STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE : ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO. DG410244RT
: DRO DOCKET NO. ZDH410134R
EMILIA GARCIA ZDH410361R
OWNER: WEST BANK REALTY
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On July 14, 1989 , the above-named petitioner-tenant timely
refiled a Petition for Administrative Review and on July 24, 1990
the petitioner filed a Petition for Administrative Review against
orders issued on June 8, 1989 and on July 3, 1990 by the Rent
Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, New York,
concerning the housing accommodation known as 82 West 105 Street,
New York, NY, apartment 3N, wherein the Administrator terminated the
proceedings. These appeals have been consolidated herein for
determination as they involve common facts and issues.
The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's orders
The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record
and has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to
the issue raised by the administrative appeal.
This proceeding was originally commenced by multiple filings
of a rent overcharge complaint by the tenant.
In response to the tenant's complaints, the owner stated in
substance that the tenant and the owner had executed a stipulation
of settlement wherein the owner and the tenant agreed to the legal
rent and the tenant agreed not to institute overcharge proceedings
with the DHCR. The owner submitted a copy of the stipulation signed
by the parties and counsel for the parties and "so-ordered" by the
court. Since the stipulation met the requirements of Section
2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code, the overcharge complaints
should be dismissed.
In these petitions, the tenant contends in substance that
she had resided in the subject apartment for a long time as a
roommate to the tenant of record. Upon his demise, the owner had
brought hold-over proceedings seeking to evict her. She had signed
the agreement here at issue under duress, in the belief that failure
to agree would result in her eviction. The tenant contends that
said agreement should be set aside because she was not represented
by counsel when she signed the agreement, that she has employed an
attorney in other instances but was not represented by the attorney
who signed the agreement. The tenant submits documents which show
the name of the attorney employed by the tenant on other occasions.
In response to the appeals, the owner reiterates the defense
raised in the proceeding before the Administrator. The owner states
that the tenant is fabricating with respect to representation. The
owner submits the attorney's business card as proof of the
After careful consideration, the Commissioner is of the opinion
that these petitions should be denied.
Code Section 2520.13 provides in pertinent part that based upon
a negotiated settlement between the parties and with the approval of
the DHCR, or a court of competent jurisdiction where a tenant is
represented by counsel, a tenant may withdraw any complaint pending
before the DHCR.
After careful consideration of the tenant's contentions
regarding the settlement, the Commissioner finds that the court
approved agreement meets the requirements of Code Section 2520.13
and effectively bars the processing of the tenant's overcharge
complaint. The tenant executed the agreement and it appears that
the tenant was represented. Said agreement was approved by the
court and the Commissioner will not look behind the court's order.
The tenant's correct remedy is to seek to set the stipulation aside
in a court of
competent jurisdiction .
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, it is
ORDERED, that these petitions for administrative review be, and
the same hereby are, denied, and, that the orders of the Rent
Administrator be, and the same hereby are, affirmed.
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA