the landlord's bookkeeper and acknowledges that it  did
file  all required statements in November of 1985.  Finally,  the
landlord  repeats  that the tenant vacated the premises  in  July
1987 and received a lump sum of $6,000 upon her vacating.  A copy
of the check is included with its petition for review.

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

First, the landlord contends that the entire proceeding below was
based on the failure to file a Schedule for 1984.  This claim  is
without  merit.   Nothing  in  the  original  complaint  or   the
Administrator's  order  refers to the  1984  filing.  The  entire
record  refers only to landlord's failure to file a Schedule  for
1985-1986.

Second,  the landlord's claim that it filed late because  of  the
death  of  the landlord's bookkeeper is insufficient  to  warrant
reversal of the Administrator's order.  The landlord's obligation
to  file  a  Schedule began on April 1, 1985.  Over seven  months
elapsed  before landlord did file the required Schedule.  Despite
the  death  of the bookkeeper the landlord continued to  maintain
services,  collect  rents, execute leases and conduct  all  other
business activities.  The Commissioner also notes that at no time
between  April,  1985 and November, 1985 did the landlord  notify
DHCR  of  its circumstances and request an extension of time  for
filing.   Accordingly, the Administrator correctly did not permit
the  landlord  a  guideline increase for  the  tenant's  two-year
renewal lease beginning November 1, 1985.

Third,  the landlord stated that when the tenant vacated in  July
1987  she  was given $6,000.  There is no allegation or proof  by
the landlord that this amount was at all related to the over-

charge  complaint  here under review.  It is  a  common  business
practice  to  give  cash  bonuses to rent regulated  tenants  who
vacate  cooperative  units.  Accordingly, the  landlord  has  not
established  that  the  exchange of money  between  landlord  and
tenant  is  connected to the issue of overcharges  considered  in
this proceeding.

Finally,  the Administrator's order must be amended.   The  over-
charge was computed thorough October 31, 1987.  This evidence  in
the  records  indicates  that  the  tenant  vacated  the  subject
apart-ment  in July 1987.  Accordingly, the landlord should  have
been  directed  to  refund only $953.57 in overcharges  including
interest instead of the $1,161.98 ordered by the Administrator.


THEREFORE,  pursuant to the Emergency Tenant Protection  Act  and
Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, granted
in part, and that 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 landlord, Streg, Inc., shall immedi-
ately refund to the tenant all amounts not yet refunded
representing overcharges and interest; and it is,

FURTHER ORDERED, that if the landlord, Streg, Inc., has refunded
no such amounts upon the expiration of the period for seeking
judicial review pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law
and Rules, the tenant, who has vacated the premises, may file and
enforce a certified copy of this order as a judgment for the
amount of $953.57 as against Streg, Inc.


ISSUED:




ELLIOT SANDER
                                         Deputy Commissioner
    

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