Adm. Review Docket No: EL 810097-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

        ------------------------------------X 
        IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
        APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.: EL 810097-RO 
                                            :  
             DOWNING MGMT. CO.,                DISTRICT RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S
                                               DOCKET NO.: SDH-8-1-0028-R
                              PETITIONER    : 
        ------------------------------------X    TENANT:   Gregory   Classon
                           
          
           ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
                                      IN PART 

        On December 5, 1990  the  above-named  petitioner-landlord  filed  a
        Petition for  Administrative  Review  against  an  order  issued  on
        November 7, 1990 by the District Administrator,  55  Church  Street,
        White Plains, New York concerning housing  accommodations  known  as
        Apartment 5F at 555 Broadway, Hastings-on-Hudson, New  York  wherein
        the District Rent Administrator determined  that  the  landlord  had
        overcharged the tenant.

        The  issue  in  this   appeal   is   whether   the   District   Rent
        Administrator's order was warranted.

        The applicable sections of the Law are Sections 35, 71, 122 and 123 
        of the  Tenant  Protection  Regulations  (9  NYCRR  Sections  2502.5
        [c][9], 2506.1[a], 2509.2 and 2509.3).

        The Commissioner has reviewed all of the evidence in the record  and
        has carefully considered that portion of the record relevant to  the
        issue raised by the petition.

        This proceeding was originally commenced by the  filing  in  August,
        1989 of a rent overcharge complaint  by  the  tenant,  in  which  he
        stated that he had commenced occupancy in May, 1986  at  a  rent  of
        $758.00 per month.

        The landlord was served  with  a  copy  of  the  complaint  and  was
        requested to  respond.   The  file  of  the  proceeding  before  the
        Administrator does not contain any submissions from the landlord.

        In an order issued on November 7, 1990 the Administrator found  that
        the landlord could  not  charge  a  guideline  increase  for  leases
        commencing between October 1, 1987 and September 30, 1988 because of 
        the  landlord's  failure  to  timely  file  a  1987  Operating   and
        Maintenance Expenses Schedule,  and  that  the  landlord  could  not
        collect any rent above the registered 1984 rent until it  registered
        the apartment for 1985 and 1986.  The  Administrator  determined  an
        overcharge of $14,936.16 as of August  31,  1990,  including  treble
        damages, on those overcharges occurring no more than two years prior 
        to the filing of the tenant's complaint.

        In this petition, the landlord contends in  substance  that  it  did






          Adm. Review Docket No: EL 810097-RO
        submit a response that was received by the DHCR on October 15, 1989; 
        that it did file the 1985 and 1986 apartment registrations; that  it
        files the financial data for all of its Westchester County buildings 
        at the same time; and that in the case  of  another  building  whose
        financial report was filed at the same time as  the  report  of  the
        subject building, the DHCR issued an order finding that the landlord 
        had filed the necessary reports for 1987, 1988 and 1989.   With  its
        petition the landlord has enclosed an answer dated October 13,  1989
        in which it stated that it had filed in a timely manner but  had  to
        resubmit the forms when the  DHCR  misplaced  them;  copies  of  the
        tenant's leases; a certified mail receipt signed  by  a  DHCR  staff
        person on October 15, 1989; an  order  (Docket  No.  DH  8-1-0263/R)
        concerning a building of the landlord's at  300  Broadway  in  Dobbs
        Ferry where the Administrator terminated a proceeding  because  "[a]
        check of the Agency records indicates that the  landlord  has  filed
        the required Operating and Maintenance  expense  schedules  for  the
        1987-88,  1988-89  and  1989-90  guideline   periods";   copies   of
        "Apartment Registration Proof of Mailing" printouts  from  the  Rent
        Stabilization Association (R.S.A.) for 60 apartments at 555 Broadway 
        for various years, with the dates for "State Package  Mailed"  given
        as November 5, 1985 (for 1985), April 8, 1987  (for  1986),  October
        20, 1987 (for 1987), November 16, 1988 (for  1988)  and  August  10,
        1989 (for 1989); affidavits dated November 12, 1990 from the  R.S.A.
        Director of Finance swearing that registration forms were mailed  to
        each tenant listed on the  dates  given;  and  U.S.  Postal  Service
        Mailing receipts for each mailing (other than October 20, 1987).

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

        Section 123 of the Tenant Protection Regulations  (9  NYCRR  Section
        2509.3) provides in substance that a landlord's failure  to  file  a
        proper  and  timely  registration  shall  bar  the   landlord   from
        collecting any rent in excess of the legal regulated rent in  effect
        on the day of the last registration statement.  The filing of a late 
        registration  results  in  the  prospective  elimination   of   this
        sanction.  

        The landlord has submitted evidence, which it claims  was  submitted
        to the Administrator, showing that the 1985 registration was  mailed
        to  the  prior  tenant  on  November  5,  1985  and  that  the  1986
        registration was  mailed  to  the  complainant  on  April  8,  1987.
        Because of late filing of the registration the complainant's May  1,
        1986 lease therefore did not serve to increase the lawful rent above 
        the registered April 1, 1985 rent of $675.16 until April 8, 1987.

        The Westchester County Rent Guidelines Order for leases commencing 
        between October 1, 1987 and September 30, 1988 provided among  other
        things for a permanent loss of a guidelines increase where there was 
        a late filing of the Operating  and  Maintenance  Expenses  Schedule
        (absent permission from the DHCR to charge the increase by virtue of 
        having provided an acceptable excuse for  the  late  filing).   DHCR
        records show that the 1987 financial report was  received  from  the
        landlord on July 30, 1987, more than two months late.  On March  14,
        1988  an  Associate  Attorney  with  the  DHCR  wrote  the  landlord
        regarding its applications to restore the guidelines  increases  for
        555 Broadway (Hastings-on-Hudson) and 300  Broadway  (Dobbs  Ferry).
        He noted that the report, although dated  April  30,  1987,  bore  a
        postmark of July 29, 1987 and that the  owner  had  not  provided  a






          Adm. Review Docket No: EL 810097-RO
        certified  mail  receipt.    He   therefore   denied   the   owner's
        applications.  While the landlord has now enclosed an order  finding
        that the landlord could collect guideline rent increases  on  leases
        commencing October 1, 1987 to September 30, 1988  at  300  Broadway,
        that  is  not  the  subject  building,  and  the  landlord  has  not
        submitted any evidence to show  that  the  report  for  the  subject
        building was timely filed.  The Commissioner therefore finds that it 
        was warranted for the Administrator to find that  the  landlord  was
        not eligible to collect a guideline increase  on  leases  commencing
        between October 1,  1987  and  September  30,  1988.   Taking  these
        factors into account, the Commissioner  has  set  forth  the  lawful
        stabilization rents and the amount of overcharge on the amended rent 
        calculation chart attached hereto and made a part hereof.  

        Section 71 of the Tenant Protection  Regulations  (9  NYCRR  Section
        2506.1[a][1]) provides in substance  that  treble  damages  will  be
        imposed unless "the landlord establishes by a preponderance  of  the
        evidence that the overcharge was neither willful nor attributable to 
        his  negligence."   The  Commissioner  is  not  persuaded  that  the
        landlord was not at least negligent, if not willful,  in  continuing
        to charge the tenant rent  increases  despite  the  late  filing  of
        apartment registrations and financial reports,  which  late  filings
        resulted in the temporary or permanent inability of the landlord  to
        collect such increases.  In addition, the tenant's initial  rent  of
        $758.00 represented an unlawful increase over the previous rent even 
        if  the  landlord  had  not  been  temporarily   disqualified   from
        collecting any increase.

        The owner is cautioned to adjust the rent,  in  leases  after  those
        considered in this order, to amounts no greater than that determined 
        by this order  plus  any  lawful  increases,  and  to  register  any
        adjusted rent, with this order being given as  the  reason  for  the
        adjustment.  Because the complainant has vacated,  a  copy  of  this
        order is being sent to the current 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. 

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



        ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is,  granted  in
        part and that the District Rent Administrator's order  be,  and  the
        same hereby is, modified in accordance with this Order and  Opinion.
        The lawful stabilization rents and  the  amount  of  overcharge  are
        established on the attached chart, which is fully  made  a  part  of
        this order.  The total overcharge is  $7,309.75  as  of  August  31,
        1990.  The lawful stabilization rent is  $764.97  per  month  as  of
        August 31, 1990.

        ISSUED:










          Adm. Review Docket No: EL 810097-RO
                                                                      
                                        ELLIOT SANDER
                                        Deputy Commissioner


    

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