DOCKET NO.: EI 710292 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK  11433

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: EI 710292 RO

               Arthur T. Mott,                    D.R.O ORDER NO.:          
                                                  ED 710022 R

          On September 21, 1990, the above named petitioner-owner filed a 
          Petition for Administrative Review against an order issued on 
          August 21, 1990, by the Rent Administrator, 50 Clinton Street, 
          Hempstead, New York concerning housing accommodations known as 
          Apartment 15, 21 Lincoln Boulevard, Hempstead, New York, wherein 
          the Rent Administrator determined that there had been an 
          overcharge and ordered a refund of $1627.14, including interest 
          and excess security.

          The Commissioner had 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.

          In answer to the tenant's April 6, 1990 overcharge complaint, the 
          owner stated, in part, that the tenant had been evicted pursuant 
          to court order on September 19, 1988 and allowed, pursuant to a 
          September 20, 1988 agreement, to reoccupy the apartment upon the 
          tenant's agreeing to pay the sheriff's eviction fee.

          In this petition, the owner contends that the Rent 
          Administrator's Order is incorrect and should be modified because 
          in computing the overcharges the Administrator should have 
          allowed the owner a 15% vacancy allowance at the time the tenant 
          reoccupied the apartment after the eviction.

          In answer to this petition, the tenant contends that the order 
          should be upheld because the 15% vacancy allowance was not in 
          effect until October 1, 1988.

          DOCKET NO.: EI 710292 RO

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition should be 

          At the outset the Commissioner notes that both the Guidelines in 
          effect at the time of the reoccupation and those that became 
          effective October 1, 1988 provided for a 15% vacancy allowance.

          The record shows that, in fact, when the owner allowed the 
          tenant, who had been evicted for at most a day, to resume 
          occupancy, the  rent remained at the same level as it had been 
          before the eviction.  Thus, the owner is contending that the 
          Administrator should have used a second 15% vacancy allowance for 
          this tenant upon resumption of occupancy, in order to offset the 
          overcharges being computed.  Division policy has long followed 
          the so called Collingwood principle that, in general, if an owner 
          charges less than the maximum allowable lawful rent, the rent 
          actually charged becomes the lawful rent, e.g., an owner is 
          deemed to have waived rent increases it could have imposed but 
          failed to do so.

          Therefore, even if the Commissioner were to accept the argument 
          that a second vacancy allowance could have been imposed on this 
          tenant upon reoccupation after eviction, that allowance was 
          waived by the owner.

          Furthermore, Section 2502.5(c)(6) of the Tenant Protection 
          Regulations, governing stabilized tenants outside of New York 
          City, provides that when a tenant vacates prior to the expiration 
          of a lease term, the subsequent lease rent is computed from the 
          maximum rent which could have been charged "if the last lease 
          with the prior tenant had been for a term ending on the date such 
          prior tenant vacated the housing accommodation."  For example, if 
          the prior lease had been for three years and vacatur occurred 
          after two years, the three year rental would be recalculated at 
          the two year rate in order to compute the following rent 
          therefrom.  Where a tenant vacates before the end of the first 
          year of a lease, the new rent will be computed from the 
          applicable prior lease, i.e., the early-vacated lease is 
          considered a lease for zero years (that is, it is ignored when 
          computing the subsequent rent).  Therefore, since the eviction 
          herein occurred after approximately eight months of the one year 
          lease term, even if a new tenant had occupied the apartment after 
          the eviction, the new rent would have been computed from the rent 
          which preceded that of the evicted tenant and therefore would 
          have equalled that of the evicted tenant (had it been for the 
          same lease term).  (The eviction/reoccupation occurred during the 
          same Guidelines period in which the tenant's lease commenced).

          DOCKET NO.: EI 710292 RO

          For the reasons stated above, this petition is denied and it is 
          unnecessary to decide whether in a different factual setting an 
          owner could get a vacancy allowance following the immediate 
          reoccupation by an evicted tenant.

          This order may, upon the expiration of the period in which the 
          owner may institute a proceeding pursuant to Article seventy- 
          eight of the civil practice law and rules, be filed and enforced 
          by the tenant in the same manner as a judgment or not in excess 
          of twenty percent thereof per month may be offset against any 
          rent thereafter due the owner.

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

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


                                                  ELLIOT SANDER
                                                  Deputy Commissioner       



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