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.:
GERARD DOUDEAU, DISTRICT RENT
PETITIONER BG 510378-R
ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
On June 26, 1990, the above-named petitioner-tenant filed a
Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on
June 1, 1990 by a Rent Administrator concerning housing
accommodations known as Apartment 63 at 640 West 139th Street,
New York, New York, wherein it was determined that the tenant had
not been overcharged.
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 a rent overcharge
complaint by the tenant on July 23, 1987.
The tenant took occupancy pursuant to a one-year lease commencing
November 15, 1985, and expiring November 14, 1986, at a monthly
rent of $742.00.
The owner was served with a copy of the complaint and was
directed to submit a complete rent history from the base date,
including copies of all leases. The owner complied with this
In Order No. BG 510378-R issued on June 1, 1990, the Rent
Administrator determined that the initial legal registered rent
of $700.00 had been lawfully increased to $881.57 in accordance
with the orders of the Rent Guidelines Board, and that there were
no overcharges of the tenant's rent.
In his petition, dated June 26, 1990, the tenant reiterates his
challenge to his vacancy rent of $742.00 per month, stating that
"other tenants" told him that the apartment was vacant prior to
his occupancy, and that the prior tenant, who was in occupancy at
least 12 years ago, had paid only $500.00 per month. Furthermore,
there had been no renovating of the apartment. Finally, the
tenant objects to the fact that the 1985 apartment registration
he received - which listed the prior tenant as occupant - had not
stated a time limitation for filing a challenge to the rent and
it was thus improper to dismiss his complaint for being untimely.
In its answer, the owner states that the 1985 registration lists
the rent on April 1, 1985, at which time the prior tenant was in
The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be
In the instant proceeding, the complainant took occupancy of the
subject-premises in November, 1985. On July 23, 1987, he filed
an overcharge complaint in which he challenged the initial
registered rent because he was told by his neighbors that the
apartment had been vacant prior to his occupancy and that, before
that, the rent was much less than the amount on the registration
Although the tenant challenges the initial legal registered rent,
the record establishes that the subject-premises were duly
registered in 1984, and that the prior tenant's rent on April 1,
1984, was adopted as the initial legal registered rent, in
accordance with Section 2521.1(c) of the current Rent Stabiliza-
tion Code. Section 2526 further provides that unless the initial
legal registered rent is successfully challenged by the tenant in
occupancy within 90 days of the mailing of a copy of the
regis-tration statement to the tenant, no subsequent challenge
may be entertained.
In the instant proceeding, the record establishes that the
initial registration of the apartment in 1984 had been filed in
accordance with the above provisions of the Rent Stabilization
Code. Although the tenant alleges that the "prior" tenant's rent
was only $500.00, DHCR records confirm that the apartment was
properly registered in 1984 at an initial rent of $700.00 and
that this was never challenged by the initial registered tenant.
The petitioner offers no credible evidence that the initial
registered tenant was not the legal tenant of the apartment; the
so called "other tenants" who told him otherwise are unnamed, and
their allegations are thus unverifiable.
Finally, it is noted that since the tenant was not eligible to
challenge the initial registered rent, the annual registration
will not state time limitations for filing overcharge complaints.
In fact, there are no such limitations. The tenant's complaint
was afforded the complete period of review for which he was
eligible under Section 2521.1(a) of the Rent Stabilization Code,
being the adjusted rent subsequent to the initial registered rent
or the rent as stated in the annual registration filed four years
prior to the most recent statement, whichever is later, and it
was properly determined that there were no overcharges.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the Rent Stabilization Law and
Code, it is
ORDERED, that the tenant's petition be, and the same hereby is,
denied and that the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby
JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
Acting Deputy Commissioner