EB410309RO, BI410283RO

                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          APPEALS OF                             DOCKET NO.EB410309RO
                                              :            BI410283RO
                                                 DRO DOCKET NO.L3117390RT
          319 EAST 50TH STREET ASSOCIATES                      46819
                                                 TENANT: L. VACHRIS BERNHARD
                                PETITIONER    : 

               On February 16, 1990 and September 24, 1987, the above-named 
          petitioner-owner filed Petitions for Administrative Review against 
          orders issued on February 6, 1990 and September 16, 1987 
          respectively, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, 
          Jamaica, New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 
          319 East 50th Street, New York, New York, Apartment No. 10C wherein 
          the Rent Administrator determined that the owner had overcharged the 
          tenant.  These petitions are being consolidated for determination 

               The Administrative Appeals are being determined pursuant to the 
          provisions of Section 2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code.

               The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator's orders 
          were warranted.

               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 appeals.  

               These proceedings were commenced by the tenant filing a rent 
          overcharge complaint and a fair market rent appeal application prior 
          to April 1, 1984 and a tenant's objection to rent/services 
          registration in November, 1984.  During the course of the rent 
          overcharge proceeding, the tenant stated in substance that she first 
          moved to the subject apartment as a subtenant in February, 1977 at 
          a rental of $276.00 which was increased to $296.70 in January, 1979, 
          and $304.70 in 1980,  and received a lease in her own name on 
          October 1, 1981 at a rental of $379.78 per month.

               In response to the tenant's complaints, the owner stated in 
          substance that the tenant herein was an illegal subtenant subject to 
          eviction and that by a so ordered stipulation, the owner entered 
          into an agreement with the tenant herein giving the tenant a three 
          year vacancy lease in her own name commencing October 1, 1981 at a 
          rental of $379.78 per month.  In support of such contention the 
          owner submitted a copy of the so ordered civil court stipulation 
          signed by the tenant herein, her attorney, the owner and owner's 

          EB410309RO, BI410283RO

          attorney.  Said stipulation dated October 2, 1981 provided that the 
          owner would give a three year lease to the tenant herein commencing 
          October 1, 1981 at a rental of $379.78; that the tenant would pay 
          all arrears in rent through September 1981 at a rental of $304.70 
          per month; and that the tenant herein would withdraw with prejudice 
          upon execution of the lease all pending CAB (Conciliation and 
          Appeals Board - the agency formerly charged with enforcing the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code) and stabilization proceedings.

               In Order Number 46819, the Rent Administrator determined that 
          the tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $4,587.91 during 
          the period from October 1, 1981 through September 30, 1987.  In 
          Order Number L3117390RT, the Rent Administrator determined that the 
          tenant had been overcharged in the amount of $9,199.99 during the 
          period from February 1, 1977 through January 31. 1991 based on the 
          owner's failure to supply a full rental history, and stated that 
          said order superseded the order issued under docket number 46819.

               In these petitions, the owner alleges in substance that based 
          on the court stipulation, no rent overcharge occurred.  The owner 
          submitted a copy of the stipulation along with its petitions.

               In response to the owner's petitions, the tenant stated in 
          substance that she was not an illegal subtenant because the owner 
          accepted rent checks in her name from 1977.

               The Commissioner is of the opinion that these petitions should 
          be granted.

               Section 2520.13 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides in 
          pertinent part that an agreement by the tenant to waive the benefit 
          of any provision of the Rent Stabilization Law or Code is void; 
          provided, however, 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 with prejudice, any complaint pending before the 
               In the instant case, the Commissioner is of the opinion that 
          the October 2, 1981 Civil Court so ordered stipulation wherein the 
          tenant was represented by counsel meets the requirements for a 
          negotiated settlement pursuant to Section 2520.13.  In said 
          stipulation, the tenant agreed to pay rent arrears prior to October 
          1, 1981 on the basis of a rent of $304.70 per month and agreed to a 
          rent of $379.78 per month pursuant to a three year vacancy lease 
          commencing October 1, 1981.  In return, the tenant was acknowledged 
          as the tenant of the subject apartment and the prime tenant lost her 
          rights to the subject apartment.  Further, the tenant agreed to 
          withdraw with prejudice any pending complaints before the CAB.  The 
          Commissioner finds that the tenant's complaints herein, although not 
          pending at the time the stipulation was filed, dispute the amount of 
          the rent as determined in the stipulation, that the amount of rent 

          EB410309RO, BI410283RO

          as determined in the stipulation does not appear excessive, and that 
          accordingly the tenant's complaints herein should not have been 
          adjudicated on a default basis by the DHCR without the acceptance of 
          the rent determinations in the stipulation.  It is noted that using 
          the stipulation rent amounts of $304.70 and $379.78 and basing 
          future rent guideline increases due to lease renewals on such 
          amounts results in a finding that no rent overcharges in fact 
          occurred.  Therefore, the Rent Administrator's orders finding a rent 
          overcharge must be revoked.

               If the owner has already complied with the Rent Administrator's 
          orders, and there are arrears due to the owner as a result of the 
          instant determination, the tenant shall be permitted to pay off the 
          arrears in twenty four equal monthly installments.  Should the 
          tenant vacate after the issuance of this order or have already 
          vacated, said arrears shall be payable immediately.

               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, granted, and, that the orders of the Rent 
          Administrator be, and the same hereby are, revoked and it is found 
          that no rent overcharge occurred.


                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Deputy Commissioner


          EB410309RO, BI410283RO


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