Docket Number: EA-710234-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

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        IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: EA 710234-RO
                                            :  
          COUNTRY ESTATES ASSOCIATES,          DRO DOCKET NO.: EA 710004-R

                              PETITIONER    : 
        ------------------------------------X                           
          
         ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW AND 
        REMANDING PROCEEDING TO THE DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR

        On January  29,  1990,  the  above-named  petitioner-owner  filed  a
        petition for administrative review of an order issued on January 23, 
        1990,  by  the  District  Rent  Administrator,  50  Clinton  Street,
        Hempstead, New York concerning the housing accommodations  known  as
        Apartment 3-J at 14 Elk Street, Hempstead,  New  York,  wherein  the
        District Rent Administrator established the tenant's rent.

        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 on January 15, 1990 by  the
        filing of an overcharge complaint by the tenant.  In the  complaint,
        the tenant contended that her rent was $724.29 and  that  the  owner
        was overcharging her $611.65 as late charges.  The tenant  requested
        that the DHCR check into this matter.  The tenant  submitted  copies
        of money orders indicating rent paid in the amount of $724.29.   The
        tenant also submitted a rent bill for December,  1989  indicating  a
        base rent of $611.65, a parking fee  of  $50.00  and  major  capital
        improvement (MCI) charges of $48.00 and $14.64, for a total  due  of
        $724.29.  The tenant also submitted a rent bill due January 1,  1990
        which included the same base rent and MCI charges,  but  included  a
        parking fee of $110.00 and totaled $1,204.29.

        In answer, the owner submitted two of the tenant's  renewal  leases,
        including the lease in effect in January, 1990 indicating a rent  of
        $611.65.  The owner stated that the tenant was misreading  the  rent
        bill; that the amount of $611.65 was not a  late  charge;  that  the
        statement "late charge rent" on the rent bill referred to  the  fact
        that the tenant would be subject to late charges if the  tenant  did
        not pay the rent on time; that the additional charges  on  the  bill
        were parking arrears; and that the tenant had been paying  for  only
        one parking space while using three.  

        In reply, the tenant stated that the amount of $1,204.29  listed  on
        the January 1, 1990 rent bill was incorrect; that  the  tenant  paid
        $724.29 for January, 1990; that he did not want the owner requesting 
        arrears; and that he was using and paying for  three  garage  spaces
        and had been paying for the same for several months. 
        In the order under appeal herein, the Administrator determined  that
        the $1,204.09 figure on the January 1, 1990 rent bill was incorrect; 






          Docket Number: EA-710234-RO
        that the legal regulated rent plus parking was  $724.29  per  month;
        and that the parking costs were $15.00 per month  for  each  of  two
        outdoors spaces and $20.00 per month for one indoor space.  The rent 
        was calculated as follows:  $611.65 base rent +  $50.00  parking  (3
        spaces)  +  $48.00  +  $14.64   (MCI   increases)=   $724.29.    The
        Administrator directed the owner to correct  its  record  concerning
        the rent due.

        In this petition, the owner states that statement of parking arrears 
        on the rent bill was an incorrect  double  billing  which  has  been
        corrected.  The owner also asserts that its  November  and  December
        1989 records show that the tenant was using 5 garage  spaces,  while
        the tenant claims he uses only 3; that the parking fees  are  $15.00
        for outdoor spaces, $35.00 for  East  and  West  garage  spaces  and
        $50.00 for pool garage spaces; that the tenant's rent bill indicates 
        that he was being  charged  only  for  the  pool  garage;  that  the
        tenant's total parking fee should be $80.00  per  month  (2  outdoor
        spaces at $15.00 each and one pool garage space at $50.00); and that 
        the owner is entitled to 6 months of arrears at $30.00 per month for 
        a total of $180.00.  The owner submits a printout  of  the  tenant's
        rent account dated January 2, 1990 which indicates rent of  $611.65,
        major capital improvements of $48.00 and $14.64, a  parking  fee  of
        $110.00, a $60.00 balance on the parking fee from the  prior  month,
        and additional parking arrears of $360.00, which  the  owner  states
        was an improper double billing, for a total of $1,204.29.

        In answer, the tenant asserts that the pool garage  is  included  in
        the rent for $20.00 and the two outdoor  spaces  were  included  for
        $15.00 for several years; that the owner never informed  the  tenant
        of an increase in the pool garage space rent; that any increase must 
        be within  the  guideline  when  the  lease  is  renewed;  that  the
        Administrator's order is correct; and that the  owner  continues  to
        incorrectly assess the tenant's arrears.

        The Commissioner is of the opinion  that  this  petition  should  be
        granted to the extent of remanding the proceeding  to  the  District
        Rent Administrator for further processing.

        The record in this case indicates that the  January,  1990  rent  of
        $724.29 paid by the tenant  included  $50.00  for  parking.   It  is
        undisputed that the tenant has been  occupying  at  least  3  garage
        spaces - one pool garage space and two outdoor  spaces.   The  owner
        asserts that the $50.00 parking fee paid by  the  tenant  represents
        payment for one pool garage space only,  while  the  tenant  asserts
        that this fee represents payment for one pool garage space  and  two
        outdoor spaces.  In addition, the owner asserts that its records for 
        November and December 1989 indicate that  the  tenant  was  using  5
        garage spaces - one pool garage space and four outdoor spaces.   The
        $110.00 fee included in the tenant's rent bill for  parking  appears
        to reflect a charge for the 5 spaces ($50.00  for  the  pool  garage
        space and $15.00 for each of 4 outdoor  spaces).   While  the  owner
        asserts that the tenant was using 5 spaces, the owner requests  that


        the  tenant's  parking  fee  be  established  at  $80.00  per  month
        reflecting rent for 3 spaces (one pool garage space and two  outdoor
        spaces).

        It is noted that the owner is not seeking to increase the  rent  for






          Docket Number: EA-710234-RO
        the pool garage space, as asserted by the  tenant,  but  is  seeking
        payment, including arrears, for the outdoor spaces which  the  owner
        states the tenant has used but has not paid for.

        The Commissioner finds that the evidence of record is inadequate  to
        determine whether the $50.00 parking fee represents payment for  one
        pool garage space, as alleged by the owner, or for one  pool  garage
        space and two  outdoor  spaces,  as  alleged  by  the  tenant.   The
        evidence of record is  also  inadequate  to  determine  whether  the
        tenant at any time used 5 garage spaces.  The only documentation  in
        the case file other than the tenant's  rent  bill  consists  of  the
        tenant's renewal leases which do not indicate  which  garage  spaces
        the tenant was entitled to use.  The  Administrator's  determination
        that the $50.00 parking fee in the tenant's rent reflected a  charge
        of $15.00 for each of two outdoor spaces and $20.00 for  one  indoor
        space is  unsubstantiated  by  any  evidence  in  the  record.   The
        Commissioner finds that the proceeding should  be  remanded  to  the
        Administrator for further  fact-finding  to  determine  whether  the
        $50.00 parking fee paid by the tenant  represents  payment  for  the
        pool garage space only or also includes two outdoor spaces,  whether
        the tenant at any time used a total of 5  garage  spaces,  when  the
        tenant began using the outdoor spaces, the lawful charge  for  those
        spaces, if not included in the $50.00 parking fee, and the amount of 
        arrears due, if any.

        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 to the 
        extent  of  remanding  the   proceeding   to   the   District   Rent
        Administrator for further processing in accordance with  this  order
        and opinion.  The District Rent Administrator's order  shall  remain
        in effect pending the issuance of a new order on remand.

        ISSUED:




                                                                      
                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner




                                                   
         
    

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