Adm. Review Docket Number EK 910174 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                              JAMAICA, NEW YORK   11433

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          IN  THE  MATTER  OF  THE  ADMINISTRATIVE   ADMINISTRATIVE  REVIEW
          APPEAL OF                            DOCKET NO.: EK 910174 RO
                                                                           
                                      
                 ALEXANDER STERN
                                               DRO DOCKET NO.: ED 910035 R
                                             
                                                  TENANT: ANDREA PHILLIPS
                                PETITIONER
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            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW 



          The above-named  petitioner-owner  timely  filed  a  Petition  for
          Administrative Review against  an  order  issued  on  October  16,
          1990, by the Rent Administrator at 55 Church Street, White Plains, 
          New York, concerning housing  accommodations  known  as  apartment
          number A-16 at 284 South Columbus Avenue, Mt.  Vernon,  New  York,
          wherein the Administrator  established  the  stabilized  rent  and
          directed the owner to refund $12,896.00, including treble  damages
          from April 1, 1984.  


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


          The issue in this appeal is whether the  lease  submitted  by  the
          owner for the first time on appeal as  evidence  of  a  comparable
          rent upon which the vacancy factor in the tenant's  initial  lease
          was based should be taken cognizance of. 


          This proceeding was originally commenced on March 14, 1990, by the 
          filing  of  a  Tenant's  Complaint  Of   Rent   Overcharge    (the
          Complaint). In the Complaint, the tenant  alleged,  in  substance,
          that she had taken occupancy under a lease whose term commenced on 
          April 30, 1989 and expired on April 30, 1990 and that her  initial
          rent of $650.00 exceeded the legal rent for the subject apartment. 


          The owner was first served with the Complaint by  mail  posted  to
          him on July 23, 1990. Along with the Complaint the owner was  sent
          a notice requesting that he submit a copy of the tenant's  present
          lease, a copy of the prior  tenant's  lease  and  a  copy  of  the
          comparable lease used in the calculation of the vacancy factor for 
          the tenant's initial rent. 






          Adm. Review Docket Number EK 910174 RO


          Not  having  received  a  response,  on  August  24,   1990,   the
          Administrator mailed the owner a Final Notice Of Pending  Default.


          On September 10, 1990,  the  Administrator  received  the  owner's
          answer. In it, the  owner  alleged,  in  substance,  that  he  was
          assigned to manage the subject building in February of 1990;  that
          he did not then have any leases  for  the  subject  building,  but
          knew that there was a similar apartment for which  the  tenant  in
          occupancy was paying $ 650.00 per month; that an owner is entitled 
          to increase the rent on a  vacancy  lease  based  on  the  highest
          comparable rent then being charged; and that he would be  glad  to
          submit any leases required as soon as he got them.


          Thereupon, the Administrator  mailed  the  owner  a  final  notice
          requesting the submission  of  a  copy  of  the  comparable  lease
          relied on by the owner in the calculation of  the  vacancy  factor
          for the tenant's initial lease.


          In response thereto the owner submitted a copy of the September 1, 
          1989 through August 30, 1990 lease for apartment D-8 at a  monthly
          rental of $685.75.  


          In the  appealed  order,  the  Administrator  rejected  the  lease
          submitted as a comparable because it was entered  into  after  the
          commencement of the  tenant's  vacancy  lease.  The  Administrator
          thereupon calculated the legal rent  under  the  tenant's  vacancy
          lease using a  default  procedure  and  thereupon  calculated  the
          overcharges indicated above.


          In the  Petition,  the  owner  asserts,  in  substance,  that  the
          submission below of the lease for apartment D-8 was an  error  and
          that the owner should have sent the prior lease for apartment D-8: 
          the January 1, 1989 to December 31,  1989  lease  with  the  prior
          tenant of apartment D-8 at a monthly rental of $650.00.


          In answering the Petition the tenant asserts, in  substance,  that
          the lease submitted on appeal covers a  period  during  which  the
          subject apartment was exempt from regulation under  the  Emergency
          Tenant Protection Act pursuant to an agreement between  the  prior
          owner  and  the  United  States  Housing  and  Urban   Development
          Administration (HUD). The tenant also alleges, on information  and
          belief, that it was illegal for the  owner  to  collect  any  rent
          increase for her apartment since the  owner  had  failed  to  file
          certain financial data with the Division. 


          The Commissioner is of the opinion that  the  Petition  should  be
          denied.


          The Commissioner finds that the lease annexed to the Petition  may






          Adm. Review Docket Number EK 910174 RO
          not be considered upon this appeal as it is beyond  the  scope  of
          review. The Commissioner bases this determination on the following 
          factors: the document in question was submitted for the first time 
          on appeal; it contains many indications of  alterations;  and  the
          owner has not proffered an adequate explanation for his failure to 
          submit it  below.  the  Commissioner  therefore  finds  that  said
          document may not be properly deemed to  be  within  the  scope  of
          review on appeal.


          Moreover, the Commissioner  finds  that  the  lease  submitted  on
          appeal was for a term during which (according to the  registration
          data filed with the Division by the then current owner)  apartment
          D-8 was exempt from regulation  under  the  ETPA.  Therefore,  the
          Commissioner finds that were said lease to be  deemed  within  the
          scope of review on appeal, it could, nevertheless, not  be  deemed
          evidence of a comparable rent upon which the vacancy factor  under
          the tenant's initial lease could have been properly based. 


          The Commissioner notes that in the absence of the tenant's  having
          timely filed a  Petition  for  Administrative  Review,  the  issue
          raised by the tenant's allegation in her  answer  to  the  owner's
          Petition as to the owner's failure  to  supply  certain  financial
          information to the Division, is beyond the scope of review on this 
          appeal as an answer may only address issues raised in the Petition 
          and cannot be used by a responding party, in lieu of said  party's
          own petition, to raise new issues. 
           

          Moreover, in light of the fact that the  tenant  has  advised  the
          Division  that  the  tenant  no  longer   occupies   the   subject
          apartment, a copy of this order and opinion is being sent  to  the
          present occupant of  the  subject  apartment  .  The  Commissioner
          advises the owner to update the  registration  statement  for  the
          subject apartment to reflect  the  change  in  occupancy  and  the
          stabilized rent determined in the Administrator's order.

           
          THEREFORE,  pursuant  to  all  of  the  applicable  statutes   and
          regulations, it is

          ORDERED, that this Petition be, and the same hereby is denied; and 
          that  the  Administrator's  order  be,  and  the  same  hereby  is
          affirmed.

          ISSUED:




                                                                  
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner
    

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