EB 410267 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 REVIEW 
          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: EB 410267 RT

                   
                   DAVID ARNOTT-TENANT,
                                                  DRO DOCKET NO.: ZDG 410249 R
                                                  OWNER-MARKS PLACE REALTY CORP.
                                  PETITIONER
          ----------------------------------X                                   


            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


          On February 26, 1990, the above-named  tenant  filed  a  Petition
          for Administrative Review against an order issued on February  7,
          1990 by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, 
          New York concerning the housing accommodation  known  as  17  St.
          Marks Place, New York, New York, Apartment 6,  wherein  the  Rent
          Administrator denied the tenant's overcharge complaint.

          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 administrative appeal.

          This proceeding was commenced on July 20, 1989  when  the  tenant
          filed a complaint of rent overcharge.  The tenant stated that  he
          had moved into the subject apartment on September 18, 1980  at  a
          initial lease rent of $300.00 per month but actually had  paid  a
          surcharge of 10% for a room-mate.  This surcharge continued on an 
          informal basis until it became a permanent part of the rent  when
          the  owner  registered  the  apartment  pursuant  to   the   Rent
          Stabilization Law.   The  tenant  asserted  that  the  owner  had
          deliberately misled him with respect to the  room-mate  fee  with
          the result that, not realizing he was being  charged  an  illegal
          rent, he had not challenged the registered rent.

          A copy of the complaint was served on the owner.


          On September 18, 1989, the  owner  responded  that  the  tenant's
          overcharge complaint was barred by his having  failed  to  timely
          object to the legal registered rent established  by  the  Initial
          Registration.

          In the order here under review, the Administrator,  finding  that
          the owner had properly registered the initial  rent  and  finding
          that all subsequent rents were  lawfully  increased,  denied  the
          tenant's application and terminated the proceeding.







          EB 410267 RT
          In the appeal, the tenant requests that the order under appeal be 
          reversed  and  contends  that  the  base   rent   used   by   the
          Administrator is derived from  a  fraudulent  registration.   The
          tenant contends that the rent registered by the owner reflects an 
          illegal 10% surcharge on the lease rent, collected by  the  owner
          every month that a room-mate shared the  apartment.   The  tenant
          requests reimbursement for lost wages  due  to  court  appearance
          required by the  owner's  attempts  to  evict  him.   The  tenant
          further states that the  owner  deliberately  misrepresented  the
          Administrator's  order  and  attempted   to   further   illegally
          increase the rent by sending a letter in which the  owner  states
          that the order indicated that the rent being paid was $10.63 less 
          than the legal stabilization rent.

          The owner states the order  must  be  affirmed  and  rejects  the
          tenant's allegations of fraud  as  patently  absurd.   The  owner
          contends that the tenant, having failed to challenge the  initial
          registration, cannot collaterally attack the legality of the base 
          date rent so long after its registration.  The owner also asserts 
          that the tenant's request for lost wages reimbursement is outside 
          the scope of the proceeding.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be
          denied.

          Section  2526.1  of  the  Rent  Stabilization  Code  provides  in
          pertinent part that the legal  regulated  rent  for  purposes  of
          determining an overcharge shall be deemed to be the rent shown in 
          the annual registration statement filed four years prior  to  the
          most recent registration statement (or, if more  recently  filed,
          the  initial  registration  statement)  plus  in  each  case  any
          subsequent lawful increases and adjustments.  Section 2526.1 also 
          provides that a complaint must be filed within four years of  the
          first  overcharge  alleged,  thereby  establishing  a  four  year
          statute of limitations.

          The instant proceeding was not commenced until July  1989,  seven
          years after the lease upon which the tenant bases  the  complaint
          commenced.  Moreover, the tenant was notified in  the  RR-1,  the
          apartment Registration admittedly  received  by  the  tenant,  to
          review and check the registered rent against the  lease  and  the
          rent being paid.  The tenant was further informed  that  the  law
          provided only a ninety (90)  day  period  in  which  to  file  an
          objection to the registration.  When the ninety day period passed 
          without  challenge  by  the  tenant,  the  rent  registered   was
          effectively the legal  rent.   There  is  no  provision  for  any
          extension of the ninety day limit imposed under the law.  Accord: 
          ART 10551-K.

          With regard to the tenant's allegation of fraud, the Commissioner 
          notes that the tenant was served with a copy of the registration, 
          was notified of his right under the law, and was not deprived of
          the right to file a timely objection to the rent.  The fact that
          the rent cited  in  the  registration  may  have  represented  an
          overcharge, if there  had  been  a  timely  challenge,  does  not
          constitute a fraud so as to impair the tenant's right to  file  a
          challenge for the registration.  Cf:  CE 410058-RT.

          Accordingly,  the  Commissioner  finds  that  the   Administrator






          EB 410267 RT
          correctly terminated the proceeding.

          With regard to the letter submitted by the tenant  in  which  the
          owner requests an increase of $10.63 based on the Administrator's 
          order, the owner is reminded that where the actual  rent  charged
          is less than the  rent  with  maximum  allowable  increases,  the
          Lawful  Stabilization  Rent  is  limited  to  the  rent  actually
          charged.

          The tenant's request for reimbursement for lost wages  caused  by
          court  appearances  is  outside  the  scope  of  review  of  this
          proceeding.

          THEREFORE, in accordance with  the  Rent  Stabilization  Law  and
          Code, it is

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same  hereby  is,  denied
          and that the District Rent Administrator's order be, and the same 
          hereby is, affirmed.



          ISSUED:
                                                  ------------------------
                                                  JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                                  Deputy Commissioner
           
             
                                          
    

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