Docket NO. EK 910058-RO

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

          APPEAL OF                               DOCKET NO.: EK 910058-RO 

                                                  DISTRICT RENT
                                                  ADMINISTRATOR'S DOCKET
                                                  NO.: CEG-9-1-0274-R*
                                                  Tenant: Eugenia M. Rogari
          Zemo Properties, Inc.


          On November 3, 1990, the above named petitioner-landlord filed  a
          petition for Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on
          October 19, 1990, by the Rent Administrator, 55  Church  Streeet,
          White Plains, New York, concerning housing  accommodations  known
          as Apartment 2D, 140 Grace Church Street, Portchester, New  York,
          wherein the Rent Administrator determined that there had been  an
          overcharge and ordered a refund of $10,078.92,  including  treble

          The issues  in  this  appeal  are  whether  treble  damages  were
          imposed for a period exceeding the statutary limit;  whether  the
          landlord had registered the subject premises for the years  1987,
          1989 and 1990 when the  Administrator's  order  was  issued;  and
          whether the landlord's failure to register the premises  for  the
          years 1984-87 and 1989 until 1990 was excusable.

          The applicable sections of the  Tenant  Protection  Registrations
          are Sections 2506.1 and 2509.3.

          The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in  the  record
          and has carefully considerd that portion of the  record  relevant
          to the  issues raised by the administrative appeal.

          * The  Administrator's  order  inadvertently  listed  the  docket
          number as CEG-9-1-0279-R.
          In the order under appeal,  the  Rent  Administrrator  determined
          that the premises had not been registered  for  the  years  1987,
          1989 and 1990 and the registration forms for 1984, 1985 and  1986
          had  been  filed  with  the  Division   on   August   13,   1990.
          Accordingly, the Administrator found that the landlord could  not
          raise the rent beyond the April 1, 1984  level,  being  the  last
          rent of the prior tenant.  Overcharges  were  computed  therefrom
          through October 31, 1990, the end of the month during  which  the

          Docket NO. EK 910058-RO
          order was issued, and treble charges were imposed for the  period
          March 1, 1987 through October 31, 1990.

          In  this  petition,  the  landlord   contends   that   the   Rent
          Administrator's   Order  is  incorrect  and  should  be  modified
          because the premises were registered for the years 1987, 1989 and 
          1990 by the time the order was issued.   Proofs  of  mailing  are
          attached to the petition.  In addition, the landlord alleges that 
          the late registrations were inadvertant because the landlord  had
          thought that the property maintenance and cost  survey  schedules
          had been the required registration forms so that the  failure  to
          register had not been willful.  Finally,  the  landlord  contends
          that the Administrator computed treble damages from a date  prior
          to the two year period before the tenant's complaint  was  filed.
          (The regulations do  not  allow  treble  damages  prior  to  that

          In answer to this petiiton, the tenant contends  that  the  order
          should be upheld because the landlord's alleged ignorance of  the
          law, even if  true,  can  not  excuse  the  failure  to  properly
          register the subject  premises.   However,  the  tenant  did  not
          dispute the landlord's contentions regarding  either  the  period
          for which treble damages were imposed, or that the  premises  had
          been registered for 1987, 1989 and 1990 prior to the issuance  of
          the Administrator's Order.

          The Commissioner is of the opinion that this petition  should  be
          granted in part.

          Section 2509.3 (Formerly Section 123) of  the  Tenant  Protection
          Regulations (TPR) bars a landlord from  collecting  any  rent  in
          excess of the legal regulated rent in  effect  on  the  date  the
          housing accommodations became subject to registration  where,  as
          here,  the initial registration was not properly filed.  Even  if
          the failure to register was  inadvertent,  the  penalty  must  be
          imposed.  The filing of a late registration shall result  in  the
          prospective elimination of this sanction.  Division records  show
          that the 1984,5,6,7 and 1989 registrations were  filed August 13, 
          1990; the 1988 registration was filed July 29, 1988 and the  1990
          registration was filed October 24, 1990.

          The only date in controversy is that of  the  1990  registration.
          The landlord has submitted a return receipt  for  certified  mail
          showing a June 26, 1990 mailing which was received by  the  White
          Plains Rent Office on June 27, 1990.  The landlord  alleges  that
          this mailing contained the 1990 registration.   Division  records
          confirm  that  the  mailing  contained  registration   materials.
          Accordingly, Commissioner  finds  that  the  landlord  should  be
          deemed to have filed  the 1990 registration material on June  27,
          1992, rather than on October 25,  1990,  the  date  used  by  the

          Based on the foregoing, the Commissioner hereby  finds  that  the
          Administrator correctly froze the rent at the April 1, 1984 level 
          of   $362.00  through  August  1990  during  which   month    all
          registrations through 1990 had been received.

          Section  2506.1  provides  that  unless  a  landlord  proves   an
          overcharge was neither willful nor negligent, then   the  penalty

          Docket NO. EK 910058-RO
          of treble damages must be  imposed.   However,  the  landlord  is
          correct that the Section also provides that  the  treble  damages
          can not be imposed on overcharges collected more than  two  years
          prior to the filing of the tenant's complaint.  The record  shows
          the tenant's complaint was filed on July 3,  1990.   Accordingly,
          no  treble  damages  should  have  been  imposed  on  overcharges
          collected prior to August 1, 1988.  

          Base on the foregoing, the overcharges are recomputed as follows:

          3/1/85-2/28/86: ($374.00 - $362.00) X 12 mos. = $144.00
          3/1/86-2/28/87: ($397.15 - $362.00) X 12 mos. = $421.80
          3/1/87-2/28/89: ($417.01 - $362.00) X 17 mos. = $935.17
                   plus : ($417.01 - $362.00) X  7 mos. 
                                                    X 3 = $1,155.21
          3/1/89-8/31/90: ($454.54 - $362.00) X 18 mos. 
                                                    X 3 = $4,997.16

                             Total with treble damages: = $7,653.34

          The landlord is hereby directed to immediately refund the  amount
          $7,653.34 to the tenant.  If the landlord fails  to  do  so,  the
          tenant may recover the penalty found herein by deducting it  from
          the rent payable to the landlord at a rate not in  excess  of  20
          percent of the amount of the penalty for any  one  month's  rent.
          If no such offset has  been  made,  this  order   may,  upon  the
          expiration of the period in which the landlord  may  institute  a
          proceeding pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice  Law  and
          Rules, be filed and enforced by a tenant in the same manner as  a

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

          ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby  is,  granted
          in part, and the Rent Administrator's  order  be,  and  the  same
          hereby is, modified in accordance with this Order and Opinion.


                                             Joseph A. D'Agosta
                                             Acting Deputy Commissioner

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