DOC. NO.: EB 910299-RO
                                 STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

         APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO. EB 910299-RO
                        MANAGEMENT CORP.,    :  DOCKET NO. SDH-9-1-0180/R
                                 PETITIONER  :  TENANT: FRANCINE RIVLIN


         The above-named owner has filed a petition for administrative review 
         of an order issued on January 25, 1990 by a District Rent 
         Administrator concerning the housing accommodation known as apartment 
         No. 147, 147 Kearsing Parkway, Monsey, New York.

         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 by the filing of an overcharge complaint 
         by the tenant, dated August 4, 1989, alleging that she was being 
         overcharged due to the owner's failure to file a 1988 apartment 

         The tenant took occupancy pursuant to a two-year lease commencing on 
         August 1, 1980 and expiring on July 31, 1982 at a monthly rent of 

         On October 18, 1989 the District Rent Administrator mailed to the 
         owner a copy of the tenant's complaint, and a notice requesting an 
         answer, within twenty days.  The notice directed the owner to submit 
         a copy of the complainant's present and prior leases, and the lease of 
         the comparable apartment on which the vacancy factor was determined.

         The owner did not reply.

         On December 19, 1989 the District Rent Administrator mailed to the 
         owner a "Notice of Pending Default" requesting that the owner submit 
         a copy of the 1988 apartment registration for the subject apartment, 
         within twenty days.  The notice warned the owner that if it failed to 
         comply with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal's 
         (D.H.C.R.'s) request for leases, and for the apartment registration, 
         that the lawful legal regulated rent would be established by 
         D.H.C.R.'s default procedure.

          DOC. NO.: EB 910299-RO

         On January 9, 1990 the owner submitted its answer.  It stated that the 
         owner did send the 1988 apartment registration to the tenant, but that 
         its file was lost and therefore it could not produce the 1988 
         registration.  Furthermore, the owner argued that since the overcharge 
         complaint was instituted in 1989 concerning the 1988 apartment 
         registration the Administrator should have dismissed the complaint 
         upon the equitable doctrine of laches.

         In the order reviewed herein, the Administrator found that according 
         to the rent agency's record the owner failed to register the subject 
         apartment for 1988.  The Administrator determined that pursuant to the 
         applicable code, where the owner fails to file an annual apartment 
         registration the owner is barred from collecting any rent in excess of 
         the legal regulated rent in effect on the date of the last preceding 

         Accordingly, the Administrator established the legal regulated rent, 
         beginning on April 1, 1988, at $484.57 per month, which was the rent 
         charged prior to the lease which commenced on September 21, 1987.  
         Furthermore, the Administrator computed total overcharges in the 
         amount of $588.82 including accrued interest.

         In this petition the owner reiterates its assertions stated in its 
         answer which was submitted to the Administrator.

         The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be 

         As to the owner's assertion that the tenant's complaint should have 
         been dismissed for laches, section 2506.1(a)(2) of the Tenant 
         Protection Regulations states:

                   A complaint pursuant to this section must be 
                   filed with the Division within four years of the 
                   first overcharge alleged, and no award of the 
                   amount of an overcharge may be based upon an 
                   overcharge having occurred more than four years 
                   before the complaint is filed....

         Accordingly, the tenant's complaint was commenced timely, and it was 
         proper for the Administrator to have decided the tenant's overcharge 

         As the owner failed to substantiate its allegation that it did send 

          DOC. NO.: EB 910299-RO

         the 1988 apartment registration to the tenant, and as the agency's 
         records showed that it failed to file a 1988 registration with the 
         agency, the Commissioner finds that the owner failed properly to 
         register the subject apartment for 1988.  Since the owner failed to 
         file and serve the 1988 apartment registration, the District Rent 
         Administrator's order directing that the subject apartment's rent 
         remain at $484.57 per month until the owner files it with the agency 
         and serves the tenant a copy of the required apartment registration 
         was correct.

         THEREFORE, in accordance with the Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 
         1974, and the State Tenant Protection Regulations, it is

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

         FURTHER ORDERED, that the owner, Blueberry Hill Management 
         Corporation, shall immediately refund to the tenant all amounts not 
         yet refunded representing overcharges and interest; and it is

         FURTHER ORDERED, that if the owner, Blueberry Hill Management 
         Corporation, has not refunded the stated amounts as of the expiration 
         of the time for commencing a proceeding under Article 78 of the Civil 
         Practice Law and Rules for judicial review of this order, the tenant 
         may recover such amounts by deducting them from the rent due to the 
         owner at a rate not in excess of twenty percent of the amount to be 
         refunded for any one month's rent.  If, after such period, the owner 
         has refunded no such amounts and the tenant has not made any such 
         deductions from her rent as an offset, then the tenant may file and 
         enforce a certified copy of this order as a judgment for the amount of 
         $588.82 against Blueberry Hill Management Corp.


                                            ELLIOT SANDER
                                            Deputy Commissioner


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